In times like this, it’s hard to find the words to say or actions to take. There is nothing easy about what is happening in our nation and the long, many times unspoken and ignored racism that occurs to people of color. If you’re like me, you’re upset right now because of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent violence that has erupted.
It’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing on television right now has been happening since the inception of our country. It has many names. It’s called racism, oppression, trauma, silence, pain, genetic inequality, generational instability, and so much more. And, we cannot avoid speaking about it, because when we don’t name it, we cannot change it.
Many times, I find myself at home, ready to write something on social media, or reach out to a friend, but I don’t, because I don’t always know the “right thing to say.” But, staying silent has never changed or fixed any issues in our lives – it takes courage and vulnerability to make a change. When we ignore discomfort, or when we try to mask our unease around racism, it takes root in our subconsciousness, and will unconsciously drive our reactions for our entire lives. At this time, we cannot avoid the discomfort around racism, because, for many, our avoidance on this topic is literally manifesting itself into violence.
As much as I feel torn between the privileges and the oppression that I carry – I have to say this: I recognize that my privileges outweigh my oppressions.
- I recognize that I am privileged when I go for a run.
- I recognize that I am privileged when I walk into my home.
- I recognize that I am privileged when I go to church.
- I recognize that I am privileged because I can ask a police officer a question or for help.
- I recognize that I am privileged because I can reach for my wallet or ID.
- I recognize that I am privileged when I walk into and out of a store.
- I recognize that I am privileged because of my skin color, gender, and language.
I recognize that I am conscious that the privileges I carry were simply handed to me in life. I also recognize that through privilege, it is my responsibility to not ask what I can do for people of color, but rather to recognize that a systemic change is needed. We cannot try to attack racism at the branches, but rather, sift through to find it and pull it out at the root.
I invite each of you, that at this time to begin with grounding yourself in where you are in relation to our larger community.
- Ground yourself in humility. Be willing to open up to new ways of thinking and being, be willing to learn, ask for help, and be wrong at times.
- Acknowledge your privileges without judgment or defense, reframe to think of them simply as social advantages that you have.
- Become aware of your unconscious biases and have the courage to address them head-on. Find ways to remove biases because they may inadvertently be occupying a space where healing and inclusion would better fit.
At AWE, we have free references and resources that address uncertainty and navigating difficult moments – feel free to reference those. If you are seeking a space of safety or community, reach out to myself or anyone on our team because we truly believe that at the root of being your best self, is to recognize you’re human first.
Resources that Address Uncertainty and Navigating Difficult Moments
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