The Whiteness Letters

Covid, Climate, Race

Dear Friends and Family,

Today is hitting me harder than most. Six months of a pandemic, six weeks of wildfires, and six hundred years of racism, and, now, it is hitting me—hard.

I’m not sick or on fire or dead in my bed.

But I am tired.

And, if I am tired, how much worse must it be for those who are fighting illness or fleeing fires, or burying their dead?

I am lucky. My family and friends and I are all healthy, safe, and loved. My family and friends and I are all sheltered and fed. My family and friends and I are all middle-class privileged and, most of us, are white.

But, it’s not just about me and mine. It’s about all of us.

Yes, if you have enough money, you can avoid the Coronavirus—but you can’t go to a restaurant, a movie, a place of worship or even another country. Whether we wear a mask or not, whether we get sick or not, the pandemic impacts all of us.

Yes, if you have enough money, you can survive the fires, the floods, the tornadoes, the hurricanes—but you can’t safely breathe the air or go outside or stop the destruction of your property. Whether we live on the West Coast or the Gulf Coast, whether we believe in it or not, the warming planet impacts all of us.

Yes, if you are white, you can ignore the police who kill little Black boys playing with their toys and young Black women sleeping in their beds—but you can’t stop the fear, the pain, the anger, and the injustice that drives people to protest in the streets. Whether we are Black, Indigenous, People of Color or white, whether we pay attention or not, racism impacts all of us.

Yes, I am luckier than most, but I am not immune to the pandemics of Coronavirus, Climate Crisis, and Racial Injustice. And, no matter how lucky you are, you’re not immune either. Why? Because whether we like it or not, believe it or not, want it or not, we are all on this planet and in this life together.

So, now what? Well, first, I’m going to rest. And, then, I’m going to get back up and get back in the fight—not just for me and mine, but for all of us. More on that later.

Until next time, stay healthy, safe and loved, most important, loved.

Love, Leslie