This is the most significant civil rights movement in many of our lifetimes.
The recent issue with CrossFit founder Greg Glassman saying, “We are not mourning for George Floyd”, shows that racism is rampant in the fitness industry as well. It’s disgusting, and I think we all need to take a stand against it.
Similarly, we have to acknowledge racial bias and public health outcomes. Black people have higher incidence of chronic diseases, while simultaneously receiving worse medical care. Further compounding the problem, there’s the psychosocial stress of facing racism on a daily basis. If we care about people’s physical health, we have to fight against racism as well.
It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable to take a stand. The civil rights movement in the 1950’s—60’s was not comfortable for anyone either, but it made a huge difference for our country.
2020 is going to have it’s own page in the history books. Hopefully, it’s remembered as a really important turning point, and that we became a better nation because of it.
My current, personal anti-racism plan, includes me:
- Education: I’m taking courses, reading books, and listening to podcasts. Education is foundational, and I think it’s important to pay people of color to teach me. I’m supplementing my anti-racism education with education about history, specifically slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
- Donation: I’m donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. They’ve won landmark civil rights cases over decades. Lawyers fighting for change is an important part of the process. Putting money where my mouth is.
- Amplification: I’m pushing to amplify the voices people of color in communities, groups, events, and organizations I belong to and for events that I participate in. I’ve become painfully aware of the fact that most of the experts I follow, both in fitness and psychology, are white. I’m seeking out experts who are people of color.
- Accountability: I have people that I’m accountable to for continuing to pursue education, donation, and amplification. At the same time, I’m having many, many uncomfortable conversations with white friends about racism (holding them accountable), American history, and why they should care about black people dying.
That’s all stuff that I’m working on. Imperfectly. Often badly. Learning as I bump off of things and make mistakes. But, I’m attempting to go in the right direction.
I think the attempt to go in the right direction, and then get more education, and then attempt better, is really important.
This is not a time that people can afford to minimize racism and explain away the deaths of black men and women. This is not the time to sit on our hands and hope things will be better someday. This is not the time to dismiss problems that don’t effect us personally.
This is the time to stand with black people. Black lives matter.
I stand for black lives. I stand for getting educated about racism. I stand for anti-racism work in the organizations I am apart of. I stand for not letting things slide, and instead confronting racism when I see it.
P.S. For folks looking for an easy entry point into education — I just found this podcast with Brené Brown interviewing Ibram X Kendi.
P.P.S., not only am I standing against racism, I also stand against sexism, discrimination against LGBTQ communities, and religious discrimination. Civil rights are human rights.
P.P.P.S. Here’s the full list of stuff I’m studying or is in my list to study, right now.