Thank you to Andy Witchger for the photo.
BLACK LIVES MATTER. WE ALL NEED TO BE SAYING IT.
Mov/ed is about learning to learn — and what I’m learning right now is many many many of us have a lot to learn about racism in our country and how to stand up against it.
I’ve been deeply inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests and by the rush of information that’s being shared to educate white people (primarily), where they have been innocently or irresponsibly ignorant of our history and the racism that permeates our society.
This past week, I listened to Black history podcasts 1619 and Uncivil, read numerous statements on the lynching of George Floyd and the need for police reform, and bookmarked anti-racist reading lists here, here, and here. So far, all of it has been gut wrenching and none of it has been surprising. But even though I’m not surprised to learn or be reminded of white abuse of Black people – through physical and social violence, through policies and laws – I don’t carry this trauma with me everyday. Which means when I don’t see examples of racism up close, I forget to look for it in the policies of our institutions and laws of our communities. But hopefully I don’t need to explain white privilege to you.
But I’m ashamed of myself for forgetting. For being ignorant. So I’ve been chewing on “how can I change what I do? From effectively nothing to something?” It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that I can start by learning the truth of our history + present. So that I can’t forget. So that I spot racism from a mile away and have a few tools to speak up against it.
Because learning makes us aware. It forces us to see the world in a different way. And I’m pretty sure with new awareness, you can’t go back to seeing it the old way.
Racism and injustice are ugly, and hard to stomach, and I for one suck at facing injustice head on. But it’s time to buck up + do it anyway. And, because I believe anyone who wants to can learn anything, I know I can learn how to stand up against racism. And of course, it’s not like it should be hard. But it will likely be emotional and uncomfortable, it will certainly take up space and time that I currently give to other interests. So it will be work, as all learning is. And that’s just what it takes.
I’m looking to organizations that are offering education to help anyone learn the history they need to know, learn the strategies they can take to face injustice and help right the wrongs, and learn how to keep at it until it’s part of their everyday.
If you want to join me in dialogue, please let me know. I’m not sure yet how I will offer space for that dialogue (though I always enjoy a good 1:1 chat!), or whether it’s better for me to point you to other resources for dialogue, but I will keep you posted.