First off I would like to apologize for not having a blog post or conversation on here ever about racism and people of color. This week I have learned that being quiet or taking time off social media is sending the wrong message. I can’t be quiet anymore.
I’m not racist and I’ve never been. But I’ve been realizing this week that not always saying something out loud or talking about it with people, and not continuing to educate myself, is wrong. I realize I want, need, and must change this. I also want to keep having conversations about racism and how it’s handled in America. I’m not going to stop talking about it.
I also can’t sit here and say I know what they’re going through or how they feel. I will never be able to say that. I have white privilege and nothing can change that. This week with all the events going on surrounding George Floyd and many other lives lost because their skin color is black or brown has truly made me look at things to the point where it’s sometimes uncomfortable, but needed. I have to push myself to do better.
When I get ready for the day I don’t have to go through things to remind myself what I need to be careful of. I don’t have to tell kids to make sure they don’t do this when walking home from school, etc. I don’t have to fear going outside for a walk by myself. The list can keep going. My heart breaks that this is a norm for many families of color. That they have to have these tough conversations daily. I don’t know what it feels like to have those fears. I wish our world was safe enough that this wouldn’t have to be a discussion in homes on how to keep yourself from getting shot, etc.
I’ve realized in the past when something happens that I don’t agree with I usually post or share some things on Facebook and Instagram, like what happened to Freddie Gray in 2015, then I don’t post or talk about it. But when it happens again I do the same thing. I cringe just thinking about how I’ve acted. I will do better going forward. I will be standing up for #BlackLivesMatter and People of Color everyday. I will talk about it more on my social media outlets. I need to have conversations. I want to learn more and I want to listen to you and I want you to know I see you and when I see you I see your color and I love you. It bothers me when people have said they don’t see color. This is a topic that gets talked about a lot on social media and it’s hurtful to someone of color when you say “I don’t see color”. While the intent might be peaceful you’re telling them in a sense you don’t want to celebrate their differences. Can you imagine the world if we were all the same? If we sounded the same and looked the same and walked the same. Could you imagine a life like that? We need to love and celebrate our differences.
There is systemic racism in America and it must end. The system is beyond broken and it hurts. I shared on Instagram the other day that I don’t understand how someone could have so much hate towards another person to murder. I’ve never understood. Then to dig in deeper and knowing that it’s happening so often that someone gets murdered only because of their skin color. I can’t even wrap my mind around it. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and a song many of you are familiar with “Jesus loves the little children all the children of the world red and yellow black and white they are precious in his sight Jesus loves the little children of the world.” God created us to be different. We don’t have the same fingerprints as someone and our voices are different. Our skin color is different. Why can’t we love each other like Christ has modeled? Why can’t we learn to celebrate that there are differences in the world and LEARN from them instead of using differences to make harm and hate and evil.
I apologize for being quiet on social media before. I was scared it wasn’t my place or that I would say the wrong thing. That thinking is so wrong. We know how to use our voice and we know to how to stand up for something we believe in. I’m here today and I want to be better about speaking out. To make a change you have to start somewhere so here is my starting point and some resources I’ve found to help me get started.
Some of these books I’ve found on Amazon and some I’ve seen recommended on social media.
I’m ordering this book- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson (Foreward) it’s out of stock for the paperback version on Amazon but here is another place you can buy it.
How To Be AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison
Here are some picture books:
We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street) by Bobbi Kates
Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity. A Cute Children Story To Teach Kids About Diversity and Differences. by Steve Herman
Race Cars: A children’s book about white privilege by Jenny Devenny
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
If you know of anymore books that are important to read please drop them in the comments!
I’ve also came across these two websites that are packed with good resources.
Black Lives Matter they have things you can listen to ways you can help and they give you resources. It keeps you informed on what’s going on also. If you want to learn more about Black Lives Matter I would say this is a good place to start. I will be really digging into this website as it’s packed with resources.
There was an article written by NICOLA DALL’ASEN click this website to see the best places to donate to if you want to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. She pulled all these great websites into one easy place for you.
Next I’m sharing some Instagram accounts that I’ve been following and have been learning many things from. Some of these names I found on a blog post written by Bonnie Eve Gifford her blog post is titled Black Lives Matter Accounts You Need To Follow And Learn From. I have followed several from her list! I picked a few to feature on this blog post also but be sure to check her blog post! Some of the names I’ve found on Instagram myself or through a recommendation.
I’ve recently followed Naomi O’Brien (readlikearockstar) I’ve been learning so many things from her. She has really challenged me to be better and I appreciate it learning things.
I also recently started following Danielle Coke (ohhappydani) she posts really beautiful graphics and creates awesome artwork. I love the conversations she has on her page.
I would recommend following Black Lives Matter to stay up to date on everything and know how and where you can support.
Layla was recommended from Bonnie and I’m excited to learn more!
Trevor Noah as you may know from The Daily Show is also doing a lot of advocating. He recently did a live that I encourage you to listen too.
So there is a starting point for me. If you have anything you want to add or recommend please let me know.
Good for you, Abby. We all need to do more and your commitment is inspiring! A couple books I would recommend are Plantation Jesus (about racism & Christianity), and The Hate U Give (which is fiction but parallels a lot of situations where an unarmed black man was killed).
Thank you. I will have to read the Plantation Jesus. I’ve read The Hate U Give and watched the movie it was very powerful. I agree it was fiction but seemed very real. Thank you so much for sharing.