We live in an unprecedented and, all too often, cruel time that can best be described as collective trauma and reckoning. All while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cripple the global economy and steal hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide, the United States is being forced to confront its deeply rooted issues with racism, police brutality, and the systems and cultures that have enabled them to continue.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an innocent black man, was murdered in broad daylight by a white police officer in Minneapolis. In light of the disproportionate toll that COVID-19 has had on the black community as well as the recent video release of the Ahmaud Arbery murder by an ex-cop, the George Floyd murder ignited the sentiment that enough is enough. In the past week, protestors from every corner of the United States took to the streets to fight for justice and dismantle the systems and institutions entrenched by racism and oppression. Even with social distancing measures in place, thousands proved that they were willing to risk their lives to fight for what was right; to say no more to police brutality and the killing of innocent black men and women in this country. However, the U.S. is built on a 300 year legacy of violence and oppression, and it is not a system that can be easily vanquished, or altered. Protestors have been met with escalated and horrific violence from police, which has only shown how long the road is ahead of us. Nonetheless, change is coming.
The impact of social change is evident in the conversations we have with one another, in our own communities, and in communication with others both at hand and far away. Consider this a call to all white, and non-black people of color to engage in our communities and do the hard and necessary work to bring about the change that is desperately needed. You are only as distant and detached as your unwillingness to be educated and have honest conversations with those around you. It is not enough to be non-racist; we must all be, and encourage others to be, anti-racist. We have a responsibility to check our privilege, acknowledge how may have contributed to this unjust system, and fight for liberty, justice and freedom for the Black community that has suffered enough at the hands of this nation.
At Inflections, we are embracing our responsibility to use our platform to amplify and support the Black community, and to empower and defend the Black Lives Matter movement. Although we are predominantly a white community, we have compiled a collection of resources from black artists, writers, directors, historians, and lawyers that we are using to educate ourselves on how to become better allies and agents of active change. The idea that protesting or donating money is the number one way that the white population can help is an incomplete response. If you live in predominantly white neighborhoods, you can be just as large of an ally as a white person in a more diverse neighborhood. Racism and unacknowledgement of white privilege is often perpetuated in white homogenous places that are untouched by the more visceral realities that the Black community endures. However, we are a younger, more tolerant generation that can be a catalyst to end this in our communities. We must follow black leadership and educate our family and friends on the unjust system and culture of racism in the United States. These conversations will be challenging, but we must sacrifice comfort. Our action is all that is owed.
We pledge to examine our own privilege and the unconscious biases that we may hold, and to listen to and empathize with our black and POC friends. As such, we welcome criticism, and are prepared to be active listeners, to engage in open honest dialogue with those both inside and outside of our immediate communities, and adjust our content accordingly. Our mission here at Inflections is to connect people through art and literature. We hope to encourage people to engage with this platform to share their voices and experiences, to help educate further and connect with a larger network.
Great change is started by a small spark, and carried by each and every person it touches until it has immersed an entire nation. It is especially relevant to actively try to bring about change within our own communities. Let us be the generation that brings about the change the US has been working towards for hundreds of years, and strive to respond to anti-black sentiments that can be found across the world.
The Inflections Team