Lift Black Voices

I'm writing to let you, my audience, know that I have not done enough here to lift Black voices. It is not acceptable to work quietly behind the scenes on the issue of racism. We have arrived at a point in time where we must make a critical decision. It is a fork in the road and I am finally taking a public stand, something I regret not doing prior.

Lift Black Voices

Now, more than ever is the time to unite and lift Black voices. We have lost far too many souls to institutionalized racism, and not listened nearly enough. I must do better on this.

Black Lives Matter

Right now, we mourn the murders of David McAtee, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others. Their deaths are only the most recent in our country’s violent racist history and are a blood-drenched tragedy.

Religious Wife Of Law Enforcement Officer

Along those lines, here is my hero Melissa McCrery, whose video I found via Baratunde. Her husband has been in law enforcement for decades. Like her, I know that all people deserve to be protected by law enforcement in this country, regardless of skin color.

View this post on Instagram

Her name is Melissa McCrery, and she went live on Facebook a few days ago with this. Watch in full. I added the captions for greater accessibility. Share with white people, especially those skeptical of systemic racism and so-called “identity politics.” Melissa was as well, but she’s come to see that the work of anti-racism should not be the burden of black people but instead white people. It’s a beautiful transformation and gives me some hope in a week filled with despair. #georgefloyd #justiceforgeorgefloyd #minneapolis #police #policebrutality #whitesupremacy #racism #systemicracism #institutionalracism #race #justice #whitewomen #whitepeople #privilage #blacklivesmatter #identitypolitics #maga

A post shared by Baratunde Thurston (@baratunde) on

The Black Community Should Not Have To Lead Police Reform

While there are amazing people in the law enforcement community, some walking with Black Lives Matter protestors, there are still too many that do not protect our citizens. In fact, they harm and kill. As McCrery said:

The black community should not have to lead this. Those of us who know we have power must say NO. Not in my country, not on my watch.

Standing Up For Black Lives

But standing up is only the start. I will stay committed to the cause because there is no place for racism in America.

I Do Not Stand For Racism

Elana’s Pantry was founded on the principle that health empowers individuals, and under the assumption that empowered individuals create a more equitable society. This cannot be an assumption any longer. I have not done enough here to clarify my position on the issue. I do not stand for racism.

Your Voice Matters

And your voice matters too. Leave a comment with your thoughts, or let me know about your favorite Black food blogger or health activist.

May peace guard your heart as you continue to follow your convictions.

Comments

115 responses to “Lift Black Voices”

  1. Thank you Elana for sharing your thoughts. I’m so glad that so many companies are making a clear, public statement that racism is bad and we should change it. I’m so sad to see how many people don’t like to hear “racism is bad and we should change it”. I thought this would be a simple thing to get behind. I am white but my family is biracial. Therefore I have had the advantage of learning and listening from the most important person in my life, and have come to realize my own privilege. To be treated different for how you look, for your background, for who you are…. that is so damaging to a person. People are people. There shouldn’t be any debate against Black Lives Matter, because what it really means is Black Lives Matter TOO. White people are already accustomed to mattering. We are all people, we are all Americans, we all deserve to be safe, we all deserve respect, and we all deserve to be equally represented and protected by our government. Also, thank you for the great recipes over the years, I love your cookbook! :)

    • Tamara, wow, what a truly amazing comment. I am so grateful to have you as a reader here. Thank you for sharing your unique perspective with me!

  2. Just wanted to say thank you, Elana. I can’t bear to visit anyone’s site who is just carrying on as if nothing is happening in the world. Thank you for using your platform to speak out. Grateful for you.

  3. Dear Elana,

    I am dismayed about this whole thing regarding Black lives matter. It seems that it only comes up when a white person, in this case a white policeman murdered a black man, to which I fully agree he must pay the price for his actions as I too, was angry at this man who does not represent all policeman.

    In any case, his due will come to him and any other law enforcement persons who conduct themselves in this manner.

    Unfortunately, I never hear anyone protesting or fighting for all of the black people who are being killed daily in Chicago by their own color!! So what’s up with that? Does Black lives matter not apply to these people who are being shot at and killed almost on a daily basis? What about the poor innocent black children who are just playing on their porches being gunned down by the drive by shootings because of revenge or just sheer stupidity. For heaven’s sake these children’s lives must matter!!

    So in closing, just letting you know I am sick and tired of the hypocrisy of all of you who are crying out black lives matter, yet you all disregard the black lives that are being taken down daily by other blacks.
    You are not truthful in what you are saying, because if you believe Black lives matter, you and many others would be marching in Chicago weekly, so when I hear people advocating for Black lives matter to me it is a farce and only use the chant when they want it to fit their narrative!!!

    It should be ALL LIVES MATTER!!! And especially those in Chicago!!!
    By the way I am not a racist and I am of color, just fed up with the hypocrisy, if you want something to have a truthful meaning, then include everyone who is killed senselessly by whomever!

    • Dottie, Unfortunately, with a little research it is easy to see that your statement, “In any case, his due will come to him and any other law enforcement persons who conduct themselves in this manner.” Here is a link for you describing POC in CO who have been killed by police:

      https://www.denverpost.com/2020/06/06/controversial-police-deaths-in-colorado/

      Few, if any of these law enforcement officers were disciplined.

      Agree, we need to stop all types of violence, that is why Black Lives Matter is more important than ever. It’s been over 400 years. The time is now.

      Elana

  4. First of all Elana you are a force to be reckoned with…I applaud your stance and all of you with that mindset, you see I’m a 69-year old Black woman and have lived in this country all my life. Please keep focusing on the basic fundamentals, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and believe it’s everyone’s right. Just imagine this being your father, brother or son out there in the world going about his daily life but suddenly having it taken away in a few frantic seconds. Just because of the color of your skin. It seems that most folks want to believe that there is no racism in this country, that there is opportunity for everyone, if they work hard enough. The Truth is that racism is alive and well! Look at immigration, how the laws have changed in the last five years. I could go on and on about present political administration or should I say, the lack thereof, who exactly will America be great again
    for?

    • Edna, thanks for your comment. That is what I imagine every single day, that it is my children. And this terrifies me. Yes, racism is alive and well. That is why I will continue to focus on racial equity issues here in this space. Please take care.

  5. Elana,

    Yes, there are corrupt cops, doctors,teachers, lawyers, bankers, POLITICIANS etc.. and they are coming in all colors, but the only thing this protest achieves is the leaders goal to keep the conflict between us the people and turn us against each other instead of focus and United no matter our color religious political views to fight together for ALL OF US FREEDOM that slowly but surely been taken away from us while we wasting our time turning against each other! Many changes on these issues could have take place with the previous administration who had the White House, Senate and House of Representatives and no changes occurred regarding police tactics and racism. WHY? Now, many are blaming this administration only in office for 3 years for all these problems, when most of the states with issues are currently run by Democratic Mayors with Black Attorney General’s and Black Police Chief’s. It doesn’t make sense to me why they haven’t fixed before it had a chance to escalate to this level. They need to be held accountable at the same for this injustice as much as the bad cops!

    • You’re looking to Black people to fix a problem that White people caused from the beginning. You just have to try a little harder to see how these things affect POC and where it’s started and how it’s kept going. The only people causing divides are the ones who do not agree that Black lives matter. It requires self education.

  6. Hi Elana,

    First, as a white woman who has known you for a very long time and who now works for an anti-racist company led by black and brown folks, I deeply appreciate you writing this. I appreciate you sharing what you could be doing more of to support black lives and dismantling racism in the United States. We have a LOT of work to do.

    It’s not a surprise that many (I’m pretty sure I can guess, white) women and men responded in defense to your post. In defiance. In righteousness. THIS is white supremacy. We live in it, it’s what drives our collective culture and consciousness not just in the U.S., but most parts of the world (colonialism, look it up critics). I’m not an academic. I’m not a hardcore activist. I’m a human who believes everyone should be treated with love, dignity and be afforded the same offerings of safety that white folks have been afforded for generations. Elana, I know you know history/FACTS will point to how white people slaughtered, enslaved, raped, lied, pretty much did everything they could to hold power and privilege in this country. To say that “it’s in the past” is to ignore the present.

    I don’t need to dive in the details here, there are plenty of books and lots of folks out there who can teach all this better than myself. It’s taken me years to recognize how my family and how I have benefitted from white supremacy, how we inherited wealth from say, the GI bill, that my black and brown brothers and sisters did not because it was not something they were even offered.

    For folks responding in disagreement to what Elana writes here, I know it’s not easy to digest, white supremacy. You don’t just flip a mental switch and suddenly get it. If you’re in the company of Jesus, you would look deeply at the fact Jesus was not white. Ask yourself to reach out to your black and brown friends to seek their truth, their experiences (unless they don’t trust you and prefer to steer clear).

    My company, Center for Equity and Inclusion, works with folks for one, two sometimes three years to learn together how to close disparities in how they serve their communities. Together. Undoing centuries of white supremacy wiring takes time.

    Finally, Elana speaks her truth here and those who post in opposition? You have no right to question and/or take this from her. She is speaking truth in a way that is not harming. She is being vulnerable. YOU are harming. You may very well be MAGA trolls for all I’m concerned.

    Keep speaking your truth Elana. #BLACKLIVESMATTER

  7. Thank you for posting this Elana. I’ve been following your blog for a decade now and I love seeing how it’s evolved. Your posts on Covid were clear and helpful and using your platform to acknowledge the racial inequities that persist in this country is powerful. Reading through the comments section has been a rude education, but an important reminder of how good people still lack the empathy and perspective to see what is going on in our country. Attacking George Floyd’s character or making this about God or looting is a tragic misjudgment at best. I applaud you for not censuring comments even when people are spreading misinformation or hateful remarks. And I stand with you against racism. Thank you for using your voice here on the blog to amplify this message – Kate

    • Kate, yes it is as you state, a rude education and important reminder. Thank you for standing with me against racism.

  8. Thank you for this, Elena…I’m just now as a 72 year old woman, coming to understand what the term “white privilege” means. I can identify with some of the defensive comments here, as I used to have some of the same thoughts, now they just make me sad. I recognize how many of them come from a place of fear, anxiety and tribalism (for lack of a better word). I’m reading more, trying to extend grace to those who don’t see how the problems we face to day are the fruit of hundreds of years of a deeply ingrained systemic racism.
    My weekly email this morning from The Onbeing Project was centered around this podcast https://onbeing.org/programs/resmaa-menakem-notice-the-rage-notice-the-silence/. I think you will find it thought provoking. It may have been from something I read there that I found this – https://goodblacknews.org/2016/07/14/editorial-what-i-said-when-my-white-friend-asked-for-my-black-opinion-on-white-privilege/. I’m listening and reading and will no longer remain silent when I can and should speak.
    “May peace guard our hearts…” I love that, thanks T.Lo!

  9. Robin Diangelo’s book WHITE FRAGILITY is a great first book to read if you are ready to learn about and confront your own internalized, unconscious investment in white supremacy. Its a life changing book.
    I’m marching in western Massachusetts today behind the banner of Black Lives Matter.

    • Kelly, thanks for your comment! Her work is remarkable and she articulates the issues so clearly when it comes to the institutional control and legal authority behind white supremacy, the fact that the only thing that can interrupt it is strategic intentional action, as well as the idea that there is no neutral place; the opposite of racist isn’t non-racist, it’s anti-racist, and much, much, more. Thanks so much for bringing up DiAngelo here, appreciate it.

      3. There is no neutral place
      -the opposite of racist isn’t not-racist, it’s anti-racist

  10. I attended a BLM event in front of our courthouse in small town Easton, MD this morning. I am white and heartened that there was a large attendance of white people standing shoulder to shoulder with the black community, holding signs. calling and responding. kneeling in pledge, and generally showing support and proof of our position along with our fellow black community members and fellow Americans in their pain, anger and frustration. Their speakers implored us to commit to taking responsibility of the anti-racial dialogue beyond this rally and beyond general lip-service. The truth always brings tears to my eyes and this is a beautiful truth that Elana’s comments put forth: white people should do whatever is necessary at every opportunity to assume the burden of racism and remove it from the shoulders of black people. We’ve come far from the 60’s but we still have a very long way to go. I believe that “change is gonna come” but we all must help it along to the very best of our ability. Thank you for your forum Elana!

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