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Sat May 30, 2020, 08:00 PM

I cried...

Saturday, May 30, 2020
At 5am, I finally cried.
After checking the news feed while awake pre-dawn, seeing the fires burning across the country and having mixed feelings that only come when one is safely removed from events… I laid back down.

The cat was on my shoulder and the blankets a bit stuffy, my allergies acting up and I thought, “ugh, I can’t breathe.”

And ALL my fucking white privilege hit me smack in the face and I realized those words would NEVER be ok to say offhand again.

I cried.
Not out of sorrow or grief or worry or pain…but out of GUILT.
I realized how much of a hypocritical ass I have been. How easily removed I was over the events of years past. I have felt the usual anger and disgust at the state of racism in America, the senseless killings and acquittals and cries for justice… but somehow thought I was above it.
It was not ME. I’M not the racist.
I cried when I realized I AM no better than the racists … BECAUSE I believed I wasn’t like them.

Growing up a middle class white girl in Oakland, California, I thought because I was used to diversity I was all good. So what if my mother from Mississippi said some things I still remember and cringe at now? My dad was one of those guys who would strike up a conversation with anyone, regardless of their race. I thought I was safe because I adopted that same geniality. I thought because I knew many people growing up from different cultures. I was “open minded,” sure.
My teenage daughter came out early being gay, and I was the mom who embraced all her LGBT friends and accepted them as their parents struggled. I had to ask a lot of questions and learn about pronouns, but I learned how to be an Ally. Again, I thought I was cool, that I held none of that hatred in me.

But I look back on certain jokes I have made, words I have used that have no business being in my mouth. I see that I have allowed myself a complacency. Just because I love me some black folks does not mean I am free of the inherent racism that is insidious as a silent disease.
It has been so fucking normalized to judge others by their skin. To stereotype and discount others’ experiences based on their “otherness” or even the belief that they are “less than.” It is the Quiet Racism we have to watch out for. The racism that dwells in the shadows of our hearts and poisons our thoughts.

And again, as I write this, I cry.
I want to open myself up to the difficult conversations. To ask questions that may sound insensitive but are really born out of ignorance. I want to truly be there for my black brothers and sisters, as well as my Native American, Jewish, Muslim, and other marginalized friends and strangers. It is about shifting the thoughts in our minds to use different language. It is about really LIVING that mantra of “We are ALL One” and fighting our own inner nature to separate and see boundaries instead of inclusion.

I want to be better than I have been. I welcome the change.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply I cried... (Original post)
FirstLight May 30 OP
Laffy Kat May 30 #1
FirstLight May 30 #2
pwb May 30 #3
Joinfortmill May 30 #4
AlexSFCA May 30 #5
FirstLight May 30 #6
summer_in_TX May 30 #7
FirstLight May 30 #8
summer_in_TX May 31 #9
FirstLight May 31 #10
FirstLight May 31 #11
CMYK May 31 #12
FirstLight May 31 #13
FirstLight May 31 #14

Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2020, 08:06 PM

1. I have a lot of guilt, too.

Guilt, IMO, is a sign of growth in a way. I try to examine it, learn from it, and then let it go. Although, I'm not always successful in letting it go.

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Response to Laffy Kat (Reply #1)

Sat May 30, 2020, 08:08 PM

2. Its important to really call out ourselves on that though, it IS part of becoming more aware...

I hope that my black friends will mtalk with me and help me be a better Ally to them as a result of this epiphany.
I used to laugh off certain jokes or things I woudl say, and it's just NOT okay anymore.

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2020, 08:09 PM

3. I keep hoping it gets better.

Maybe peaceful protest will catch on again.

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2020, 09:23 PM

4. I cried too. I think a lot of us have cried.

I watched as a George Floyd was murdered with a monstrous callousness that can only come from the depths of hell, by a so called police officer as his fellow officers watched, and the crowd begged him to stop. There really are no words for this.

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2020, 09:45 PM

5. guilt is a useless emotion

instead think of ways you can improve

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #5)

Sat May 30, 2020, 10:23 PM

6. Working on it ....that's my point....

First I had to have the epiphany...🥰🥺😕

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2020, 11:28 PM

7. I've cried more than once.

When the one black woman (a beautiful artist, a retired professional ballerina) in my book club spoke during our Tuesday Zoom, she'd been dealing with emotions and insomnia over the Amy Cooper video. Then she woke up on Tuesday and saw the video of George Floyd's death and lost it.

During our Zoom she kept looking away, struggling with emotion. At one point she said while she didn't have black kids of her own to worry about, it had made her fear for her brothers, all professional black men in their 60s whose skin was much darker than her own. I got a glimpse of her fear for them.

I could tell she was holding back some too lest we not accept her anger ("angry black woman" and fear of a degree of white fragility on the part of some of us.

In trying to be part of a conversation around DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in an organization I am part of, I couldn't get words out around the sobbing.

I know my pain is a fraction of what my black friend is experiencing. But to have a beautiful human being created in the image of God treated instead like despicable trash, hurts my soul. And it happens over and over again. The videos of those being arrested for sleeping or studying or playing a game at home while being black, or verbally abused in all kinds of situations, causes me to feel some degree of the anguish my friend feels.

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Response to summer_in_TX (Reply #7)

Sat May 30, 2020, 11:48 PM

8. Omg thank you for the reply

I would love to continue the conversation with you and others... connection is what matters


It's a bit late for me tonight, been having some 🍷...

But plz pm me to talk more 🥰

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #8)

Sun May 31, 2020, 12:29 AM

9. Thank you!

I'll try. Sunday's are busy. Weekdays too. I'm volunteering a lot right now. Website and communications (newsletters etc.)

But I have moments now and then. I generally get on here after I'm too tired to work on those projects. This is my time to catch up and connect, express an opinion.

I'd love to talk, it's just I get busy and am sometimes slow to respond because of that.

Sad time in our country!

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2020, 01:10 AM

10. Kick for night crew...even though I know the fucking awfulness is afoot...

I havent checked anything live yet...almost afraid to

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2020, 03:53 AM

11. kick

Hey

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2020, 01:58 PM

12. I think many of us are

I think many of us are "uncomfortable allies" (to borrow a phrase someone said about Joe Biden).

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Response to CMYK (Reply #12)

Sun May 31, 2020, 03:03 PM

13. I may have been...but I want to be better

My friends and neighbors deserve it ❤️

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Response to FirstLight (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2020, 08:28 PM

14. kicking again

Sent this to the local indie paper as a Letter to the Editor

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