#BlackLivesMatter cofounder: White people need to 'talk to other White people about racism' - Generocity Philly

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Nov. 8, 2016 3:14 pm

#BlackLivesMatter cofounder: White people need to ‘talk to other White people about racism’

Alicia Garza spoke at the national Net Impact conference last week in Philly about how everyone can get involved in the movement.

Alicia Garza speaks at the Convention Center.

(Photo by Julie Zeglen)

Editor's note: Generocity served as a media partner for the Net Impact conference.
#BlackLivesMatter cofounder Alicia Garza has some simple advice for White people who aren’t sure how to get involved in the movement.

“Talk to other White people about racism,” she said to huge applause at the national Net Impact conference, held last week at the Convention Center.

We might not all have the right vocabulary for analyzing our own privileges and places in systematic racism, and talking about it can be uncomfortable, she said, but “as long as we don’t acknowledge this huge pink elephant in front of us, there’s no chance of getting away from it.”

“It’s not about people in white hoods,” she said. “It’s about systems, structures, policies, procedures that disenfranchise people from the things they need.”

Systems, for instance, that keep impoverished citizens in jail for 28 months despite not yet being convicted of a crime, or that keep reentrants from finding gainful employment.

And “lots of folks are complicit in that — including you,” Garza said to the crowd. “If you don’t want to be complicit in it, then stand and fight back against it.”

One way Americans can do that is to get involved in the political process — which many are doing today, when either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be named the 45th president of the United States.

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“If you watch television, I really don’t see how you can sit out,” even if you don’t agree with either major political party, she said earlier in her speech.

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