Aug 31 2020

Racism

When I think about what I know about racism, I know that I have a lot to learn. I have only hit the surface, the top of the iceberg. But I am trying. I realized that I am far from understanding the depth and breadth of this insidious ideology. I do know that when I read or see what today I know to be racist, my heart stops, and my shoulders drop. More often than not, tears come to my eyes from that lump in my throat that pushes it’s way out. How to I make it stop?

I am naive, yet realistic in the fact that this is the largest mountain, obstacle, issue we face as a nation. I don’t think it’s because there are more racists than not. It’s that idea of our ability to become anti racists and stop every action we see and hear no matter how small or large.

It is many things. It comes in word. It comes in song. I comes in spray paint on a wall, or a billboard. It comes in a statue that was set to honor someone who demoralized and dehumanized other human beings. That in and of itself can come in many forms. Mental and physical. Through the abuse of ownership and belittling. Oppression and suppression, taking away the ability for another human to do more than they did yesterday. Or even in their lifetime.

I do have a lot to learn. However, I know this much is true, the more I read and listen to black voices, the more angry I get. The more exhausted I feel. And that’s not just me describing my feeling, yes I feel it, but the anger and the exhaustion that I am feeling is what I hear in those voices. The pure exhaustion of BIPOC just trying to leave the house, drive a car, go to the park, on their sofa watching TV, in their bed sleeping peacefully, get the job they are more than qualified for, being heard in a meeting and then not getting credited for what they have just said. Raising their hands, getting handcuffed and still killed. The pure exhaustion of even trying to act like it’s not there, that it’s not real, that some behind there smiles are ready to cut them back and put them in their place. Imagine you had to exist every day with the straight up aggression of someone questioning you doing something in your own damn front yard or a micro-aggression done with a smile. I can’t even imagine either or which is worse.

We have troubling laws and policies that support this insidious behavior. Yes, laws that make much of this not even an offense, but ok. This is NOT OK! And we have some law enforcement that are color blind and only see black and see their only action is, to put them in their place. This is not who any of us should be, but I fear who we are. Because if we don’t stop it, what are we?

People are in the streets. As they should be. Honestly, if you really look back at history and not the “history” in the history books, but true, actual history. None of us would be where we are today if someone didn’t go into the streets and say, this is wrong. And I honestly don’t think some of us get that. I also honestly believe that some don’t get that those people in the streets are protecting us all from what this administration is trying to strip from us every day. The very thing that men and women volunteer to fight for us every day.

People are breaking windows and steeling things. Stealing “THINGS”! Things that these very large companies have insurance for and will loose nothing in the grand scheme of things. The loss is infinitesimal to the loss of life. Do you not agree? How about we get as outraged about someone who was killed for no reason and stop worrying about who got away with a material object. What is our fascination and allegiance with objects and not people? When did a shoe, a tv, a handbag, or a phone become more important than a human life?

I have no answers. My heart aches every day as I listen and hear black voices asking to just be treated equally and not seen as the enemy. To be considered human.

I have more listening to do.


Aug 15 2020

I am a Racist

I am a racist.  (Facebook post 8.12.2020)

I believe this is the only way to move forward. And this is where I get in trouble, some of you are too. 

For almost 60 years I’ve carried with me unconsciously and I hope now consciously a bias of white privilege. Stay with me if you will or go ahead and unfriend. I’ve been unfriended for lesser statements.  

“Denial is the heartbeat of racism” Ibram X. Kendi

If you are white and you say that you are not a racist, I feel that is not a whole truth. We need to listen more, read a more, take it all in. And hear what is being said. The good, bad, and the ugly. I have some bad news for us, we are racists. But. But…I know, I know. We are. But we can turn that into becoming an antiracist and fight for true equality, democracy, justice, and that ‘there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group’(IXK). This does not happen overnight.

“Being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.” Ibram X. Kendi

Deep in my heart, I am making every effort to stop this insidious disease. Yes, I believe it is a disease. An odd one that is taught and unconsciously perpetuated. Even sometimes consciously taught. I will own it and continue my pledge to do everything in my power to become an antiracist, personally and professionally. I will also become more aware of and engaged politically, locally, and nationally to ensure that racist laws and policies are eradicated.

I will work to consciously, instead of unconsciously work for instead of against our brothers, sisters, and cousins. Not just personally but institutionally to eradicate all laws, rules and policy that disenfranchise BIPOC.

With the murder of George Floyd the spotlight on racism and division has intensified. Who might be responsible for that? Guess what, it is our responsibility. Ours alone, yours and mine, it belongs to no one else. Not ANY politician, it is US. If we accept what we think a leader does or tells us as truth or if we believe a meme we see someone post that speaks of division, you are playing into their hand. We, you, me, that person sitting next to you, we are the ones that are responsible for letting this terrible thing happen. My Mom always said, others don’t make you feel this or that, you let them. Passing blame is lazy and unbecoming someone who claims to be a loving caring human of other humans. Do not claim to be about love or acceptance then spread hate from or about anyone.
 
DO SOMETHING.  
SAY SOMETHING
DO NOT ACCEPT HATE. PERIOD
BE THE DIFFERENCE
#BELOVE
#BLACKLIVESMATTER 

If you got this far, thank you. I will be away from here for the rest of the week, maybe longer. Some days my heart can’t take what I see and read here. So I am not ignoring anyone who comments. Although I don’t expect any. I don’t expect much other than maybe some ‘unfriending”.