On June 7th, 2020, those who attended the Austin Justice Coalition rally/march/peaceful protest who were white were asked to stay on the lawn. If you were black, you could sit on the hill where the rally was being conducted as a place of honor. While all were welcome, Black Voices and Black Lives were rightfully be centered. In the event that any of us who were white had not checked our privilege at the door, we were literally positioned with the visual reminder to do so.
The Head of AJC, Chas Moore, welcomed all - friends and enemies. He made it clear that he was aware of enemies present hiding behind their masks of goodness. He made it equally clear that while the turnout was phenomenal, he knew from experience that there was only about 30 of us who would actually extend this work past performative action and into the lifetime of deep, burning, necessary inner work of becoming anti-racist. While that may have stung to hear, if you were a white human who was being honest in that moment, you knew he was right, too.
There was listening.
There was learning.
There was dancing.
There were tears.
There was pain.
There was exhaustion.
There was hope.
There was hand sanitizing and masks.
There was the healing side of love extended to the Black Community.
There was the tough side of love extended to the rest of us there, but particularly us white humans.
All of it was power in action, peacefully executed and motivated by love. My hope in posting these images is that you feel every bit of that and recognize clearly where it came from. Thank you, AJC and your leaders along with the Black Community in ATX.
And, in addition, to my fellow white humans when you view these images: May they be a visual reminder to remember how imperative it is that inwardly we burn with the discomfort of facing ourselves. This is crucial at this moment in history and ALWAYS - one day, one moment, one situation at a time. Otherwise there will be no space in our minds and our hearts for this way of being - the right way of being - where freedom, justice and equality truly extends to all, to take root. If this step is missed, then we will have missed the point, there will be no real change and even greater hurt will ensue. Let's commit to the daily struggle of this work, not just the high of the moment of it.
And let's shock the hell out of Mr. Moore by making it way more than 30 of us who do.