Updated: Jun 8, 2020
As tensions rise across the world, so should conversations surrounding racism. Harsh truths are hard to address, but staying silent is harming the movement to overcome oppression and injustice. Some need to benefit from your discomfort now more than ever.
Pull up a chair and join us at the table as we make uncomfortable conversations the norm.
Some things are hard to talk about. I get it. Even for me, a Mixed Black woman in America. Throughout the unfolding of what is, I've had to look at myself and ask, "What are you going to do?" I had a conversation with my mentor (a sister) during one of my darkest hours since the unfolding of George Floyd's murder, and as I sat with the grief of it all, she told me, "Your parents chose for you. You've been protesting your whole life!"
"You've Been Protesting Your WHOLE Life..."
The statement struck me like lighting in the dead of night. It was hot. It was cold. It was bold and very real. To be mixed with two of the most polarized ethnic groups ever known, is a whole movement in itself. Our parents chose to stand up against sociological perspectives on race relations and division. They made a statement by creating children whose phenotype would come to confuse more people than I am willing to count. Children who would go on to develop their own unique outlook of the world. Still, what did this mean right now?
After days in thought, late-night journaling, and barely any sleep, I came to this:
They (my parents) started the change, and it is up to me to perpetuate it.
My own skin complexion may have afforded me more than my darker complected sisters and brothers and I am willing to sit with that. I am eager to face my own biases of what lies beyond the conscious mind and seek to re-learn. I am anxious to find understanding surrounding colorism so that I know how it affects those I love most and those I don't know. I am willing to reform, because to make a difference, change must first start within.
"Change Must First Start Within..."
Seeking understanding to become a better listener, a better communicator, and inevitably a better me is just the beginning. Although I am choosing to become more educated on racial topics, it doesn't mean that I haven't experienced injustices, biases, and unfairness first hand, due to being a Mixed Black woman. It just means that I want to understand what I don't know so that I can be more of the change that I speak about, and the change that I seek. All of that to say this, I encourage you to do the same.
We, as a world view, cannot sit around and ignore racism. We can no longer tell oppressed people that they have the same opportunities, until necessary measures are executed to prove that statement true. We can no longer act as if affirmative action helped propel Black and Brown people forward more than it pointed out that innumerable institutions and organizations were getting away with oppression all along.
We cannot sit and watch as those at a racial advantage and who are innately privileged, give presentations on diversity and inclusion in rooms that hold only a handful of ethnic people. Until we seek to understand and invite diverse populations into organizations to work and to deliver messages on equity and insertion, the problem will always remain. Until we learn how to occupy space with those who do not look like us, diversity will never be achieved. And then the appropriate question left to ask would be, "Is this all a part of systemic racism?"
Now that the world has been shaken awake, staying silent is no longer the way to address obvious discrepancies within our systems. It doesn't matter your race, we all stand to gain by how much we give. Now is the time to find a way to contribute to change. Change can be organized and carried out in various ways. If you are confused on what to do, I invite you to listen to the five-minute podcast titled Minneapolis Energy. You can find the episode on this website by going to the menu and clicking on the podcast tab.
I believe in us as a human race. I believe in the masses who have come together in solidarity to fight the war against racism, systemic oppression, and injustice. We are stronger together than we will ever be apart. So, please, take a seat at the table as we devise a plan for CHANGE.
Click HERE for another guide to help with involvement.