An Open Letter to White Women

Dear White Women,

I have been watching you for the past couple of weeks and every time I am uplifted by you, or you motivate me, or you energize me, the next day two of you will make me angry. For every one of you that is out there on the front lines doing the work, two of you are snickering at the rest of us from behind your computer screen. It infuriates me. So this letter is for you, those of you snickering behind your phone screens. The rest of you, keep doing you, ladies. You are changing this damn world.

First and foremost, why it is so hard for you to just be quiet? It doesn’t sound hard. I mean, we tell our kids to do it all the time. Stop talking. Stop making so much noise. Stop saying the same thing over and over again, yet here you are doing just that. White women, this is not your struggle. It is not about you. I’m gonna say it again for the people in the back , THIS MOMENT IS NOT ABOUT YOU! No one cares how you are feeling right now. No one cares how you were discriminated against one time. We get it, you have felt discriminated against and you think no one stood up for you. Yeah, that’s called real life. Welcome to it. But we don’t want to hear about it now. It just isn’t the time, read a damn room. This isn’t about you, yet repeatedly I have seen white women taking the Black Lives Matter movement and somehow trying to make it about their life or experiences. Do you know what that is called? It’s called white centering.

White Centering is when you take a story, maybe the story of a friend or someone you love who is a BIPOC, you take a story from someone, it could be a complete stranger like George Floyd, and you somehow turn it into a story about yourself. About discrimination you have been through. About how hard your life is/was. But this is not the time for you to cry over something that happened to you 20 years ago (on social media) while pretending to support the movement. No one wants to hear it or see it. If that is what you are inclined to talk about when Black Lives Matter comes up, then just SHUT UP and LISTEN!

I’ve seen this day in and day out from my family members, my friends, strangers on Instagram. Y’all want everyone to validate your discrimination (you especially want Black women to validate you), but no. It isn’t time for that right now, and Black people are not your audience. I will listen to you, I will talk about mental health with you and how important is. Hear me: If you need to discuss a situation that you felt discriminated against based on (insert reasons for white people to be discriminated against), a situations or time that has stayed with you for years and years and you are still trying to work through it, I WILL listen and try to help. But just so we are clear I will NEVER listen, or take a situation seriously, if you try to sneak it on the backs of the BIPOC community, or the Black Lives Matter Movement. Stop. It’s gross, and yes, your BIPOC friends are judging you for it. They are just trying to be polite and let you have your “Karen” moment because they love and respect you, and they know you are a little racist, but it’s not okay.

Now I get it. Right now, if you’re still with me, you think I am attacking you. Matter fact, you might actually be formulating a text to me, or a message, or a vague FB status about how “someone” has “attacked” you today. That is good. In fact, this’s part of the process. Feeling “attacked” by truth is how you know it’s working. It’s like when you put Neosporin on a cut and it burns. The burning means it’s working! You’re hearing what I am saying, you’re realizing that you said something at the wrong time, that was not important and did nothing to better your community, the Black community, or the social space in which you said it. You are feeling shame and guilt. Good! But it might take actual days, weeks, months, years for you to believe what I am saying is the truth. To understand. To, as the kids say, be WOKE AF. I just hope you keep thinking on it, and for the love of all that is holy, keep reading.

White women, on top of not being able to sit and listen to Black people, ESPECIALLY Black Women, and generally white centering the narrative, you are incapable of admitting that you are covertly racist. Whew. This is tough, I know. I know. You know how I know? I had to admit it to myself. And it was hard, and I fought with myself for weeks on this one. Jesus, I did switch my bag from one shoulder to the other when I was walking next to that Black man. Shiiiiiit! I did that. Shit, I did allow my white friend to use the abbreviated “N-word” in my presence and not say something to her. Shiiiiit. I did not speak up when that co-worker told a racist joke that one time. I mean, I didn’t laugh at it. I didn’t retell it, but I didn’t speak up either. Shiiiit! I’m racist, y’all. WE ALL ARE. Look at this image I found from the Minister’s blog at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church in Charlottesville:

This is something white women just can’t understand. For the life of me, I want to shake some of y’all and scream, “You are awesome, I love you, but you are a little racist.” We all are racist because we were raised in a racist society. We were raised in a country that was LITERALLY FOUNDED ON RACISM! And no, it doesn’t matter if you have a Black husband. You don’t get a pass as a white woman, you still need to check your privileges and your racism. Ask any Black woman and she will fill you in, but wait, don’t actually ask them because they are a little too busy dealing with an influx of other dumb white women right now who suddenly want to unlearn what they were taught and expect Black women to be the ones to teach them. FOR FREE! OMIGOD, y’all. It wasn’t Black women who taught you how to be racist, and it isn’t up to them to fix your problem. It’s up to you. And while we are at it, it isn’t as easy as sticking a black square on your Instagram page one day. You need to be doing work. You need to be educating yourself. Reflecting, going inward. Walking through all the ways in which you have benefited from the structural racism that our country was founded on. If I may, it works best with a partner.

Because covert racism has just been accepted in our society. It is okay in a lot of places to be covertly racist. I don’t know any friend or family member who would actively take a role as a KKK Member, but I know several who have said things like, “I don’t like that bar because it’s too dark.” Meaning there are too many Black people there. I have friends and family members who, upon finding out that we were moving to Atlanta, said things like, “Ohh, you aren’t going to like it there, it’s pretty ghetto.” Meaning there are too many Black people there. They were wrong, on many levels. They are also covert racists. This is the kind of thing you need to be considering. Looking back at your life, seeing what you have done that is racist, admitting it, and working on ways to stop it from this point forward.

But please know that it takes time. I have been doing this internal work on my own unchecked racism for about six months now, and I make mistakes all the damn time. One of the biggest mistakes I made was thinking that Black people care about my progress. I actually thought I would get a damn pat on the back for working on myself, for admitting my covert racism, for standing up for the Black community. Uh, no. Black people don’t care if I am working on myself. And they don’t care if you are doing it either. And they don’t trust what I am actually doing will stick. They hope I am trying to educate other white people, but again, they don’t trust I will continue to. See a pattern here, white women? Black people, especially Black women, DO NOT TRUST US. Why should they? Have we given them a reason to? And again I’ll remind you I’m talking in general terms, and mainly about strangers you meet on social media, not people who you consider your friends and who know and trust your intentions.

The Black community does not want to hear about how hard we are working, because they have been working ten times harder their whole lives. They want to SEE how hard we are working. They want to see us banding together to stop other dumbass white people so they don’t have to. They want us to take some of the load off of them, and they want us to know that we should not expect a thank you for it. Because we should not expect a thank you for it. And the white women who are trying, please know that Black women may seem ambivalent to your work, and that is okay. Do not ask them to praise you. Do not ask them to educate you. Do not take, take, take from them. And for the love of all things holy, if you are relying on that one token Black friend to get you through this, get some more fucking friends! And please know that most of the Black women I have encountered through this process do not hate me, or what I am doing. But they don’t necessarily like me either. That hurt, at first. Then I recognized my own white fragility and moved one. There will be Black people, just like white people, who do not like you. You gotta get over it and keep moving forward.

Lastly, and this is the toughest lesson I have learned this week, white women you are not openly talking to your family, your friends, and most crucially your children, about racism. And your silence is deafening to your friends in the Black community. Instead you are making excuses like, “My dad is too old, different generation you know, I don’t want to upset him” or “I teach my children to be colorblind” or “My son is too sensitive it would upset him.” Let me tell you a little story about my very sensitive son and the first time I discussed racism with him.

We were at the Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Kelly Ingram Park is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led several peaceful protests. It is also where protestors were shot with water hoses and rubber bullets. It is also right across the street from where the 16th Street Baptist Church sits. The one that was bombed on September 15, 1963. The one where Addie Mae Collins (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Carol Denise McNair (11) we murdered. You might only know them as “The four little Black girls,” but it is important that you read and say their names.

We were strolling through the park with Jackson. He was BARELY four years old. He was looking at the statues and taking in all the words, words he didn’t understand. We sat him down on a blanket, we talked to him about the Civil Rights Movement. About how people hate other people based on the color of their skin. And he sat and listened. I was so proud of how he did. It was like he knew the moment was heavy and he really wanted to hear what we were saying. Then just as I finished up I took a deep breath and I asked him if he had any questions. He said he did. Jerimiah assured him questions were good, and he could ask any he wanted. Then Jackson, in his little preschool voice asked, “Can we get Subway for lunch?”

Yeah. My four-year-old son heard what I said that day, but he needed time to process it all. Because it isn’t a one-time talk. He didn’t have nightmares from the statue depicting the police dogs attacking children. He didn’t have nightmares about a burning church or even appear to register all we had said. But a couple months later we were driving somewhere in the car and we passed a Black man mowing his yard and my son said, “Mommy, Dr. King was Black like that man huh?” And while I was a little taken aback at the rawness of the question I simply said, “Yes he was. Do you want to talk about Dr. King?” and to my surprise he did. And he has wanted to talk since that day, from time to time, about Civil Rights, about the Black community, about how he will try to help his generation make a change. And we have always discussed his concerns and questions. We have made space for him to explore it on his own. Because honestly, there are four-year-old Black kids who have a very different talk given to them about racism, and it is the least I can do with for my child.

Make no mistake, if you are talking about racism, your kids are listening. If you are not talking about racism with your kids, they are also listening. And learning. Because kids are smart and perceptive and they know that something is happening in our country right now, and they are relying on your cues to help them through it. The question is what are you saying with your words, and more importantly, what are you saying with your actions?

Thank you for reading, my friends. I’m sorry if these truths are hard to digest right now, but I ask you, I implore you, to sit with them in solitude for a little bit. Reflect on how they make you feel. Reflect on why you agree or disagree with them, then move forward to fight off the shame and guilt you have been carrying around. Move forward to talk to your family and friends. Move forward to talk to your children. Own your privilege, and own your beliefs, even if they are racist, because the rest of us need to know which side of this battle you stand on.

Be safe and well, friends.


Mistakes, Actions, Donations

Hi, hello, how are you? Wonderful I hope. I hope you took some time over the last week to be quiet, to reflect, to amplify Black voices, to unlearn some of the things you have been taught in this life, if you are white person anyway. That’s what I did. I also protested, donated money and time to the Black Lives Matter movement, and I followed many new people on social media in an effort to better understand the movement, the revolution that is happening, and how I can learn to be a better person. And while I was doing all of this, I made some mistakes. Some big ones. I want to address some of them now and I want to tell you one of the things I learned from listening this week. The rest will come in little bits here and there because y’all know I process at a slow rate.

First, I need to apologize to the Instagram and Facebook spheres for giving you wrong information. I listened to the creators of #AmplifyMelanatedVoices do a wrap up yesterday (you can read more about it on my previous post) and I realized I didn’t do exactly what they wanted. I got my information second-hand from other white women and certainly the “telephone tree” missed some important points. The point of the challenge created by @blackandembodied and @jessicawilson.msrd was to mute white activists and let the Black activists have the floor. It was not to mute ourselves. We should have been sharing Black activists work/art/words/stories as well as taking the time to check other white people. I did that in my Stories, but I did not do it on my page and for that I apologize. I am committed to working on that and making it part of my normal life now. I apologize to anyone who was following my lead.

I am more conscious of my place in social media, especially places like Instagram where I share my space with so many Black women who are working hard to create open dialogue. I need to let them do the talking, especially when it comes to race. This is my space here, and while I will be sharing more that elevates both the conversation on structural racism, white supremacy, and how white people can unlearn what they know, I will also be sharing my lessons, thoughts, and stories like always. The point here is that life is not “back to normal” around here. It can’t be. It never will be again. The Goodnight House has turned a very important corner, and there is no looking back.

In the midst of my mistakes I did receive grace from a few people. In fact I read often, especially from Black women, that mistakes will be made. They will be made in the early days and in the later days. We are learning and they do not expect us to be perfect. They do, however, expect us to be present and continue to be present. To hold other white people accountable, to teach other white people as we learn, and to continue to support the movement. And just so we are clear, for those of us who can, supporting the movement is not just making our picture profile say, “Black Lives Matter,” it means to donate. And I don’t mean time here, I strictly mean money. Cold, hard, cash. Again, I’m talking to those of us who can. Donate money to the cause, donate it to the movement, donate it to the activists. Subscribe to their Patreon pages. Buy their books, their art, their time. Learning isn’t free, so put your money where your mouth is. You know I love y’all, but we have to do better.

So there it is, mistakes will happen. But we need to learn from them. “Know better, do better” said Maya Angelou. Every, damn day.

Speaking of donating (I think you brought it up), I’m leaving you with a photo of some postcards we made and passed out at one of the protests we attended over the weekend. We protested for four days straight, but more on that later. These postcards have organizations you can send money to right now. If you can’t donate money, think about sharing the names of these organizations, or making your own postcards to pass out. Because now it is time for action.

At the protest Jackson and I walked up and down the line of people and passed them out. He explained that they could donate, then they could send the postcard to someone else who could donate as well. We passed out a total of 40 of these, because we didn’t get the idea in time to do more! There were nearly 300 people at the protest and people wanted them when they saw them, so please know that people will DONATE if given the opportunity and they will SHARE the message. It was a small gesture on our part, just the cost of postcards and stamps, that resonated with people so much that they were finding us afterward to thank us, tell us what a great idea it was, and that they would donate and make their own postcards! We were happy with the outcome.

Please note that these are all Georgia organizations, mostly Atlanta-based, but a simple Google of similar organizations in your area can be done if you want to support local as well.

Remember, we are all learning here. We, as white people, can hold each other accountable, and we can help teach each other. Please do not bother your Black friends, and certainly not Black strangers, with your questions. I’m here as a resource, and so is Google. Today, reflect on your mistakes, take action, and donate. Tomorrow we will work our way through another way to help.

Stay safe out there, y’all.


Muted and Listening

“Ideal Bookshelf: Anti-racism”, illustration by Jane Mount (

I’ve decided to take part in the #AmplifyMelanatedVoices Challenge created by @blackandembodied and @jessicawilson.msrd. I won’t be blogging, posting on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook from now until June 7th in an attempt to #MuteTheWhiteNoise. Instead I’ll be listening to what Black people have to say. I’ll be watching and looking at art created by Black artists and activists. I’ll be reading Black authors. I’ll be looking inward and reflecting on what I’m learning, how my world views need changing, and how I can help elevate the Black Community. Please follow the hashtags and the original creators of this challenge on Instagram.

Below you will find links to articles about white fragility and anti-racism by Black authors, as well as Black activists to follow on Instagram. I hope you can find time to educate yourself on these topics and listen to the unheard voices in the Black Community. Please remember that Google is your friend. Don’t rely on the people below, or any of your Black friends, colleagues, or Black people in your community to educate you. They are too busy and it isn’t their job. White supremacy and racism work because white people do not take a stand against it. It is a problem that white people created, and it is one that we need to work to end. It is time to take a stand, even toward people you love and admire. Our silence is deafening to the Black Community.

If you don’t already, please follow: @berniceking, @thekingcenter, @theconsciouskid, @rachel.cargle, @ckyourprivilege, @Ibramxk, @taranajaneen, @thegreatunlearn, @mspackyetti, and @staceyabrams. Check to see who they are following, and follow more. Be present in the conversations this week, but do not speak up. Just read and listen. Just listen.

Follow the hashtags #AhmaudArbery, #BlackLivesMatter, #BLM, #IRunWithAhmaud, #GeorgeFloyd, #RevolutionNow, #RadicalEmpathy, #BreonnaTaylor, #BlackoutTuesday, #MutedAndListening, #AntiRacism, #ICantBreathe, #WeCantBreathe, #SayTheirNames, #NoJusticeNoPeace to keep informed with the movement. **Please do not post with these hashtags, it was brought to my attention that some people are using them to follow the rioters and put them in harm’s way, and that coupled with the Blackout Tuesday movement, is blocking important #BLM info from getting out to the Black Community, just follow them for now.**

Read, read, read! Read the books listed in the illustration above for starters, and follow the authors on social media or on their paid Patreon accounts. Please keep in mind that some of these books have become very popular in the last few weeks (which is great), but I have heard of price gauging online. This in no way benefits the authors. Whenever possible, order the title from your local independent bookstore who supports Black writers. It may take a couple of weeks to get the book, because some are on backorder, but it is worth it. The titles from the illustration above are:

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Blindspot by Mahzarin R. Banaji & Anthony G. Greenwald
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? by Moustafa Bayoumi
The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele
An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Mindful of Race by Ruth King
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson
Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell & Aurélia Durand

In the meantime, here are some articles to get you started reading and thinking now:

I’ve had a lot of white friends tell me they had no idea about the Tulsa Massacre. has great information on what happened to the thriving Black Community in Tulsa in the early 1900s:

As always, be well and safe. And please remember what Maya Angelou said: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”