In America, where 62% of the population identifies as Caucasian, white people are easy to find.
But white people have not been as visible in the aftermath of the Charleston massacre last week, where a young white man and his white supremacist ideals entered a historically black church and shot nine churchgoers dead.
“People who are not black can no longer sit on the margins. They can no longer just express their sympathy: those are shallow words,” Arielle Newton, a 23-year-old black blogger said at a rally in Harlem in New York City on Monday.
“They have to act intentionally, from a point of pro-blackness. To work to make sure that black people are given the equity that we deserve.”
About 100 mourners and #BlackLivesMatter protesters attended the rally.
Despite the protest area explicitly being defined as a “black-centered space” by organizers , much of the dialogue that ensued was focused on white people, white ideologies and conversations white people may – or may not – be having at their dinner tables.
Standing towards the back of the gathering, carrying a poster that stated “Black Lives Matter” on one side and the names of black women and girls killed by police on the other, Babbie Dunnington, a 29-year-old white teacher, was one of just a few white faces in Tuesday’s majority black crowd. She said that the change had to come from white people.
“Black people didn’t enslave themselves. It shouldn’t be on them to correct that. White people have the responsibility to understand that they live in a racist society, a racist society they have created.”