LET’S HAVE THE CONVERSATION
I was guided to write this quickly and succinctly after reading a post on facebook entitled “Dear White Facebook Friend”! I want to open the conversation with love, and peaceful approaches not anger resentment or your strong opinion one way or the other. Save the righteousness for your journal not here. My grandma always said if you cannot say anything nice don’t say it at all. What she should of said is, if you cannot find it in your heart to speak with love then shut up until you can!! Just Listen instead!!
My first inclination was to keep going and not read the post, as I have tried really hard not to pay attention to the chaos that is ensuing across our globe. Ask anyone they’ll tell you I have a hard time with the news and will not discuss the violence and dismay they insist on spewing! But I read it all the way through, without judgement and without fear of what it might bring up in me! See Im a white woman in this country but I have always refused to see the racial differences in anyone I meet. I meet the person and if they resonate with me Im happy to revisit the encounter.
But what I didn't know was what my own child had been faced with his whole life. My son is mixed and up until a couple of years ago I had no idea he had any misgivings growing up in a white family! I was aware enough to protect my son from obvious discrimination but I wasn't seeing the everyday struggle he had to face in school or the military. I had turned a blind eye because I didn't not want to see the disparity that still existed. It hit home one day on a road trip with my son, we were on our way back to Colorado and the highway was shut down in Wyoming. Like everyone else we got out of the car to go into the local gas station and get some information on timeframe or possible alternate routes. We were about 5th in line and everyone asked their questions and paid for their purchases. When we approached the older white gentleman his smile became stern and when we asked if there was an alternate route we were abruptly told to go back to where we came from! A little confused and ignorant of what this man was actually implying I asked again if there was another way into Colorado cause that was our home and going backward was not my intent. Again he said “I don’t know what to tell you lady except to turn around and go back west.” With that said I bought a map and walked out with Michael only focused on finding another route home. It didn’t dawn on me until half way down that mountain and everyone was asleep what that white man was actually saying to me.
So I say lets stop being angry that it does happen, stop pretending it doesn’t happen, and stop feeling apathy like there is nothing you can do when it happens. Start talking about it, start loving conversations about what racism really means to you and with the people around you. My aunt asked me if I thought it would help to hire an all-Black squad in Baltimore, my answer is of course that might make a huge difference, but the reality is that’s not happening with the labor laws for racial equality in the job place. Of course you cannot just hire a black only public police department, not without backlash. But the real reason I do not see this as possible is because there is nothing in place fostering these youth into a partnership with the police. They are and will always be the Po-po to the disadvantaged communities. These young men in these communities are targets and suspects in their own neighborhoods. Why aren’t we talking about it more? My aunt at least wanted to have a resolution but I think before there can be resolutions there has to be an out loud conversation about the actual problem!
Have you ever felt like you were judged, hurt, told no just because of the shade of your skin? Once we can get that elephant out of the room I bet we can start working on other atrocities festering among us, like bullying fat people and equality for all LGBTQ people young and old. Think about it for a while, don’t feel inclined to respond to this post, make your own post if you feel guided. Talk to your kids, text your friend, confide in your pastor. Whatever it is you feel guided to do, just do it but do it out loud and do it from a place of LOVE! Lets have the hard conversations and then lets listen to each other with our hearts! It is time for all loving things to be born anew but not until we have cast away every ounce of duality, fear and silenceness!! We are the love and light! So Be it!