I haven’t had the words to address the past couple of weeks and all the insane shit going on in our world right now. I still don’t have the words. I don’t feel that I can add anything to the conversation that would be helpful or comforting or productive. But I also
don’t want to be can’t be silent.
The tension surrounding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement has pierced through to everyone’s hearts. It is on all of our minds. Finally. White people have not had to face these things head on. We still aren’t, but finally this is something no one can ignore right now. It is coming up in my conversations at work, with friends, on social media – everywhere. People who might not normally think about these issues because of their privilege are thinking about these issues.
I honestly don’t know what to say. It’s odd, because if you meet me in real life, it becomes clear early on that I am not shy about talking politics. I am passionate about equality and I don’t try and hide it.
But for some reason, I don’t talk about it much on the blog. Sometimes it feels like work – I was a Sociology graduate student and talking about these issues was my job for a long time. It also is exhausting. Where do I even start? Do I do a post on what feminism is compared to what people think it is? Do I do a post about how reverse racism isn’t a thing? Then it feels weird to act like an authority on these topics or something, when I’m not… So I end up talking about how guilty I feel sometimes, and try to make sense of things through documentaries and helpful articles…. it helps sharing, but it all feels…inadequate.
But. I can’t be silent, and I have to use whatever voice I have to speak my mind. I can’t keep hearing people say “All Lives Matter” and feel like I am just sitting here, in my privileged life, appalled at the state of things, and not say anything – even if it is inadequate.
Bottom line – this is not acceptable. We cannot, as the privileged group in power, see these terrifying things, see our fellow citizens treated this way, hear them cry out in pain, and act like everything is okay. We can’t ignore statistics, we can’t ignore the stories and painful words of our neighbors in such pain and torment – we can’t support whatever systems are in place causing this pain. We have to listen. We have to look at each other and think of what we can do to help. This feels like the 60s – all of these clearly unfair and horrendous things happening in our cities, and white people are doing nothing. Much worse, some white people are saying, “Why do we need to focus on only that?”
I don’t know. My words are failing. They come out and just fall on the ground, just pathetic attempts to do – anything. I feel hopeless. But I don’t feel a fraction of the hopelessness others in this country feel.
I want to turn off the news. I want to not think about it for a while. But that is my privilege, right there.
I am going to share some things I have said and shared online as things were unfolding, in case they are helpful, or in case they speak better to what I wish I could communicate than what I can put in writing now.
The status below came up in my “memories” on Facebook – nothing has changed. Or have things gotten worse?
The beginning quote is from this powerful article, “I, Racist”.
One of my friend’s awesome commentary:
A comic in the comments that was also perfect:
Why white people freak out when they’re called out about race.
This clip of good people gives me a glimmer of hope.
And finally, why reverse racism is not a thing. I seem to be explaining that a lot lately, and this video sums it up way better than I can:
I hope desperately that we can all learn – quickly – to lead with love and listen first.