For days, I’ve been wondering what to say. I just haven’t had the words, but there’s also a part of me that doesn’t want to get it wrong. I want to be supportive and create a safe space, but I worry about saying the wrong thing and hurting people further. I mean well in my heart, but I’m not a person of color, so I can’t speak to that reality. If I say nothing, that may be taken as a sign that I am okay with racism and police brutality, so it’s better to use my voice as a blogger to contribute to making the world a better place. As a coach, it is my responsibility to make my clients feel safe and respected. If a woman of color finds my blog, I want her to know that she is welcomed and accepted here for who she is.
As I have been watching the events of the past week unfold, I have become deeply saddened and appalled by the racism in our country and the lack of leadership and kindness from the powers that be. The division of our country is heartbreaking to watch, but even more than that, it’s heartbreaking to see the pain of people who have been oppressed and under valued for generations. It’s heartbreaking to see people get murdered needlessly because of the color of their skin. My thoughts are with those who are no longer with us because of police brutality. I hope their families can somehow find peace.
I hope anyone reading this sees that I’m coming from a place of love and compassion. Not only for people of color, but for humanity itself. I will acknowledge that I’m white and have no idea what it’s like to be a person of color and never will, but there are definitely pieces of this that I understand from a human perspective, loving people of color as well as being apart of a group who has been oppressed and under valued by society. However, I won’t share my stories now because it is not the time. It is time to listen to our friends and community members of color. It is time that their voices be heard. It is time for real change. We can’t go back to normal before the pandemic. That normal is just too scary for too many people in our country.
Black Lives Matter
As white people, we have to examine why we feel triggered or threatened when we hear a black person say black lives matter. Just because a black person tells you that their lives matter doesn’t mean that yours don’t. It means that we all matter equally or at least we should. At the same time, there is wide spread police brutality. Yes, it happens to white people too and it shouldn’t be tolerated in any form. The police are supposed to serve and protect. This is something we need to address as a society. I know this is uncomfortable, but stay with me. We definitely need to work on this together, but first we need to start healing the pain that is right in front of us at this moment.
Justice for George Floyd
Right now, there is outrage over the murder of George Floyd and the others before him. Emotions are running high and people have been traumatized. Lives have been lost, businesses have been lost and peace of mind has been lost. Hatred is spreading like wildfire. The thing is, we may be feeling unsafe now, but can you imagine feeling like that every time you step out of your home for years on end?
Show Compassion and Understanding
This may be a bad analogy, but if a friend comes to you crying, heartbroken and in pain, do you tell them, “my pain is just as great as your pain.” No, you’d sit with them. You’d care for them. You’d lift them up with kind words and or actions. In return, when you are in pain, they’d sit with you and care for you. A level of trust has been built. Then comes the time to bond over shared experiences. Traumatic or otherwise. This is what we need to do for people of color right now. We need to listen and be supportive because as white people, we will never fully understand their reality.
We Need Each Other
The truth is we all matter, but, none of us matter if we are not treated as equals. Why not start out by reaching out, listening to each other and speaking up when we see racism and injustice in action? I don’t have the answers, but I see it as one large complicated puzzle that we have to work on together. When you start a puzzle, it makes sense to start with the edges and then work your way towards the middle. I see the racism, division and hatred as the edges. As we put them together, that stuff starts to disappear and we start to see the middle, the bigger picture. The picture where we are all connected. We can see all around the puzzle and see how the pieces form together to create the whole image. In that image, we see our differences, the things we value and our shared experiences. We see our history and the things we’ve overcome. We see the things we can accomplish when we are united.
Making Our World Safe
In order to start thinking about the police brutality problem across all races, we have to start putting the puzzle together first. We have to stand with people of color. Standing together brings healing and builds trust. One person has to reach out first and people of color have asked us as white people to stand with them. I stand with you. My blog is a safe place for moms of color.
I hope that one day black parents won’t have to have these discussions with their children about how to be safe around the police. I hope that one day, parents of color won’t have to tell their children about the hatred in the world based simply on the color of their skin. I hope that one day, our multiracial children will feel proud of every part of their identity. They won’t have to pass as something else or hide the parts that make them unique and wonderful. They won’t have to deal with stereotypes, discrimination, hatred or feeling afraid for their lives. It all starts at home. We need to tell our children about race and that our experiences may be different from what others experience. We need to show children that diversity is valued and respected. We need to have uncomfortable discussions with friends or family members to help all of us grow. We need to start healing and putting our country back together, but this time, we need to create an environment that is tolerant, strong, safe and a more just place.