BY HEATHER MALVEAUX | July 15, 2020

At a Black Lives Matter symposium, I was challenged to voice what I wanted, needed, and recommended from white people who aspire to become co-conspirators in the dismantling of white supremacy.

Here is what I want, need, and recommend:

  • Don’t ask me to forget what my ancestors went through as slaves in this country or ask me to ignore how that impacts me daily.
  • Don’t detach yourself from what your ancestors and/or people that look like you have created, maintained, and have benefited from—and that you continue to benefit from.
  • Remember that you were born into a system of white supremacy that you did not create, but must actively help to dismantle.
  • Don’t be afraid to have the ugly conversations with people who look like you, and don’t be afraid to listen to and learn from the people who don’t look like you.
  • Accept my truths and experiences of racial injustice as an African American woman as valid.
  • Listen to me, advocate for me, sympathize with me, fight with me, and raise your voice to match my outcries.
  • Be my racial ally, stand up against racial injustice, celebrate and benefit from racial diversity, take on this fight as your own.

All the things I’m asking for require courage, strength, agape love, and sacrifice—all of which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ demonstrated for us when he died for our sins. As Christians, we are called to bear witness to the suffering of Christ, and as we unite ourselves in the fight for racial justice and equity, let us not forget that we are also called to bear witness to the suffering of our brothers and sisters.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How are your contributions to the fight against racial injustice a manifestation of Christ’s courage, strength, agape love, and sacrifice?
  2. What do you need, want, and recommend in the fight for racial justice from fellow advocates who look like you? Those who don’t look like you?

[Editor’s Note: This reflection was originally published as part of Lift Every Voice: A Lenten Series Toward Racial Justice.]

13 replies
  1. Avatar
    Dean Gray says:

    This article sounds more like a demand, entitlement and a privilege. You know that exact same thing you are against. Has a white person I have never heard anyone say that peoples history should be forgotten but you are ok with removing another races history which is hypocrisy just to feel empowered. If you did actually study or even learn history there was other slaves of different races throughout time not just your ancestors, my WHITE ancestors were slaves too way before the US was even founded and they weren’t free until the latter of the last century. You know you also said you were born in white supremacy and demand it be removed ? remind me again what was the pigment of the founders of the USA ? so in reality you are against history and don’t respect it because it’s not your ancestry culture and have a narrow minded point of view and want it to be rewritten so it suits yourself. You then go on to say that I should except your truths/injustice has valid due to your race ? would that become a privilege for yourself/and race another thing to your mini list that apparently you don’t have. Regarding this so called fight you seem fake and privileged comparing to the real people and children that I speak to that actually suffer on a daily basis, the sad thing is regarding my conversations they feel that there own race is responsible for the mistreatment, troubles and problems they deal with everyday, all races can be racist not just one remember that when you see your reflection. ( This is my own opinion and is not in any way to offend the writer or visitors that read this )

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      Andrew says:

      Hello Dean: your first sentence really bothers me. Your last sentence bothers me too. if you don’t want to offend people maybe don’t attack them (name calling is not good) with racist specious arguments.You say” As a white person you have never heard anyone say that history should be forgotten. “ That is not true for me. I hear it when people defend confederate statues for instance. There is nothing wrong with demanding justice. Power cedes nothing without a demand. It is our privilege in the USA to demand justice. We are entitled to justice. Why to you take the concepts and twist them into something bad?

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        Dean Gray says:

        Hi Andrew, you say I’m offending people, that what I put is racist and wrong, it’s also funny how you say I’m twisting things but in reality it’s me that’s asking the questions and seeking answers on how a discussion on racial issues can ever be solved without the hypocrisy and racism only directed at one race and that’s aimed at white people. you say ” it is our privilege in the USA to demand justice” is “our privilege” a white thing or for every race because under the current notion only whites can have it so please can you tell me because apparently I always get it wrong and I’ve never once said a person isn’t entitled to justice.

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    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Young people are showing courage. They look set to change and transform our way of proceeding. Long live their enthusiasm. May they remain young at heart now and evermore.

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    Dean Gray says:

    I actually want people to condemn racism equally regardless of the pigment of the individuals skin, I want people to admit that Black/Asian and Latinx are accountable for there actions and vile racism towards white people instead of just blaming the white man for every single problem worldwide. Yes white people can be racist so can my black brothers and sisters, think about it you can openly say anything you want and will not be condemned whilst protesting but if another race did that and swapped certain words ( Example saying white instead of black ) there would be a outcry from every media source possible, you can also commit crimes, tear history and burn religious symbols without been condemned. I respected BLM at first when they had direction and purpose but looking at them at the moment they are slowly turning in to a organization that is anti white promoting hate speech,disrespecting laws and fuelling hate crimes, there was a statistic I think from 2018 that 50% of crimes were commited by a population that only makes up 6% that would mean more interactions with cops and if resisting arrest would this make potential arrests highly likely to finish with a unwanted death. All I see is blame and hate, nothing about solutions to solve the problem.I’ve read silly things like defunding the police,renaming buildings/streets and even as far has segregation ( which is wrong ) which black folks have done already with associations,colleges,clubs etc (but is racist when another race does it, a single race college/association should not exist) , we need to educate all races even if you think your race group can’t be racist, we need to look at why these problems exist without the finger pointing and racist tones, we shouldn’t force guilt but instead help to understand, we need to understand and study why certain opportunities might not be available for everyone,we need to stop placing a label on a individual and see them has a human being and lastly All Lives Matter this could be my Indian friend, my Jamaican nephew, my Latinx colleague or my daughters life, no life should be seen to have a higher value then others that includes black lives ( I want to make it clear that I’m not saying non black lives mean more ) because everyone is equal in Gods eyes. No one is hijacking a movement and if you want equality don’t cry and shame other races when they say there race life matters too. (This is my opinion and may not reflect values you promote or visitors, but I was answering the question put forward by the writer with a honest reply and without the open discussion on racism it will always be a problem and I also do not want to offend anyone that is not my intention )

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      Randolph Leigh Burns says:

      Oh my God… Oh my God…. I just can’t get over white people calling black lives matter a hate movement
      ….
      Really? all the hate groups with my people that in the history of this godforsaken country??? Really my God talk about white fragility it’s such a useless tiresome over bearing effort to get a white person to ever try to see things from a black person’s point of view it really is… You are just not going to get it because you don’t want to get it
      …. Dare I say I do believe but some white folks many in fact don’t like the fact that black people are challenging their ideas of superiority??? and really what’s with the I have black friends I have Indian friends blah blah blah blah blah blah???? Your reply was so tiresome and so insulting…..you say you got black friends but you don’t want to do any of the trouble with being black that goes with it bottom line!!!

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        Dean Gray says:

        I explained prior to why I felt that the organization fell away from it’s original principals and can you show me a single protest without anti-white hate speech which is racism, no you can’t. This is the same organization that is actively tearing history, ruining there own community, wants to abolish the government, defund police, branding property, renaming things illegally and terrorizing neighborhoods. It has nothing do with superiority or fragility whatsoever and more to do with common sense something you lack and the fact you chose to ignore certain things is proof of how biased you are. I actually do see what different races go through on a daily basis not just in the US but abroad too has it’s part of my job ,I visit these violent neighborhoods where I may not go home, I attend the funerals of innocent children that I try help, I have parents crying uncontrollably that much I have bruises comforting them, I have seen the impact of when a community doesn’t help a family in mourning to help find the criminal responsible…do you know how much all this grieve can affect someone long term ? I do a lot for ethnic minorities and I don’t do it for clout or guilt I do it because we’re all the same so don’t you try and judge me and guilt trip me. Has for the comment refering to my friends they know me better than you and put it this way I have multiple scars defending them, sorry I’m not out causing destruction and mayhem just to prove a point and lastly has for the Indian friend etc how is it insulting by saying that regardless of race all lives should be equal and don’t complain when the another race does the same. Exactly your points were anti-white without any addition to the actual discussion, this is why racism won’t get fixed

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    Steven Miller says:

    These are things I need to hear as a white person and things that a lot of us need to sit down and discuss. Keep up the good work!

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      Dean Gray says:

      To discuss takes two people or two sides. Every question,suggestion,reply I have made is me seeking dialogue and answers but people are afraid to talk to someone that calls out hypocrisy and sometimes a false narrative against my race because they are NOT use to been questioned on logic or a white persons opinion. I’ve even openly offered the “White advocates” that have never been to a true crime ridden and poverty neighborhood without the safety of there cars and yes the police because they want them defunded to come with me and see the real black people that are suffering and having resources taken away from them because of false virtue signalling and looters. Since the start of the protests due to biased and false media, I have visited homes where 31 children have left this earth, over 1000 spousal battery reports, stopping attempted property seizures, debt advise, 24/7 counseling services, supplying meals and clothes for Families in poverty, since I started this job 12 years ago I have had a gun pulled on me numerous times, racially abused and assaulted and literally ran over and unable to help children that need it, and people will say because I’m white I’m racist, privileged and spread lies but this is not true. I have Polski blood look at there oppressive history and tell me I’m privileged…if anything I’m lucky to be here and this is why I asks questions,express opinions because this false ideology and the path people follow will set the black people back years.I’m not the enemy,I’m not the racist, I extend my hand for people to discuss and not silent or keep blaming a entire race and defending certain bad people.

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    Dean Gray says:

    A 60 year old well respected African-American Bernell Trammell who was well known in the Milwaukee community was shot and unfortunately died of his wounds. This guy is an example of the injustice of todays society not criminals, where is the BLM when a innocent man that was actually doing nothing put waving a few signs supporting them and others prior. Maybe he didn’t suit there narrative and is live didn’t matter ? maybe the Trump sign ? this is just another reason why I feel that BLM do not match what they preach and should disband but with another level headed organization that the black community can actually have a voice without the anti-Semitism, anti-white and anti police, drop the supremacy/privilege excuses and can move forward peacefully and possibly equality will happen and the police can get back to protecting the community from the daily violence that the children are exposed too because it will get worse and it might be too late to fix anything. Chicago will be the new normality in your area and you will be stuck there whilst those that can afford will just pack up and leave, it’s always the innocent ones who suffer. I shall not be posting any more has I feel that my views are completely the opposite of your values but the trait I have that most of you don’t have is I’m not a hypocrite. Bye

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    Dean Gray says:

    BLM Chicago attacked a Ronald McDonald’s charity building while sick children and parents of all races were inside, BLM said “coporations have been looting the community for years”, and a BLM organizer said “Looting was for reparation, we can take what we want cause they owe us”. I know this site is heavily biased towards ethnic minorities but even attacking innocent sick children does not matter there skin tone is twisted and mentally unstable to even do such a thing. I’d have more respect for those that believe in justice and equality if they called out the hypocrisy that ruins what they are fighting for by doing something like attacking places that are to help children in the community, but they will not because it goes against there message.If you can defend this then hopefully someday you seek guidance to help you. RIP Cannon Hinnant a innocent 5 year old you may know because mainstream media hasn’t said a word “silence is violence ” right ?

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    Dean Gray says:

    We all agree that segregation is a dark moment of history, but why are we bringing it back especially in education. Did you know that the U.K has already started to discuss plans on creating the very first Black university, this is racism and it will be problematic in the future. Some universities are already been investigated in the US for declining valid applications because the applicants were white or Asian. What next segregated police,shops,restrooms,banks etc introducing segregation will fuel racism it’s like 1 step forward 10 steps backward on fighting racism.

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    Dean Gray says:

    BLM Portland attacked and robbed a white trans person, and when a truck driver attempted to protect this person BLM Portland protestors attacked him until he can just about breath and then openly mocked him and insulted him. They also were considering taking the truck. If this is what your openly fighting for without acknowledging the hypocrisy, when they show up at your home and attack you like that old lady saying “I’m on your side” will not work and there’s no police to protect you because they quit….what are you going to do ? exactly I have no sympathy. I’m open to invite white people to come with me has I work and see how your selfishness and white guilt is ending innocent young black lives because there are no police to protect them, maybe you want to visit the mom I spoke to yesterday who lost both her children because police resources are low and used up with these pathetic protests and blocking streets so Ambulances can’t help. I’m fed up of young lives ending early maybe the next generation is better than this entitled,privileged and spoiled one.

    Reply

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