I’ve spent the majority of my life around diversity and inclusion, because I placed myself in a situation to welcome in both. When I see someone being racist, I speak out. But there have been times when I didn’t know what to say. And, I understand that we don’t have to know what all to say, to simply say “That is NOT okay” is enough. To report, to record, to remove yourself from a conversation. Those are all ways to be actively anti racist. I have educated myself and my children on the REAL history of America without sugar coating it. And, I show them powerful women and men of color, because I don’t want them to just feel bad for people of color, but to appreciate people of color! They watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Dora the Explorer & Doc McStuffins. I have raised them with the understanding that we do not form opinions of others based on their outward appearance, their religion, or sexual preference, and we do not form our opinions based off of what others think. Instead we decide how we feel about someone based on the character in which we personally see them display. I don’t write this for kudos, I write this because I wish we could ALL teach our children how to welcome diversity and be inclusive, always . To speak out when they see injustice. To feel with their hearts and keep their minds open. Could you imagine the world we would live in, if everyone was treated equally upon first introductions? I CAN.
I understand my white privilege. But there was a time I didn’t. It was hard, because in my mind, I wasn’t personally a racist. But, I allowed myself to become open and to LISTEN. I had to break down my defensive responses. I had to ask myself hard questions. I had to further EDUCATE myself. I choose to use my white privilege to be an ally. It is not enough to just not be racist, we must be consistently working on our ANTI RACISM!! It’s not enough to write a blog or a FB post, we must be taking action: read a book, watch a documentary, sign a petition, protest, purchase dolls of all colors for your child(ren), read books both fiction and non fiction written by black authors. There is such a long list of things you can do, most being done from the comfort of your own home. And you don’t have to do all of these things, but do SOMETHING!
For my white friends who are defensive. For my white friends who are trying to learn, to understand and to grow. I want to be a bridge for understanding. It is not the responsibility of the black people in our community to understand our struggles and to explain why that, for lack of better words, is completely irreverent at the present moment. I want to help you to see from a different perspective, in a way that opens your heart so that you can open your mind. Supporting this movement and helping to dismantle systemic racism doesn’t take away from your personal pain or experiences. It’s not about comparing trauma. It’s not about being selfish and saying “What about me?” You don’t have to be scared of this change that is necessary and long overdue. Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to receive the information without judgment. Get off social media to detox and instead look at some disheartening statistics. Again, I know we all have our own worries. But truly, the black community is targeted solely because of the color of their skin and they are mistreated and murdered and it is NOT OKAY.
This isn’t about ME and it’s not about YOU. It’s about the movement that is 400 years in the making and needs to be amplified so that history does NOT repeat itself! This is about the black community because BLACK LIVES MATTER and until EVERYBODY realizes that, then ALL LIVES simply are not MATTERING.
For my black friends. I hear you, I see you, I am listening, I am learning, and I stand beside you!
I envision a world where everyone is treated equally upon first introductions. Where we are kind and loving and peaceful. And, I am here to help make that happen. Are you?