Honestly, I don't really know how to write about this yet. I have a lot to learn. I feel like I have been silent for decades and that no longer feels right. So I'm just going to start. I might do it wrong, but I'm going to try.
I don't know what it's like to fear for my life when going for a walk, a run, sitting in my car, or going to the store. That is because I am a white person, and because of this, I have white priveledge. Being white doesn't mean that I don't have struggles or issues, but worrying about how my skin color will affect the way people look at me and if I will be arrested, harassed, or killed because of it is not one of them.
I'm now starting to understand this. I've never been racist. Loud racism has always made me angry, uncomfortable, and has hurt my heart. But have I been anti-racist? Not really.
I've sat uncomfortably in social situations when stereotypes and prejudice have happened. I've heard the "N" word many times and haven't said enough to make it stop. I've listened as a teacher told me, "I'm not going to celebrate Black History Month with my students until there is a white history month," feeling uncomfortable but not knowing what to say.
We have all watched for years as black people are being beaten to death for being black. I've done nothing. Though completely heart wrenching and infuriating, it felt like someone else's fight.
I have always wanted people to be treated equal. That seems obvious and like it should go without saying, as does the statement Black Lives Matter. Obviously. But what can I do? I'm kind to black people and people of color. I don't feel like I treat them differently than other people. And I certainly don't harbor any anger toward them as a race. I stay in my lane most of the time and show support for their causes. Isn't that enough?
I've learned it's not enough. This is my fight too.
It's time to learn. I shouldn't rely on black people to explain racism and anti-racism to me. They have enough of a burden to carry, I shouldn't be another thing weighing them down. Instead I'm going to do my best to understand, educate myself, and take a stand when necessary. It's about listening, reading, understanding petitions and protests and taking part when appropriate, and supporting POC businesses.
And when necessary (though I hope it becomes much more rare) it's my responsibility to shut down racist or prejudice remarks.
It won't be enough, but it's a start.
Instead of sharing my own content this week on social media or with my subscribers, I've been sharing books, businesses and resources created by people of color. It is part of the #amplifymelanatedvoices challenge created by @jessicawilson.msrd and @blackandembodied . I hope this is a small step to amplify their voices.
If you have other resources that have resonated with you, please share in the comments below!
Americanah by Chimamanada Ngozi Adichie- Ficitional book about a young woman from Nigeria that moves to America and begins a blog about being a Non-American Black person. Personally, this has given me a different lens to look through in regards to racism and stereotyping.
How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi- Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. (Book summary)
Selma- Ava Duvernay
Just Mercy- Destin Daniel Cretton
If Beale Street Could Talk- Barry Jenkins
The Hate You Give- George Tillman Jr.
Dear White People- Just Simien
1619 by The New York Times
Code Switch by NPR
The Diversity Gap
Intersectionality Matters! by Kimberle Crenshaw
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
Pod for the Cause
Food Bloggers and Dietitians:
All the Healthy Things- Real food recipes w/ an emphasis on Whole30.
Flourishing Heights- Wellness blog and company helping women truly understand the powerful relationship between what they eat and how their body looks, feels and functions to help them make more conscious, wiser choices.
The Nutrition Tea- A registered dietitian nutritionist that covers facts about popular health topics.
Maya Feller Nutrition- Registered Dietitian who specializes in nutrition for chronic disease prevention.
Snag this list of Etsy shops run by black business owners. These are talented artists and creators selling everything from jewelry to paintings. Themadmommy.com
Instagram accounts that have helped me understand this movement and my role (but also have other cools things to share):
There you have it, my short list of resources to support and start to understand the injustices POC have been through.
Honestly, it has felt uncomfortable for me to share my perspective on this topic. It's uncomfortable for a million reasons but I now understand that my silence on the issue has contributed to the problem. There is no way I'm going to contribute to systemic racism. I might do this wrong, share the wrong thing, or even offend some people, but I am doing my best to do better. I hope you join me.