An Open Letter to White #AntiTrump Activists

If you want to be proactive but don't know where to start: THIS IS IT.

You are going to have to be brave and tell "nice racists" that they are wrong. Because they are WRONG. And the people who benefit from indifference are bigots.

This is ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT for white men and women to understand: we have our skin color which protects us from these of petty acts of aggression that PoC, LGBT, etc. deal with every day.

So it's our duty to stand up–especially to our friends and family and coworkers–and point out their bigotry.

You will have tough days.

But you might turn this into a conversation that makes your family understand. Your coworkers. Someone in line at the coffee shop.

These conversations are the first line of action. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. If you see it, and it feels wrong, it probably is. Call it out. Explain why. Do the work in your head about whether a person is making lazy assumptions based on race/class/gender/etc., EVEN IF THAT SOMEONE IS YOU.

Test your own knee-jerk reactions. Look for it in others. Call it out. WE HAVE TO DO THIS. And we have to DO IT NOW.

This is happening NOW. And we need to be independent thinkers capable of assessing these things. THIS IS THE FIRST STEP, WHITE PEOPLE.

When you think about the safety pin movement, in principle it's a good idea: offering a personal safe space for people who are vulnerable. But it ends there. NO ACTION FROM THERE. You're saying: People of COLOR, disenfranchised humans, you can come to ME, I am HERE TO SAVE YOU.

But people of color, gay rights activists, civil rights activists: THEY HAVE BEEN THIS DOING FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES. They don't need saving. They have REALLY GREAT STRATEGIES. LISTEN TO THEM.

They have these conversations EVERY DAY. You don't need to have the conversation with THEM.

INSTEAD, YOU HAVE TO TALK TO OTHER WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT BREAKING DOWN THEIR BIGOTRY. THIS IS OUR JOB.

We have to stand up to those who are testing whether it's okay: Is your mom using qualifiers when describing someone? "Not them, of course. They're okay." Is your chummy-with-everyone co-worker side-eying someone wearing a hijab? TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT.

And ANYONE who calls Muslims "terrorists" in polite conversation is not polite. They are polite TO YOU, but they are testing you. Will you call them on their bigotry? Your answer has to be YES.

People are poking the defenses. Testing the solidity of your resolve. Testing how long you're willing to tolerate their bigotry.

Nip it in the bud: Now. And every. Damn. Time.