I wanted to write about this yesterday, but I just couldn’t find the words. Today, I have them.
If you’re a person of color, and you’re feeling disheartened, angry, sad, frustrated, exhausted, or any other emotion because of all the horrible shit happening in America right now (even if you don’t live there)…
I’m here for you. I’m glad you’re here. And I’ll do anything I can to make sure you feel safe and supported.
White people: we need to talk about systemic racism, both in the countries where we live, and in tech more broadly, as well. Our role in it, the privilege we enjoy, and our role in calling out racist assholes whenever we see them.
There are some simple things we can do right now to make a difference:
- Listen. I grew up a mostly white town with mostly white neighbors. Most of my friends are white, too. A few years ago, I noticed that my Twitter feed was almost entirely white people. I made it a point to seek out minority voices, to listen, and to learn.
- Amplify. Share more content from people of color. If it’s specifically about racial inequality, don’t just retweet. Add your support, so your followers are unambiguously clear where you stand.
- Call bad behavior out. When you see white people acting racist, call them out. It’s both safer for a white person to tell a racist to STFU, and more likely to have an impact since we’re not part of the group they hate.
Tatiana Mac has a great article with a list of other reading, if you want to go even further.
Also, if you’re thinking about coming at me with some “all lives matter” nonsense: you wouldn’t run into a funeral and shoutout “all loved ones matter.” You wouldn’t interrupt a cancer fundraiser to shout “all diseases matter.” So GTFO here with “all lives matter.”
Yes, they do. Right now we’re talking about black lives.
Also, blindspot warning: I’m a white guy from a privileged background. If I missed or misrepresented anything here, please let me know and I’ll update or correct it.
If you want to chat more about this, also let me know. I’m here for you.