“Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
― Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
While I understand the sentiment, I disagree with Justice Ginsburg on this.
On the one hand, it’s wonderful that Americans are outraged and enraged by the injustices that Black Americans have faced over the past 400+ years. Watching a man die in the street while crying for his mother forced Americans of every race to recognize that we weren’t imagining this whole racism thing.
On the other hand, it’s a bit of a burden to be kind as the rest of America gets “woke”. It’s offensive that Black Americans are asked to “work together” with everyone else just to get the things that EVERYONE ELSE ALREADY GETS. It feels unfair to have us explain police brutality to you, JUST so you’ll help us not be brutalized. It is unfair that we should have to be gracious and grateful that you have hired a diversity and inclusion consultant and tweeted an anti-racism statement. It is a burden to have to explain redlining and income inequality when we've been screaming about it for decades. How about y'all read a book and we'll be right here when you're finished? It's kind of old for us to try to explain this again, but we'll wait...
I want to fight and others should join us. But I don’t care to act in a way that makes you want to join me. It seems like we’ve been fighting for hundreds of years and everyone else joined us in May. It seems wrong to ask us to fight in a way that makes others comfortable. At this point, you’re either for us or against us. If the sheer injustice of it all doesn’t make you angry, then maybe this isn’t the fight for you.