Before continuing on with this article, I invite you to check your own privilege in order to keep an open mind. You can do so here and/or here. If you are unaware of the terrorist attacks that took place on August 12th and August 13th in Charlottesville, VA then please watch this incredibly informative video.

Unless you have been living under a rock your entire life - which many Americans have been - it is no secret that America is and always has been a hot mess. Our country was built on prejudice and white supremacy and it continues to thrive on both of these today.

While many of you may feel that Tr*mp has turned the country into the ugly bigotry that it stands as today, this despicable hatred and violence have been present in America since day one. The only difference now is that all of the white supremacists now feel validated by the "administration" and Tr*mp. They now feel as though they do not have to hide behind their computer screens anymore. This may sound alarmist to you, but make no mistake, these people want you to be scared. They want you to stay at home and stay complicit watching everything on the news or arguing on Facebook.

The horrific Neo-Nazi, white supremacist terrorist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend have certainly woken up Americans who have been ignorantly claiming that America “doesn’t have a race problem anymore.” As white people, it is our job and responsibility to dismantle white supremacy. There is no more time to worry about "stirring the pot" with your friends, family, peers or co-workers. I'm not talking about simply rolling your eyes or not laughing at hate speech that someone is excusing as an inappropriate “joke.” Say something and educate other white people around you. We as white people feed into white supremacy by staying silent instead of speaking out.

I know this may sound scary to you, to call other white people out in your daily life and community. If you are simply intimidated and/or overwhelmed at the thought of diving into the research of racism and all other systematic oppression in America, that is okay. It is okay to feel uncomfortable, that is a huge part of life. While you sit at home comfortably and complicit, people less privileged than you—Black people, other POC trans and queer folk, Muslim people, immigrants, women, people living in poverty and many others are being killed all over the country for simply being themselves. There is a lot of blood on the American hands and the only way to stop the ruthless cycle is to do something about it.

Go out in the world and have conversations about it with other white people in your community. Fight back and stand up for what you believe in. It may not seem important to you, or maybe even irrelevant for you. Not only does it affect you, but it will continue to affect you and everyone around you as long as white people continue to ignore systematic oppression.

Simple steps to take a few steps forward in the name of humanity.

  • Donate to the Black Lives Matter Charlottesville chapter, the University of Virginia Black Student Alliance.
  • Find your city or town’s demonstrations and anti-fascist organizations. Especially if you are a white cis gender person. You are needed to not only get the mainstream media’s attention, but you also may be needed at some point to form a human blockade between the rest of your comrades and the cops in an emergency situation.
  • Find an organization that means something to you and donate by volunteering your time to them. It takes a simple google search.
  • When you do not understand something, ask questions instead of dismissing it.
  • Talk to your parents, to your children, to your partners, to your friends, coworkers, peers and anyone else.
  • If you witness someone being attacked or assaulted, do not be a bystander. Check out this helpful article on what to do if you witness racism or a hate crime. Remember to practice self-love and self-care when you can.
  • Do your own research. It has never been easier to educate yourself with the internet at your fingertips. Read up on Black Lives Matter, if you have never taken the five minutes to merely read their mission statement. Check out the best-selling book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander. Read Howard Zinn's classic, "A People's History of the United States" made completely accessible to all, online by the author himself. Watch Ava DuVernay's documentary "13th" on Netflix. Seek out television shows and movies that push and question social and cultural norms and standards. The possibilities are endless.
  • Remember to practice self-love and self-care.