Can I be honest? I have been struggling to write. Not because there is nothing to say (and if you know me, you know I am never short on words), but because I have been lost when it comes to finding the right thing to say. Here are some of the things that have been said to me over the past few weeks:
“My father is probably not going to be welcome around my family, because he continues to make racist comments about my children. He is racist towards his own grandchildren, and doesn’t see how harmful it is.”
“My girlfriends things were vandalized and they left racist hate speech written all over it. I am so worried for her safety”
“No one knows my family is struggling with these race issues because my son is adopted, and I don’t share pictures of our family on social media. We are a mixed family.”
“Am I going to loose my job if I speak up about racism at work. Will I get kicked out of my church if I bring up the current issues with our board?”
“I had to talk with my children today about how they act in front of the police. I wish I could have shared with them that they can feel safe, and go to them in times of need”
“My boss makes microagressions towards my gender and my race, but if I address it he might think I am a wimp. It just gets exhausting to constantly be reminded that I am different than him. He just doesn’t get it.”
Y’all. What do you say when people tell you these things? Cause this girl right here just wanted to cry in each conversation. My heart is breaking. I know that most people come up with good excuses to hide their racism, but here is the thing. If we are white, we have done something racist, and are going to do it again.
I share these because I need you to know that we are all going through something. But at the same time, we all make a difference. I encourage you to set a goal for yourself over this next week to just listen. Maybe don’t argue on instagram or twitter, don’t post, just ask questions of those you disagree with and listen. My guess is we just don’t understand one another.
My desire with this blog is to provide a platform to discuss real life. Today, that means discussing systemic racism. Tomorrow, it might mean discussing language barriers at work, how to encourage others in times of need, why education is important, or how to get involved in local gov’t.
My question to you is, in this season, in this time of need, what do you need from me? Is it stories that provide another viewpoint that you previously had not understood? Is it formal training opportunities? Is it networking? Is it a hug?
I don’t have the words, but I trust they will come when needed. I would love to listen to your words, and start learning from one another. <3
Disclaimer: The gender/relationships in the quotes were edited to protect the privacy of those who were speaking with me.