To me I'm getting an increasing understanding that for *some* people, their non-acceptance isn't based in racism but in the fact it's terrifying to accept the world is unjust -- they want to see the 30 seconds before a video started so they can see 1/?
The cause that lead to the "effect" of police brutality -- they assume the scale is equal, which *should* be a logical assumption, so the worse the brutality is, the worse they think the offense must have been 2/?
I have literally had people say "well I'm sure the police didn't just randomly throw tear gas at you when you did nothing, you must have done *something*" and the conversation, in that moment, with that person, is just about saying "no, they literally did" 3/?
OF COURSE there is a larger conversation about systemic racism and believing Black people and historic failures of the entire country, but I think that there's a fundamental root of that, which white people are privileged enough to be blind to, which is just "the world is unfair"
I have heard people say "if you don't get it by now, you must be racist" and I think that's true for SOME people but for other people, they don't get it because they have faith the world is a good place. Their shortcoming isn't race-focused (in my, white, opinion) it's optimism
To me, what has worked -- and what all of Portland has had the misfortune of obtaining -- is evidence and personal anecdotes of just fundamental *unfairness* of what's going on. Social justice buzzwords are unfamiliar to some people, but unfairness is universal
The system is unfair. It's unfair that the mayor is the police Commissioner. It's unfair that nobody is listening to us. It's unfair that police took my bike and won't give it back. It's unfair that they throw chemical weapons in response to rocks and water bottles - or nothing.
I have learned that unfairness is something people understand and is easier to understand and explain than "systemic racism." Of course the systemic racism convo needs to happen, but there needs to be baby steps to get there
Walking someone through those baby steps can be INFURIATING, which is why I think it needs to be us white people's "job" to be the ones to have these conversations -- but we have to keep in mind the end goal isn't to out-woke each other or loudly/publicly shame others
for not knowing stuff, but to educate them, and that starts with empathy & listening & explaining things like Mr. Rogers would. It's not agreeing with someone's viewpoint to listen to it in order to change it, so don't yell/shame the person -- talk to them in simple terms
(obviously this doesn't go for every conversation - don't waste your breath on someone who won't listen, and some people ARE just racist -- and also these are mostly white-people conversations to have since not understanding unfairness is predominantly a white-people problem)
Oh, and I think once there's that fundamental realization of unfairness, the rest falls into place -- anger and change and outrage are logical reactions to unfairness. The first domino is making them see what's going on, and after that then the rest is just filling in the gaps
Mainstream news is fighting against us here because people outside of Portland DON'T see what's going on, so that's where all of our personal anecdotes/examples - which we all see/experience nightly -- come into play.

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