Moments of Awakening

By Grace O’Malley. 

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of white people in the fight for racial justice.

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That our nation needs to undergo large-scale structural change is obvious. The systemic discrimination of black and brown people has been well documented by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander, Bruce Western, and others. People have been talking about it, been writing about it, been protesting about it. Our criminal justice system is fucked. We’re building for-profit prisons while we chip away at our commitment to public education. We criminalize poverty and homelessness, conditions that our policies and economy create. Our society has explicit biases that keep people of color in the lowest rungs of society. We do not live in a post-racial society.

But how are we to change this? What is the role of white people in this movement?

I know that the nation needs to change its laws and policies. But to do this, don’t we also need to change people’s minds?

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