Like many of you, I have been deeply grieved by the events happening in our country right now. The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Robert Fuller, and Rayshard Brooks have freshly revealed the deep wounds and injustice in our nation and highlighted the work that still needs to be done.
I have never written about racism here. And until the last few weeks, I painfully admit I hadn’t recognized that as a problem. I have beautiful Black and Brown friends and family members. I have taken courses on race and ethnicity, searched out books for my children that give alternate stories of American history, read books about race and social justice, had challenging conversations with friends and family about race, supported Black organizations and businesses, and joined regular multi-racial prayer meetings for unity among our local churches. All. Good. Things. And until now, I thought my work in private was enough.
Over the last few weeks, I have been listening in a much deeper way. I have been quietly praying and learning from the vulnerable experiences that have been shared, the collective cries in the streets, the pain beneath all the anger and lament, and the helpful guides seeking to build bridges in the midst of it all. I have been reading and watching and listening, but also prayerfully re-examining my own complicity and bias in the process, asking for discernment and wisdom to know how to better love my neighbor. Opening the conversations here is one of many small, practical steps in that direction.
To my Black, Latina, Asian, and Native friends, I am sorry for the ways you may have felt ‘othered’ in this space, for the ways the conversation gap on racism has excluded you or reinforced the traumatic cultural narrative that you do not belong. I am sorry that in critical cultural moments I have remained quiet here when you needed me to see you, stand with you, and pass the mic. I am committed to finding ways to better amplify your stories and voices in this space, to have a more inclusive voice and list of resources here going forward. You are beloved. You are worthy. You are needed.
To my White friends, I am sorry for avoiding uncomfortable, needed conversations in this space for so long, for curbing the topics and language of this space in a way that may have at times reinforced our silence or dulled the urgency that our Black and Brown friends feel. We really must do better. And as Danielle Coke beautifully illustrated and wrote last week, “Performance won’t end racism. Change your heart. Change your home. Change humanity.” As a space dedicated to the heart and home, let’s start there.
Below is a brief, highlighted list of anti-racist resources I’ve been reading and watching this month. Clearly, this is not a finite list but the beginning of many shared in this space. If you have any to add, please share it in the comments. Thank you!
IMPORTANT SHORT READS + LISTENS
“Recognizing Race in Language: Why We Capitalize ‘Black’ and ‘White’” from the Center for the Study of Social Policy
“Why White Parents Need to Do More Than Talk with Their Kids about Racism” by Dr. Margaret Hagerman featured on The Conscious Kid