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  • Courtney Ngai

We need a new normal.

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

First, a message for black people: This is not ok. I see you. I support you. You are worthy. Black lives matter.

Second, a message for everyone else:

I've been mulling over this post for awhile, and the reality is that my desire to make this post "perfect" prevented me from sharing these thoughts earlier. That is not ok, because our black friends, colleagues, and neighbors needed people to speak up before now. Racism is a problem in this country. Not just a "oh I'll handle that later" type of problem. It is a life or death problem. We - those who do not identify as people of color (although I would like to acknowledge that is a complicated thing in itself, more on intersectionality later...) - must do better right now.

Getting to equity is going to require change. Change on the individual AND systemic levels. I cannot accept what is currently going on in our world as normal. Therefore I will take actions to create a new normal - one where people of color are not unjustly treated.

I share the following actions that I plan to take as a way of holding myself accountable. If you are reading this, feel free to contact me to ask which of these actions I have done recently. If you would like to join me in these activities, I welcome your company. If you have additional resources to add, please share them with me.

Listen. Listen to the experiences of those who do not look like you. Hear what they have to say without inserting your own story into the mix. Learn about the challenges that may be occurring just a block away from you, without your knowledge.

#BlackintheIvory - stories from black academics shared on Twitter

Educate yourself. Do not ask people of color to explain to you what you are doing wrong or what you can do better. Instead, check out the plethora of resources that have been developed for this purpose. Seriously, just Google it. Or, check out the list that I have linked below.

Support your local activist groups and people of color. Going to rallies and posting to social media are not the only ways to be supportive. Reach out to activist groups to find out what is going on in your community and what support they need. Seek out black-owned businesses and support them as a customer. Be an active member in your community and support open conversations about race.

Join me.

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