Well, clearly the answer is yes.
Or is it?
If you have never done brain surgery, you probably don’t know that Broca’s area controls speech production and it’s easily damaged.
No, I have never done brain surgery, but thanks to my trip to the Arizona science center I got to try my hand at it, without killing anyone.
I spent a lot of time in the “brain area” that day, and I learned a lot of things I did not know. This made me think about the fact that the more (sometimes awkward) questions we ask are one of the best ways I know to learn something. I should take a moment to tell you how much I love to know things. In fact, for much of my life I have carried the label of “Question Girl” and proudly. Sure, there is the mighty search engine, but a google search won’t tell you something like.
“Person of color is offensive”
“Person of color here, I don’t find the term offensive.”
In the wake of another tragic death where a black person was killed for running while being black,
the hashtags have begun and the outcry for prayers and thoughts, and it’s pathetic. No one is knocking them, thoughts and prayers are good, they just don’t happen to come with action.
We have to do better, and that starts with action and education. It starts with stopping the thought process that because I am white, I am better.
Wrong. No. Awful. Horrible. Strikes at the very thing I say I am and am trying to be. I am terrified to write that, because maybe you will read it, and decide I am a racist. I am also learning, it’s through admissions like this one I can take a good hard look at my life and how I was raised and run a million miles the other way.
But as Professor Brené Brown puts it, “We can’t talk about race without talking about shame. Because you can’t talk about race without talking about privilege and when people start talking about privilege, they get paralyzed by shame.”
It’s not enough to say you are an accomplice, you have to actually be one.
How? There is not a blueprint because no one can tell you what to do or who to talk to or what to read to better educate yourself about the systemic racism that is blatant and pervasive in our world. A note- it’s YOUR job to educate YOURSELF. No one else can do that, you have to do it yourself.
I am deeply ashamed to admit I have had those thoughts, and of course stopped them in their tracks refuting it with facts which is that no one is better than anyone else based only on the color of their skin.
Deeply ashamed, and I still had them. Why? I was raised that way. It’s still my job realize over and over that it’s not enough to not be racist, you have to intentionally and deliberately live your life with the idea that no one is better or worse because of the color of their skin.
So, in aid of raising my child to truly,
“ Treat everyone equal”
I am now on the search to learn as much as I can and stop talking in spaces where I have no expertise. I don’t know what this looks like and I know I have a lot more listening and learning to do. I like to talk, but am rapidly realizing this is a topic on which I have not earned a say. I might never earn it, and that’s exactly as it should be.
This is a subject on which I am the student, not the teacher. I do not know what I do not know and I am embracing the discomfort of that. It’s hard.
What can you do other “than thoughts and prayers” to show your support to the hurting and tired black community?
I usually say -Think About It, but today, right now, what can you DO to move from thinking to DOING, to HELP.