I didn’t realize I needed to do something…so now what?

So here’s the deal. If you are here, ready to argue that racism doesn’t exist, that it is all political, or that you are offended because your life matters too, you can leave. This is not the space for you. If you are here to join me on a journey of growth, grace, and empowerment. I. Want. You. Here. I want to go to coffee with you. I want to drink wine with you. I want to do life with you.

Hi! My name is Kaitey. I am a firm believer in wearing socks year round, drinking wine with friends, going to the lake and sitting in the sun any chance I can. I love projects…so much so I am getting my M.S. in Project Management, and one day hope to have a PhD in something…because I love learning, research, and apparently writing really long essays.

I also am a firm believer that it is my job as a human to love my neighbors. All of them. No matter what. I firmly believe in the statement “Love Does,” the way I know to do this best is to continue in learning how to be anti-racist, understand other peoples perspectives, listen to others stories, and grow in my understanding that my side of the story, is usually not the full story.

I am not going to sit here tonight, drinking my glass of wine and type out for you all the information that you need to be the perfect anti-racist person. I am not going to tell you how to think, how to vote, or what to do. That is not my goal. BUT, I want you to go on this journey with me. We are going to go on a journey of discovery. Let’s discover what we didn’t know before, listen to the hurt we didn’t know has been done, and do our best to educate ourselves so that next time, we know what to do.

To be honest, I never know what to say….if you know me, you know I usually have a lot to say, but I don’t always know if what I say is right. Today I learned, that we have to start somewhere.

I sent an email today to that said “Hey. I see you. How are you?” I received a reply that said “You are the only person who has checked in with me since all of this has happened, you made me feel like I mattered.” I immediately burst into tears thinking to myself, “No way. Someone else had to reach out. Maybe their boss reached out? Maybe their family members or friends reached out?”

It was at that moment I realized it has to be me, and it has to be you.

Even if we don’t know what to say or do, we have to do something. In light of current events, I didn’t know racism was this bad. So now what? The world is broken. We are broken. We need hope! We also need people with open hearts, open minds, and who are willing to be wrong, and to sit in the uncomfortable.

Over the last decade I have intentionally joined social groups, clubs, and organizations that have hard conversations. I have had my world opened to what life looks like from a different perspective. Over the next few days I am going to post different categories of ways we can support the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in our lives, elevate their voices, and give them a seat at the table to be heard.

For tonight, I will start with just a few ways we can support those in our immediate circle….

1. Stop arguing on social media – Yes, all lives matter. However, if Black lives mattered to society, we wouldn’t need to say it. So for the next week I challenge you to stop using that as a come back, or a comment on others pages. If you are against violence, hear the cry of Black American’s and cry with them. Turn your anger about what is currently upsetting you, towards the injustices that BIPOC currently face.

2. Do not be color blind, and do not say “I just don’t see color” – Psychologically, there are hundreds of reasons it is bad to choose to ignore color. I get it, this for a long time was how inclusion was preached. Not today. Choose instead to see the diversity, and the incredible aspects of different cultures that God has designed.

Choosing to not see color:

– Limits your ability to appreciate individualism- Minimizes the struggles of BIPOC today

– You’re not actively dismantling your own prejudices

– It allows you to ignore the complexity of racial issues

– You can’t fix something you don’t see (adapted from: @ohhappydani ‘s instagram graphic)

3. Read. Read. Read…and do some more reading. Here you can find a list of books that are written mostly by BIPOC. Go purchase their books, donate to their work, read and listen. Take notes! You are going to be angry. You are going to be scared. You are going to feel less than, hopeless, and unsure of where to go next. It will be overwhelming, but keep going!

We are in this together. I am in this with you. We are addressing faults in our lives we never knew existed. It’s hard, but I don’t have to worry about going on a run and never coming home because of the color of my skin. I don’t have to worry that if I accidentally paid for my food with a fake $20 bill that I might be killed. The reality that Black people face every day is harder. Let’s sit with the hard to end the unimaginable.

See you tomorrow!