Perspectives: We Cannot Look Away

Jun 19, 2020

Disruption. That is part of the point of current local protests— bringing awareness so that people not affected by racial injustice can no longer look away and ignore it. The time for change is right now.

I believe that, for many people, this call for change is not anti-police, or about hating police— but rather it is to love Black lives. Black Lives Matter is an acknowledgement of the value of Black lives. Of course all lives matter, but right now Black lives are in danger. We are fed up with racial injustice that has persisted for far too long.

Now is not the time for fear, excuses, or silence. Now is the time to stop being complicit and instead to confront the racism that has existed for years in this country. We must refuse to accept this cycle of violence in which Black men and women are victims.

The revolutionary Angela Davis said “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”

So, how can we do that? We can have hard conversations. We can call out racism any time we encounter it. We can exercise our right to peacefully protest. We can vote. We can decolonize our bookshelves and read Black authors. We can listen and learn— about Black history that is American history, and about racist assumptions we maybe didn’t even know we had. We can donate if we’re able to, to causes that help fund racial justice.

There’s always more to learn. Sometimes we’ll get it wrong, and that’s okay.  Please, say it with me, Black Lives Matter. We can and must work toward change. We cannot look away.

I’m Jodi Ritter, and this is my perspective.