At a loss for words, but it’s important to try

Hi. Thanks for reading this today. It’s been quite a week, and I’m struggling between feeling like I should say something, because I have a platform and people read what I write, and yet also feeling like there are others who say it better.

(If you can’t approach this with a generous heart, an open mind and the attitude of seeing the best in what I write, please keep moving. I’m not going to tolerate hateful comments here, and I appreciate you respecting that. We can respectfully disagree, but I’m going to keep this post focused and kind.)

I know that the work I do, in my own way, to be avowedly anti-racist every day is really important. Every conversation I have with someone has the potential to give them a glimpse of a perspective they didn’t understand. Every time I call out the racism or prejudice in front of me, it could have ripple effects, and if nothing else, it could make one person feel seen or feel loved instead of feeling betrayed or rejected or disposable. I can also point out the history and systemic inequalities that contribute to why someone is where they is or why they’re going through what they’re going through. I was privileged to be educated about these issues in a way that I know most people really aren’t. Our educational system is overly rosy and extraordinarily focused on white men, and until we are all educated on the flaws in our systems, we won’t recognize the need to change them. I know I’m extraordinarily privileged and I try to not just be aware of it, but to do something meaningful with that privilege each day.

Black lives matter. Every black person who has been murdered has been denied the right to a life, to due process, to pursue their dreams. Their families and friends have been robbed. Until we change the systems that create oppression in this country (the police, the courts, the jails, the schools, the laws, the social service systems….) we will continue to see racism, both individual and systemic, continue to flourish.

No one should live in fear. Black people, trans people, women, homosexuals, those who are living with disabilities or poor or in abusive situations….I could go on, but if we look around us, there are SO MANY people living in fear. And many of us have 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 or more of these challenges stacked against us.

Just because I’m not black doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled, or don’t struggle. It just means I haven’t known the specific experiences of racism and the prejudices due to being a black person in this country. In my opinion, to be anti-racist, every day and openly, is to be a good human being.

Our country needs leadership, visionary leadership, not a dictatorship. We need a vision for the future that works to fix these inequalities, and that won’t be complete or content until no one has to fear being murdered in their own home, walking down the street without cause or due process.

We all have a lot of mixed emotions right now. I’m trying to push the rest of them aside and focus on a vision for the future and supporting black people in every way I can right now. Those of us with a little (or a lot of) privilege and power need to make the most of it and do what’s right.

Stay safe, and take care, friends.

P.S. Here’s a list of resources to show your support and a guide to being anti-racist if you’re not sure where to start in this journey.

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