#BlackLivesMatter: Resources for Dismantling Racism in America

It has been a really rough year so far. As we head into our third month of quarantine because of Covid-19, America finds itself fighting yet another illness, that which is White supremacy. Racism is embedded into the fabric of this country. Beginning in the 17th century, millions of African people were kidnapped, enslaved, and shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas under horrific conditions. Nearly two million people died at sea during the agonizing journey.

For the next two centuries, the enslavement of black people in the United States created wealth, opportunity, and prosperity for millions of Americans. As American slavery evolved, an elaborate and enduring mythology about the inferiority of black people was created to legitimate, perpetuate, and defend slavery. The effects of this part of our history is what drives and reinforces the systematic oppression, dehumanization, and brutalization of Black people in this country.

The recent murder of George Floyd by ex-officer Derek Cheuvin seems to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. People are outraged and rightfully so. It is traumatizing and exhausting seeing video after video of Black men and women being murdered by law enforcement or vigilante private citizens claiming to stand their ground because they perceive Blackness as a threat. Yet here we are, again, a community grappling with racial injustice trying to determine what steps we need to take to stop these incidents from occurring; another body, another murder, another day of hashtags and another name to add to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The time has come for all of us to pick a side. You're either actively working towards ending racism or you're not. This country is at a point where all of us must participate in dismantling a system that was created to oppress Black people. It's not enough to change it. We must tear it down and start over. We must create a system rooted in equity and true equality. We must do this TOGETHER.

As a Puerto Rican woman married to a Black African American man raising Black daughters, I have a responsibility to them and all Black people to fight for a system that is just. And though I am a person of color I recognize that I am not Black. While I may experience other forms of injustice I will never know what it's like to walk in Black skin. However, not knowing