Time to Listen Link Love

June 05, 2020


It feels inappropriate, to say the least, to write about the things I was planning to write about this week—simple pleasures, everyday adventures, my summer fun list and summer reading list. The protests taking place all over the United States, and the world, have filled my mind and heart to bursting, made me appropriately uncomfortable, forcing me to think about concepts and experiences of which I’ve been largely oblivious.

It shouldn’t have taken multiple publicized deaths and nationwide protests to wake me up to what life is like for people of color in this country. It’s time to examine my own biases and beliefs and how they’ve been influenced by the culture I’ve grown up in, as well as educate myself about underlying structural racism.

Since I’m still at the beginning of my learning—where I should be listening rather than speaking—I thought I’d share a few links to material written by people who have eloquently and usefully examined this topic, as well as links to a few anti-racism resources I’m exploring. I hope they prove helpful to you. (And please share in the comments any resources you’ve found helpful.)

“For those of you who are tired of reading about racism, I’m tired of black and brown bodies being killed by it. I’m tired of watching some white people be more upset by those who are protesting racism as opposed to the racism itself. Being numb is characterizing what happened to Floyd, Cooper, Ahmaud Arbery (who was hunted, shot and killed by two white men while jogging), as unfortunate, disconnected anomalies. Feeling is understanding they are not disconnected at all but, rather, the reason why James Baldwin once said ‘to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.’”

With Liberty and Justice for All. In this thoughtful piece, Gretchen Rubin shares part of a speech John F. Kennedy gave on June 11, 1963 after the Alabama National Guard had to enforce a court order requiring the desegregation of the University of Alabama. Here’s a part of the quoted speech:

“I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened….

“The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark…cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content...[to] stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay? …

“Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise.”

I ask myself, as Rubin does at the end of her post, “How can I, in my own life, live up to my country's highest ideals?”
 
Jen Louden suggests in “White People, Please Don’t Give In to Despair,” that we “Start from wonder and love and steady effort. ‘I wonder how I can learn today? I wonder who I can help today?’ Don’t make it about what you haven’t done cause that’s making it about you. ​Make it about now.” She continues, ‘Stop believing the Hollywood version of change you see in movies. That’s not how real change has ever happened or ever will. Real change happens because of millions of small acts by millions of people. What you do matters! Start today.’”






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4 comments

  1. Kathy love the thoughts you shared here. I admit that like you I have not given enough attention to what has happened for decades in this country. We must rise above what we've been trained to believe and move with genuine love to make all of us equally accepted despite our race. Great post friend. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. I'm doing my best to learn, listen, and love--it's been an eye-opening couple of weeks for sure.

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  2. I appreciate the time and thought that you put into sharing here...While I do not write about matters other than my creative life on my blog, and mostly I do not protest at this stage in my life, I do reflect on the human condition...And try to live in love in small acts in my life...Thank you for giving me more to reflect on...

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    1. Rita--You are welcome. I'm not going to focus on world events very much--I want this blog to be an escape from that as much as possible. I just felt like I needed to share those feelings and resources. I love the concept of living in love in small acts--I try to do the same!

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