A Reflection on Race
This wasn't the post I'd been planning on writing this week. As a matter of fact, I've not planned out this post at all. It's just a heart's response to all that is going on.
There is a lot I want to write. Putting the metaphorical "pen to paper" often helps me sort out my feelings and make sense of what runs through my head. But this isn't really the place to introduce the jumble of conflicted emotions swirling inside of me. It is, however, a good place to put out a simple call.
Recognize the racism that exists and refuse to perpetuate it in whatever way you can.
This is a deep and complex issue fraught with intense emotion. I have no answers. As a white middle class woman, I am only beginning to understand my privilege, my role in the intricate web of racist society, and the every day injustice forced upon people of color. The murders sicken me. The desperation breaks my heart. The blatant, obvious prejudice turns my stomach and makes me wonder what kind of world we live in.
Part of me wants to join in the protests or start something of my own, but this injustice isn't mine, I don't know it in the depths of my heart and something feels wrong about inserting myself in someone else's fight. Another part of me wants to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with brothers and sisters in support. To say, "Yes! This is wrong! It needs to stop." But I don't even know where to start. I feel paralyzed by my own ignorance, and this saddens me even more.
The little I can do (educate myself on the experiences of black people, teach my kids differently, stand against injustice when I see it, etc.) feels woefully in adequate. A drop in the ocean of effort needed to make even a small dent in this issue - a tiny ripple when what we need in a sweeping tide.
Guys, we (and I say we as the white community) cannot stand by and keep watching black men die on TV, or Facebook, or Twitter. We cannot abide other people (white people) using their power to threaten and manipulate an existing social and political system build upon racial dominance. We cannot sit idly by while the rights we white-knuckle evaporate in the presence of a dark complexion.
We've got to understand. We've got to admit. We've got to look inside and ask, "What have I done to perpetuate this?" We've got to change. We've got to sacrifice for another. We've got to ask forgiveness and forgive. We've got to keep working, persistently, aggressively, faithfully, compassionately.
I don't have answers. But I want to find some. I don't want to pretend it's not my problem anymore.
In order to begin the journey of understanding, check out these resources:
From Culturally Responsive Leadership: 40+ Books for Anti-Racist Teachers
From Medium: Books to Check Your White Privilege
From Read It Forward: 28 Books That Talk About Race
From The Undefeated: 24 book for white people to read beyond Black History Month
From the New York Times: An Antiracist Reading List
From The Conscious Kid via Medium: 31 Children's Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance
From Paste: 10 Young Adult Books that Tackle Racism
From Social Justice Books: Young Adult Fiction (a book list)
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