Continuing To Be An Ally in 2021 – MLK Day

Hi Friends ~ I have been at a loss of words for so long. Dozens of times the last few months I have sat down to write with little words to share. I am not the most educated (about anything), nor the most eloquent (also about anything), but I do know that I have a community who has asked me to continue writing, sharing experiences, perspectives and asking questions.

I have a few bullet points put together that I encourage you to think about this extended weekend to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy, and what he fought for, and as we enter into Black History month in the coming weeks.

  • Racism is not a partisan issue. Racism is deep in the roots of all major parties, because it is deep in the roots of our country’s history. We have to remember that as individuals we are more than just a political party, and if we can sit and ponder enough, our beliefs probably lie on both sides of the political spectrum.
  • Injustice is everywhere. Start looking for it, and finding your place in working against it. If racism is too hot of a topic for you, start looking into ADA laws, and how they impact the lives of people who are disabled. I was in Oregon last year and watched a gentleman carry his wheelchair in one hand, and scoot himself down 2 stories of stairs because he had no legs and there was no other way of him getting up or down them. Sometimes there are laws (like ADA laws) that are made to do more than just make a small business spend money, they are to help people who can’t always stand up for themselves.
  • Learn about the difference between institutional racism (or systemic racism) and personal racism. They both exist. We have all heard someone use a derogatory word, but were your grandparents allowed to buy a house, setting your family up for financial success so that eventually you could go to college? Not everyone can say that. In fact, there are laws that prevented black people from being able to own land (not just in the slave era).
  • Follow your families history, find the ways that your family might have been impacted by redlining, social segregation, health care services, or racial profiling. Chances are, if you look like me you benefitted from most of these things. They helped further your success instead of hindering it.

For those of you who continue to read my writings, thank you! I know 2020 was really tough for so many reason. We cannot choose to ignore the hate that we have seen from our friends and families, from our extended circles, and from different events that have happened this last year.

Bonus Homework: Watch this video, and learn their names. Learn their stories, learn about their passions, their histories and learn about why it is important to remember their names.

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