I thought that if I was just not racist, things would be ok. I thought that I took myself out of the racism equation.
Man, was I wrong. I've seen dialogue on social media and in articles that say that a lot of white people have been sleeping and have now woken up. I feel that in a way that I have never felt before. The recent horrific murder of George Floyd has made me realize just how hard I've tried to live my life under the radar. As a child I learned that being agreeable and peaceful was a way to avoid bad attention. Follow the rules, they're there for a reason. I let people with strong opinions take the lead, because I wanted them to be comfortable and I was used to being directed or redirected by the strong personalities in my family. I lived in fear of saying the wrong thing that could make someone mad at me, because having someone mad at me was a devastating feeling for my sensitive soul. The unpredictability of people's reactions left me anxious to please.
I'm tired of living like that. All of those beliefs made it easy for me to keep following the rules, and the system. Don't make waves. Don't make other people uncomfortable. I've been asleep, focused only on my world and what was in front of me. Out of sight, out of mind. I thought that I was out of the equation when I've been part of the problem, and benefitting from a system built to hold others down.
So as protests go on around the nation, and Blackout Tuesday happens, and people are amplifying black voices and art and content on social media, I find myself paralyzed. What is an authentic way that I can contribute to change? And not just for a Tuesday, but every day, so that I can stop being asleep? Everyone has a different answer to these questions. I only know that posting a black square or going to a protest is not nearly enough.
I'm starting with conversations with people closest to me. Getting ok with feeling uncomfortable. Reading and reading some more. Listening. Learning as much as I can so that I can have open and honest discussions with family and friends. It's a drop in the bucket, but it's a start. I never want to fall asleep again. If you want to talk about what you're doing, how you're feeling, or want someone to process things with, I'm here for that too. Love to you all.
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