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THAT WAS THEN
In the past, I thought I had a good understanding of diversity and honoring all people. My non-profit about diversity appreciation, my social work and more had me feeling good about myself. I thought I was doing my part to eliminate racial discrimination.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
THIS IS NOW
Now, thanks to those who have had the courage to gather, protest, speak and educate, I am discovering that there is so much I don’t know about being Black in the United States. As I watch, walk, read and listen, I am horrified and heartbroken about the systemic pervasiveness of disrespect and destruction of Black people’s lives that is rooted in racism.
I understand that I will never understand.
Now that I know this, I cannot go back to not knowing. Or not acting.
As parents, we’ve become accustomed to pouring ourselves into the well-being of our young people. Parenthood instills four very important skillsets that are needed as we re-educate ourselves and take action to right some of our society’s built-in wrongs:
- We’ve got tenacity. I’m guessing that every parent receiving this email from me knows the experience of hanging in there, even when it’s hard and tiring. Giving up on our children is not an option. Quitting parenting because we’re tired is not an option. We’ve got grit.
- We’re good at winging it. Every parent has to guess and do their best while raising children. We experiment. We find resources to help us learn.
- We’ve had to surrender our illusions of perfection. No parent is perfect. Period. Life doesn’t always play out perfectly. So whether we like it or not, parenting forces us to face our own imperfection.
- We understand sacrifice for the well-being of children we care about. ‘Nuf said.
Based on these four essential skills, WE PARENTS HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to work so that ALL children experience the rights, respect and opportunities that we want for our own children. The more children get to grow into their best selves, the better our world is for all of us.
We can’t change where we come from or what we’ve been through.
There is no shame in discomfort as we educate ourselves and take action for change.
I see this #BLM movement as an invitation to love children better.
All of them; not just our own.
“We all have the opportunity to use this moment to create something good. Change is good. Using your privilege is good. Proactively learning and unpacking your bias is good. Using your resources and talents to dismantle white supremacy is good.”
As a white person with plenty to learn about the experience of being Black in America, I’ve been diving into movies, shows and podcasts to educate myself in ways that draw my kids in. These are a few of my favorites so far:
Still On My List