Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

Dear Black Friends,

I am so sorry. 

I didn’t know you were screaming for help. 

You’ve been living with knees on your necks.

It was urgent that I do something to stop it. 

I thought I was helping. 

I thought I was doing my part to help. 

I thought my votes and my love were enough.

They were not enough

Not even close.

There is so very much more that I can do.  

Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t know this, all this time. 

It seems so obvious to me now..

I am embarrassed, ashamed and dumbfounded by my naivety, and stupidity.

You’ve been literally screaming and I haven’t heard your call.  

I think I was too far away to hear the screams, but I wasn’t listening for them either. 

I should have known you needed help. 

I should not have been so far away from you. 

I should have gotten closer to you, knowing it’s never been fair.

I should have opened my eyes and put my ears on high alert.

I should have come running when you needed me.

I didn’t. 

For this I am so sorry.

I am so late. 

It will never be enough. 

But I am here with you now.

Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I am sorry you had to scream so loud for me to hear. 

I am really with you.

I am taking action alongside you.

I’ll buy brands speaking out against racism

I’ll sign these black lives matter petitions.

I’ll read these anti racist books.

I’ll check this black owned shop directory before I shop

I’ll donate  to Color of Change

I’ll watch 13th, a movie about racial inequality in America.

I’ll demand you be in the room, on the panel, on the stage and at the table with me.

If you aren’t there, then I won’t go.

This is just a small start, and I will find more, as I learn more.

I will go to you.

I will stand next to you.

I will never let myself get so far away. 

I will hear your screams when they are only whispers and I will immediately do something. 

I won’t move forward until you move forward too. 

I am with you.

We are together. 

I love you and I always have.

I am sorry I didn’t know what I didn’t know. 

Now, I know and I will do better.

I won’t leave your side again.

If a knee comes down, it will be on us both.

I will not let it crush you anymore than it already has.

We will share the load. 

It is not yours to carry alone, it never was.

If you go down, I go down with you. 

I am listening and learning. 

I love you and I am sorry.