Reaction is not enough
As white people, we've had it easy. We get to gloss over the every day injustices of being asked "but where are you from from?" to being able to avoid shaking from every bone with rage and fear and eventually forgetting things like "All Mexicans are rapists and criminals." Even if that statement evokes fury and fire, at the end of the day, we sleep okay because being called a rapist and/or a criminal was not something that happened to us that day to reflect on as we lay our fine hair down.
We've been lazy, and we most of the time, we didn't even know it.
I'll speak for myself.
I'm not a lazy person - you couldn't find a single soul on this Earth that would call me that. My worst enemies and my most self-deprecating self wouldn't even contemplate the using the word "lazy" to describe me.
But I've been lazy. And this is bigger than me.
It's easy to go online. It's easy to argue with people who are outwardly racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, you name it. It's easy to feel mad, hurt, fearful, enlivened, empowered, confused. It's easy to express your sentiments and have other people like you agree, and easy to feel a temporary angst and then go back about your business.
But I can't sleep. It hasn't been just now, it's been always for me, but now is much more important than ever.
We all saw the right problem - how we get pitted against one another and eventually all get played by Lady Liberty and her sly Uncle Sam. We saw the problem and we saw an easy but incorrect solution - let one person handle this. We all need to handle this a little more than we are. The beauty in this world is that we are all enormously different people, and we all need to do more, and white people:
We need to do even more than that.
(If you don't believe me, take this quiz. [Yes, it's BuzzFeed. I will gladly converse with you about why BuzzFeed is important in our culture, but it's not my priority right now. It illustrates the point extremely well.])
I know you're tired, exhausted, probably even defeated most days. You have responsibilities and families and obligations. Be aware that your exhaustion is one of the best scenarios, despite feeling epic fucking shitty. Take ten minutes every day to do something more. Roll those ten minutes together and take an hour a week to do more. I can't do it alone, and you can't do it alone, but we both have to fucking do it.
Here are some great articles I've seen around that give good resources to start.
and my personal favorite The Passionate Ethnographer: Dear White People
Other ways to find volunteer opportunities:
Be humble. Have humility. Have grace. Ask people around you how you can help them.
How can I help you?