There are more important issues to discuss right now.
As we continue to see the outcry of hurt, grief, and anger that has bubbled into protests in every state and many other countries, we've reached the point where people begin to get tired. Especially us white people.
I am not the first to point out that as the protests stretch on, as many of us start wanting to return to our normal lives, as things become seemingly more complicated with reports of riots and looting (despite the fact that it is already suggested that at least some of this is not the action of protestors at all, although there is still much left unknown), as we grow weary of so much heaviness on social media, us white people begin to disengage about here.
White people, don't disengage!
Some of you are raising your voice, having the difficult conversations with friends and family members, supporting Black people, Black businesses, attending protests, donating to fund bail for protestors, and more. Keep it up!
Some of you are still unsure of what to do. Maybe you're new at this. Welcome, now get to work.
Where do you start?
LISTEN. Listen to the voices of Black people right now. So many Black people are being gracious enough right now to, in their own grief and trauma, share their experience and help educate us. Be quiet and listen well. Really listen. With humility, trusting the experience of Black people. (That is to say that a big part of our job here as White people is to listen and believe Black people even if you have never seen or experienced what they describe yourself-- this is key. The entire point is that you may not have experienced or seen this before if you're White.)
This isn't about you or me; this is about serving the Black community. What we think is most effective or a good idea doesn't necessarily matter here. That's where that humility comes in again. As White people, we are used to things being about us (media, movies, work policies, photography technology, etc.). That's ok.
So find out what Black people need, want, are doing (and what they're thinking/feeling/experiencing) and thoughtfully (and prayerfully, if you're into that sort of thing) consider how you can help and support their initiatives (more on that to come).
(Don't go message all your Black friends and ask them to give you a to-do list or try to interview them. They are dealing with enough right now. Check in on them, listen if they share, but there's a whole internet full of voices to listen to and ebooks and articles to read. Do your own research. Look at who you follow and read. Are Black people represented? If not, fix that. Follow Black leaders on social media, read books by Black authors, etc.)
AMPLIFY Black voices. As you're listening to Black voices, see something that hits you or helps you? Share it. If it's not a public post, be sure to ask permission. But there are tons of posts, podcasts, lists of resources that are out there. As you find them, don't keep them to yourself. Yes, some of the great things you find and share may be by White people or other people of color, that's fine, but don't go rogue. Be sure you're continuing to listen to Black voices and that you're not seeking to speak over them, replace them, or just repeat what they're saying. Amplifying Black voices is important on two levels: First, you are supporting Black people and honoring their voices, experiences, and expertise. Second, it is important for your White friends and family to see you sharing content made by the Black community. Your White friends and family might not see this content otherwise and, for those among your friends and family that might be a bit (or even a lot) racist, your sharing these posts *may* begin to break down barriers.
In addition to supporting Black voices, seek to support Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations.
SPEAK. You have a place in all this. Again, as white people, we're used to being the center. We're not. If we want a more just, more diverse society, we need to get used to not being in the center. But we have a place.
There are people in your life, or maybe on your friend list on social media, who don't believe racism is real. People who think those being killed "must have done something." People who think we've had a Black president, so racism is over now. People who point to "black on black crime." People who have police officers they love and support and have only spoken out about police right now (or riots, or looting), but not the murder of George Floyd. People who think this is all wrong, but are scared to speak up (some because of fear that they may be perceived as supporting riots/looting).
Your voice as a white person matters because some of these people will not truly listen to Black voices (thinking them biased in this situation) or don't have any Black voices in their life. (Maybe they have a Black acquaintance or friend or two. They may assume this makes them immune to racism. It doesn't.)
Here's the important part: These people will listen to you. And your example in speaking out will help others to take the stand with you.
You do not need to call out strangers on the internet, but we should all take responsibility to have the difficult, necessary conversations with those that we are in relationship with. As White people, we are in the best position to call out our fellow White people. Do this. Do this well. Stay focused on the issue at hand. There is no argument that detracts from the fact that George Floyd was senselessly, brutally murdered and those who take Black lives, including the police, must be held accountable. The conversations you have may not be pleasant, but this is good and right and just. Do the thing.
One last note: do whatever you need for your own mental health, but be careful, as White people, with just unfriending every person who says something racist right now. Not because they don't deserve it, but because you may be the only voice for justice they hear. Snooze them, unfollow them, consider creative alternatives, but if you are able, be sure that as far as it depends on you, they still can see your content. Obviously, if someone is being aggressive/abusive to you or others in your space, that's a different story. Block/unfriend as needed, but use sparingly. Consider if you are punishing them or silencing yourself. (And I'm speaking only to White people here-- our lives are not at stake and, while we may empathize, this is not our trauma-- stand up and speak up so that POC do not need to bear this burden alone and they can rest when they are able/need to.)