I am beyond thrilled to share thoughts from our community member, Linda Robinson who has been part of a race and social justice study group for some 4+ years. She wrote the following yesterday and gave me permission to share it with you all here.
The social change that is needed now will not take place unless we all speak up and voice our ideas. We must also take action steps to follow up on these ideas if we want systemic change. I am committed to keeping you all inspired to take better care of yourselves so we can better care for our local and global community during this important window of time when we are being asked to step up and build a better future for generations to come.
Self study and study of our nation's history is paramount to making positive changes in our world.
Thank you, Linda, for sharing with us! I invite more of you to send me your ideas and resources to share with our community so we can work collectively towards a brighter future free of racism.
with love, care, and action,
It’s been too long, so long, forever long.
White People. White People. Dear Dear White People. It is time. It has been time.
Educate Yourself. This is not new. This is not happening for the first time. We know this. There has been injustice and rage for the longest time. Keening. Voices have been speaking for a long long time. Read. Go back and read James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time). Listen. Come forward and read and then read some more. Read novels: Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, Jesmyn Ward and more. Read history. Read analysis. Read Ta Nehisi Coates on reparations (Atlantic June 2014). Read historian Carol Anderson (White Rage) on racial backlash and on voting rights (One Person, No Vote). Read our history. Re-read the history of the Civil War (How the South Won the Civil War – Heather Cox Richardson). Especially read the history of Reconstruction. Read about redlining. Read about income disparities based on inherited property wealth. Read about race in our country after World War II. Read the history of Native peoples in North America. Educate yourself. White women carry a particular burden. Read. Interrogate yourself. The reading lists are long. Ask for recommendations. Just start. Find trusted friends to read and discuss with. White friends. Black people do not have time to explain the world to us white people. Listen. Stop talking. Educate your children. And grandchildren.
Watch. There are many powerful documentaries and movies. Start with “13th”. Move on to “When They See Us”. Don’t miss “Just Mercy”. The list is oh so long. Ask for recommendations. Sit with your discomfort. Feel it.
Watch for implicit bias. Watch yourself for microaggressions. Find out what that word means. Don’t patronize. Don’t say you understand. Empathy is not the answer. It is not enough. If it makes you feel good it is probably not what you need to be listening to or watching.
Travel. Travel to Birmingham. And Montgomery. To Washington DC To Selma. Walk lightly and with humility. And if you can’t travel far, walk your own town or city. Open your eyes and ears. Listen and look. The legacy is everywhere.
Vote. Did I say vote? Vote! And demand voting rights and voting access.
Shop with integrity – Think before you buy. Who are you supporting? What are you supporting? Are you supporting small businesses, black businesses?
Check yourself – What happens when you are uncomfortable? How does uncomfortable feel? What happens to you when you are the only one who looks like you on the street? In the classroom? Sit with that.
Look around – Who is missing from the group? Who is missing from your grocery store? Benaroya Hall? The middle school band? Your church? Your work place? The halls of your child’s school? Your neighborhood? Who is present? Who is missing? Ask why? And then sit with the answer.
Guilt is not the answer. Guilt changes nothing. Acknowledge. Just start. Keep going. Don’t stop. Educate yourself. Sit with your learning.