Editorial by The Free Press staff. File Photo

Editorial

With the Black Lives Matter movement at the forefront of politics, I’ve spent hours re-evaluating my awareness of white privilege, systemic racism, and strategies for change.

Despite my internal discourse, up until this very moment I’ve stayed relatively silent in fear of saying the wrong thing, spreading misinformation, or unintentionally offending anyone. It’s that culture of fear that I want to touch on here, the one that has so many white people avoiding important conversations.

What I recently realized, is that I need to be wrong in order to learn how to be right. I must dare to speak up, make mistakes, learn from my ignorance, and repeat. Nobody is expected to be perfect; however, I do believe it’s my responsibility to educate myself, and I can’t do that while sitting back.

Though at times it’s easy to feel far removed from racism, I know that discrimination is still embedded into so much of modern life. As a result, I feel as though the only way to unlearn racial prejudices is first to admit them, then to dive into the history, the causes, and the repercussions of systemic oppression.

This said, I don’t think that actions need to be public, grandiose, or void of mistakes to be effective. In fact, I think that the most important thing to do right now is to dig deep, not out. And while I love seeing how passionate and mobilized my community has been, I don’t believe it’s enough to show up to a protest, cheer, then leave, just as the struggle to rebuild a foundation doesn’t end with a post, a share, or a like.

Ultimately, I believe that systemic issues require systemic change; deep-rooted, all-encompassing, soul-swallowing change. Change that begins with honest and uncomfortable conversations. Change that is derived from education: books, documentaries, and research.

I think that in order to begin the process of revolutionizing oppressive systems, matters must be taken beyond the echo chambers that reproduce opinions. Difficult conversations must be had with friends, family and neighbours. Votes, voices, and investments must be used to dig into the systems that need to be altered.

At the end of the day, though I recognize I have much left to learn, I’m no longer afraid to speak up for equality, for respect, and for love.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read