[DISCLAIMER: This article is not only directed to white people. I have to state that clearly because I know many people who will take this personally (and tune out) and won’t muster up the courage to talk honestly about this issue. If you are taking this personally and don’t know what to do, I invite you into a conversation so we can hear each other more clearly. I write this for all who are wondering how to support those who face the issue of racism (or any ism actually). I hope that is you!!
For those who don’t know me personally, you might be thinking that I am trying to distract from the real issue at hand which is police brutality against the black community. I am not!!! I believe that I am called to be a bridge of understanding for those who struggle to understand. I am standing with by my black brothers and sisters in solidarity AGAINST racism, inequality, and inequity in the way I know how. This is not about “I am not black so don’t forget me / I experience racism too…” This is about speaking truth in love to those who might be hard of hearing what the racial climate is in this country!!]
In light of the civil crisis in this country and around the world, I have found myself to be quite introspective these days. Wondering if these are the End Times, wondering how my black brothers and sisters are doing, wondering if ignorance about the plight of black people in America will ever go away, wondering what I can do to stay sane and yet keep educating and sharing from a different perspective as support for those who are at the center of this civil crisis.
I am not Black.
If you are still with me, I thank you and I need to say this. All lives matter…BUT the “all” isn’t accurate if black lives don’t matter too (especially in the USA).
Why does it matter for me to share a post like this? Because the focus continues to be about “black and brown” lives. Since I am brown and am passionate about educating those around me, I thought I would take a stand for this in my own way. Here’s another blog that might help you on your journey to learn. https://seemaglobalconsulting.com/skin-in-the-game/
I can’t be silent.
Sad truth…so many of us have been silent. Although posting on social media might help you break that silence, many of us are staying silent in our personal relationships where the crisis is hitting close to home. How do I know? I am experiencing it and so are my dear black friends. Have you been silent? What conversations do you need to have with people in your story?
I am not black.
Silence is complicit. It means you are guilty…or maybe irresponsible. Guilty would suggest malicious intent. Ignorance would suggest irresponsibility. Which one are you? Only you can answer that question. Are you willing to keep learning? Then maybe it’s time to get your skin in the game!!
Yes, racism is alive and well in my story. But I am not black. It is disguised by culture, wiring, personality styles, etc. Please consider what I am saying because when we can identify with something personally, it can be a catalyst to move us toward change.
In my case, it shows up as “cultural ism”. Years ago, when I realized I had assimilated so much into this western culture that I was losing sight of who I was created to be, I paused and took some deep dives into my eastern culture to discover, celebrate, and feed my roots. Sadly, in a lot of my relationships, it was received with push back and ignoring.
If you know me personally, I don’t give up easily. I am not stubborn, I surrender, I take a step back from the situation and look for other angles by which to pursue truth and growth forward. As of late, voicing hard truths has been all too common for me.
Are you still with me?
We are in “this” together right?
I had an alarming exchange on social media recently and I will try to capture it here to give an example of what it feels like to be a victim of a micro aggression.
FRIEND OF COLOUR: “I am exhausted emotionally from the civil unrest and racism in this country. Thankful for the coffee angels that brought me love in the form of coffee.”
ME: I “loved” the post and said, “That’s precious. Any chance you could send some angels over to my house?” (as my heart continues to feel heavy for the brokenness in our communities and as I stand and kneel in solidarity for my black brothers and sisters)
Later that day…
WHITE WOMAN: “I will bring you coffee if you are black!”
ME: “I am East Indian and am devastated by all that is going on in this country and am standing shoulder to shoulder with my black brothers and sisters and am emotionally spent.” (even though I didn’t owe her an explanation).
WHITE WOMAN: “well, I am currently only serving black people”.
So, as you show support to black people in your communities, ask yourself if you are really about being an anti-racist or are you just showing support for what you think is the “issue of the day”? If it is the latter, you will go back to old patterns and this crisis will have failed to get your attention.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning,
but you can start where you are and change the ending.”–C.S. Lewis
Are you ready to implement action so you can be part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to people who are different than you?
Here you go…
- Stand WITH us.
- Don’t just hear us, listen (that’s the only time you should be silent…they the same letters too!!
- Don’t push back or criticize, minimize or disregard us.
- Realize that you can’t give what you don’t have…Compassion? Acceptance? Strength? Grace?
- Know that you believe we are image bearers of God, please don’t force us to assimilate to your way of expressing our faith or doing life.
- Don’t use “unity” as a bandaid.
- Stand in the gap with a true heart of reconciliation before things can get corrected.
- Learn to grow forward together.
- Understand your own cultural bent.
- Don’t confuse silence with peace.
Let’s Connect…it might get you a spot on my podcast “Growing Forward Together” found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.
Here’s to Growing Forward Together!!