I am a white woman of privilege, not by wealth or status, but merely by the color of my skin. I understand this now & I am listening. I am listening to women of color, no matter of wealth or status, who fear for the lives of their children every day just because of the color of their skin. I am listening to the true stories being expressed by black men & women of their personal trials of racism, discrimination & injustice as is part of their daily lives. I am listening & learning about the history of systemic racism. I am listening to those who describe the countless ways in which racism continues to progress in our world today. I am listening to the reality of statistics & facts that describe the societal disparities that contrast between black & white. I am listening to those who say that if/when I stay silent that I am a racist. I am listening to those who say that I am either a racist or an anti-racist, there is no in between. I am listening . . .
It’s important to specifically say “Black” Lives Matter. It’s more important to truly believe it, to act on it, to live it, to be a voice for it, to constantly be aware of it & to listen. I never thought of myself as a racist, but now realize that I have been complicit in my silence & in denial by my ignorance and/or by looking the other way indifferent to the real struggle for justice & equality that has persevered for African Americans throughout their generations. I will never know what it’s like or how hard it is, or has been to be a black person in America, but now I am listening. Expressing sadness, sympathy & outrage by recent events is not enough. I need to educate myself & find ways to contribute & serve. I don't want to be a racist. I have a lot to learn. I will stay committed. I will hold myself accountable & I will try my best. I want to be an anti-racist.
I am listening . . .& you can too!
Here is a really informative conversation between Brené Brown & Ibram X. Kendi, Professor & New York Times Best Selling Author of "How to Be an Antiracist". He is also Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University.
With love & respect -