Do Something

(This post is very disjointed and extremely poorly written. I apologize for the quality of the writing, but this topic is entirely too important to sit on and wait until I can make it better.)


When the Dunn trial verdict was announced and “breaking news” alerts started popping up, I was stunned. Again.

I don’t even know what to say… what to do. So much injustice. I cry for Jordan Davis’ family. And Trayvon Martin’s family. And Marissa Alexander.* This list is too long, and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I never had to tell my children to be careful what they wear, so that they wouldn’t appear threatening to white people. (This link is to a heartbreaking blog post written by my friend, Rafranz Davis, about a conversation she had with her son after the Zimmerman trial verdict last summer.)

I never had to worry that my children would be accused of something they didn’t do, and then fear the “law” would automatically assume their guilt, due to the color of their skin.

Raising my children in Nebraska… I didn’t have to fear that it was the worst state per capita in the US (!) to grow up male and black. 

No parent should have to worry about their children like this. And yet, they do.

This is a HUMAN BEING problem.

  • I’m angry reading about another child taken too soon.
  • I’m angry that white men are considered justified in “standing their ground,” but a young black mother is not. 
  • I’m angry reading labels such as “black on black” crime… as if that makes anything okay. It’s dismissive and de-humanizing.
  • I’m angry hearing people talk about statistics of homicide amongst children of color… they are not statistics. Statistics are easy to dismiss. Each and every one is someone’s child. 
  • I’m angry that the topic of white privilege ruffles the feathers of so many white people… as if it can be denied. 


More than anything else,  I’m angry about the injustice of it all. It doesn’t have to be like this.


On Saturday, all I could think of was the Edmund Burke quote:

 “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” 

We can’t just sit back and assume someone else will do something. That this is someone else’s problem. We need to address issues of racism, privilege, and how we can all work together as people.

Things I know I can do now:

  • help my students learn to be caring, empathetic people who value life.
  • listen to, learn from, and share the voices of those who refuse to be silent: Melinda Anderson, José Vilson, Mikki Kendall, and Suey Park are all writers you should know.
  • speak up… silence only maintains the status quo.
  • small things matter, too. If we wait for the grandiose gestures, we do nothing.

DO SOMETHING. Say something. Your silence and inaction speaks volumes more than you know.

(I’m not opening up comments on this post, because this is not about me. If you have a reaction, write about it. And then do something.)


*If you haven’t been keeping up with Angela Corey’s continued prosecution of Marissa Alexander, please do. Read more here and help contribute to legal funds here:

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