The Nazis carrying torches and confederate flags don't speak for me. Nor do the politicians crying out for unity when they not only benefited from but directly incited division. We may share skin pigmentation or citizenship, but they do not speak for me. We are none of us equal until we are ALL equal. We are one race: human. Our diversity is a strength, a feature not a bug.
I won't stand here and call for unity as some sort of balm or first-aid. Nor do I feel comfortable spreading the absolutism that is going around of "you need to choose your side now". But we can't be silent. White people, we benefit from supremacy. We benefit from racism even if we don't participate in those behaviors and marches. We can't be silent anymore. We can't be tacitly complicit. We have to stand up beside our fellow humans--people of color, of varied religions, creeds and backgrounds--and say, "No more." We need to listen to marginalized people rather than talk to them about what their experience is like. Listen. Then stand up for them and beside them to OTHER WHITE PEOPLE. Call it out when you see bullshit racist behavior, or sexist behavior. If your friend or family member says something, YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP.
I don't want to perpetuate division by saying you must choose a side. I don't want to incite more fear by postulating that a war is coming. But this is a fight and it isn't new.
As I said yesterday, the weapons we must use in this fight are not guns and bombs or fists (though Nazi punching is such a chic passtime). Our weapons are laughter, hope, wonder, dreams, memory, compassion, empathy. We need to want more and better things. We need to imagine we are capable of better. We need to remember what has happened before and do better. We need to believe that we CAN be better.
We aren't right because of some divine mandate, manifest destiny or the color of our skin. We have scientific facts, we have history. I dare not say we have "truth", because that leads to different paths of religion and philosophy. We have facts. Real ones, not alternative, cooked up lies.
And we have each other.
Take care of one another, guys. We'll get through this together. We can. It will be work, but we need to believe that on the other side of this we will be stronger. That this is a defining moment where we disparate billions come together and say, "No, this is not who we want to be. We want better."
Be kind today.