Educating ourselves

I am so grateful my kids are not at school right now.

It’s not easy being the only black kid in a school class filled with white kids. It’s not easy being the only black kid in the whole school. It’s not easy being the only black people in a whole sea of white people, most who have little to no idea about systemic racism and what it’s like belonging to a visual minority.

My younger kids get to represent everything black all the time, and right now I can’t stand the thought of all the questions they would get from their friends and maybe even teachers. As if they would even know the world of systemic racism at the age of 12 & 13, or how the world functions. They’re not even adults yet, but they still get all kinds of questions!

So I’m so, so grateful they’re not at school right now, and mainly get their news about BLM from us parents.

No matter how much I try to make their lives better, I can’t make the world not racist. But what I can do is educate myself on the matter, and people in my environs. I try to do just that, and maybe, just maybe that makes the world my kids are living in just a little bit better.

At the moment I’m all out of words, but luckily there are lots of other people talking who are much better at it than I am.

If you are white like I am and want to educate yourself just like I do – a good place to start is Light Watkins and his Instagram feed. He makes space for questions and talks about how to reach out, and how to be a better person in general. Go take a look at his Instagram and educate yourself! And hopefully together we might make the world just a tiny bit better.

Here’s another long list of helpful resources.

P.S. This goes out to everyone reading this! Educate yourselves, and educate your kids. Because your kids are the future, just like mine are, and together we all decide what kind of world we want to live in

 

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Yes, you can be well-meaning and still be racist!

Sometimes (like, most of the time) people seem to not understand what racial structures are, and that they themselves can somehow be involved without being well-meaning. Yes, you can be well-meaning and still be a part of racial structures. You can be anti-racist, and still not see your own prejudices and privileges. You can say and do hurtful things to others and not realize it.

Facts – what happened – is one thing.

Intent – why it happened – is another.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to hurt anyone with your words or actions. If your words or actions hurt someone, they were hurtful. Period. Ignorance is not an excuse -it is an explanation. When you know better, you do better – otherwise you are just a piece of dirt, to paraphrase two wise women (Maya Angelou & Astrid Lindgren).

And what is the antidote to ignorance? To talk about it. To make change by acknowledging things the way they are. If we don’t acknowledge how things are, we will never be able to change them.

Which is why it makes me so happy to see all the kids marching against violence of any kind all around the globe! Only through awareness can we accomplish change.

 

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