He’s done it again. Poured his heart out on a page in total vulnerable honesty. You must read this Why My White Voice Cannot Be Silent About #BlackLivesMatter by Kevin Garcia. 

This was a Facebook status my friend, Rusty, made, about his experience with standing in solidarity at a #BlackLivesMatter march in Knoxville, TN. It was so impactful, and spoke to much of what I experience as someone seeking to be a better racial justice ally. Read it. Share it. 

It’s 3:00 in the morning, and I can’t sleep because my mind is still swarming with so many thoughts born of experiencing my first #blacklivesmatter march last night.

Last night, I marched with close to 70 other people, starting at Tyson House, heading through Market Square, into Old City, and back.  Those around me cried out “black lives matter,” “no justice, no peace,” “no more hashtags,” “black children matter,” “black art matters,” and at times sang “We Shall Overcome.”

But, I stayed silent.

I carried my candle and stayed silent, because as a white man, my voice is heard far too often, and in that moment my brothers and sisters of color needed their voices heard.  They needed Knoxville to hear their pleas and hear their pain and hear their struggle.  I needed to hear their pleas and their pain and their struggle.

After twining through downtown, our march reached a pause under the bridge past Barley’s. One of the incredibly talented, passionate, intelligent, and dedicated facilitators began to share with the group.  She shared the pain that she’s experienced as a black woman living in the south.

She shared the sorrow that people of color have felt for decades and longer.  She shared fear and fatigue and anger and frustration and a plea for harmony.  She shared simple, straight, undeniable, and unjust facts: people of color are targets in our communities simply because they exist.

And then she asked for help. 

She asked for help very specifically from those of us in the crowd who carry that unjust privilege that comes with being white.  She asked that we lend our voices to their fight, to their struggle, to highlighting that no matter how someone tries to spin the facts, black lives are being lost in our country with no justice and no end in sight.

Epiphany. Bitter, paradoxical epiphany: in a moment when I was purposefully being silent so others could be heard, I was asked to use my power and privilege and voice to join the fight for justice.

White friends and family: now is the time for us to speak, but not for ourselves.

Read the rest of Kevin’s post here

If you would like to be featured on Writer Wednesday, visit the contact page in the main menu.

~Cheryl

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