Right now, stop.
I want to be clear that if you are reading this, you hold a level of privilege. You may not hold white privilege which is very much up right now, but there are other types of privilege, and you have some if you are reading this on a computer, I pad, phone, etc.
You probably know about the tragic racial inequities, institutionalized racism, rioting and human rights issues currently making headlines. Let's not forget that these systemic racial inequities have always been there. You also likely know on some level how you are responding is to this situation. If not, you should do some research. Please google 'Ferguson, Missouri', 'Michael Brown', 'Black lives matter" or any combo of those and then come back here. It's important and a privilege to understand how current goings on are affecting you.
Now, step away from Facebook, your phone, the media, stop reading all the news out there for a minute, and in doing this stop worrying about what your friends are or are not posting. Note, you can and should go back to the news in order to stay educated, not obsessed...and the judgements about your friends can be healthy if it helps inform you, but not if it stands in your way, shuts you down or moves you to compete. I want to discourage you from getting trapped by too much information or emotional overload. It's a fine line. Stay engaged enough and don't get trapped.
Make space to ask yourself two questions about your relationship to the world. Ideally, bring the questions into your meditation, dance, your yoga practice, surfing, hiking...wherever and whenever you feel most connected to you. Note, this is bypass only when it stops here and is used solely as a mechanism for your own self advancement. There could also be a bypass if you were to answer 'there are no problems'.
This is actually your first step to action.
2 questions to start:
1. What makes your heart swell and your body want to move and act...?
2. What matters to you and move you, from the belly (mulha, root, pelvis) up...?
**this second question is harder for most, is it what lies beneath the current situation**
Think social and environmental justice and issues here. Think big and think specific.
Pay attention to your feelings, your breath and your imagery...all are powerful informants. Your answers may or may not have to do with institutionalized racism.
BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE WITH YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS!!!!
Listen closely to the detailed call of your heart.
Heart language is lovely and beautiful and it is fiery, and holds capacity for large scale righteous anger and action. Action for the sake of renewal begs you to be clear, conscious and systematic.
If you cannot connect to anything, it's okay. Make it a practice. Keep going. Stop again tomorrow and the next day and the day after, connect to yourself, and ask yourself...what moves you from the belly up?
It is key to remember to be as specific as possible with your answers.
How is this leveraging your privilege? If you can read this, if you have the capacity to think critically and you have the space to consider something other than where and when your next meal is coming from or when and if you are going to receive a bullet to the head, whether or not you will have clean water to drink tomorrow, and if you had a family to spend thanksgiving with, you have privilege. Leverage it. Give thanks for it and do something with it.
Using your privilege to to move one step at a time is intelligent and finding ground, empathy and clarity are all crucial when you are working with a large scale issues. Facebook, the media...they all do a good job of isolating one incident.
So, right now stop.
And start with those 2 questions. Just start here.
There is no quick fix to institutionalized oppression and there is no article that is going to make it stop. The epidemic is deeply rooted and long standing.
You must start from this place. Your own root. Deep within. Listen to what calls you.
AND, if you feel crystal clear about your cause (though I would challenge you that there is always more depth here), can't get specific enough or still enough to receive any answers, and/or this doesn't make sense to you but you are committed, that's perfect. You have landscape to work with and should stay tuned!
One step at a time equals sustainable and thoughtful change.
Leverage your privilege and stop.
WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE...