A worthwhile read: Hey America, I Can’t Breathe.
I don’t even know where to begin. Yet, I realize that to be silent during these times is a crime against humanity. I woke this morning in tears. Wondering, what can I do? How can I make a difference?
Then, the words hit me. Two words that were spoken out loud, something inside my heart broke into pieces: “I’m privileged.” This statement alone deserves a five-minute pause to anchor its severity.
Yet, somehow actually saying them aloud felt like the best beginning I could find, and it was.
I’m a 37-year-old White woman. No, I have not had an “easy” life. But, I was born with a privilege I never asked for, and I know with great certainty that it has forever affected my path. It has benefited me time and time again, and I’d be a fool to deny it.
But why? Why!? No one alive has earned the color of their skin. No one is better for being born a different shade of human life. It blows me away.
It hurts me from where I stand. Yet, I cannot even imagine the reality of the other side—to live in fear. To know if I get pulled over and breathe wrong, it could possibly be my last breath. To know, I will not be given the benefit of the doubt. I will not receive the same justices. I will not have the same opportunities. And I will not be treated as equal.
I ache in compassion for all those who stand on the other side of privileged. I wish it weren’t so. Still, so many sit back and condemn the protests that turned to riots, shaming anything less than “peaceful.” I ask you this, if you were driving down the road and your husband was dragged out of his seat, unarmed, at no apparent fault, and brutally murdered in front of you, would you feel peace?
I’ve already heard some of the next responses, “Then, rage on something purposeful, not this or that…” Tell me, is rage an emotion calculated by logical actions? No, it’s not.
I believe our future offers unity in great numbers creating and rebuilding post-destruction, but isn’t it true that we must first face the fire before the smoke clears? That indeed, all layers of our expression must be overturned to light to heal?
Nonetheless, it remains an easy task to sit in the safety of our homes, most likely speaking from privileged tongues, judging the reactions of suffering we most likely know nothing of. I hope this leaves your judgments silenced.
As for my brothers and sisters crying out, standing peacefully, or even raging, I feel you; I hurt with you even though I cannot come close to imagining your pain.
Racism is real. It’s here. It’s in front of any eye that’s open. And it’s not okay.
But what can we do?
I believe, first, as I did, we all need to admit it. We can no longer let it hide in the shadows, turning a blind eye to its corrupted roots. We must put it front and center. We must, no matter how sad or discomforting it is, say, “I see you, and I do not condone you.”
We must acknowledge the sad truth that America, we are broken!
Then, in the honest embrace of our brokenness, we must somehow heal. But, how do we heal something so broken?
Perhaps, my only reference here is what I know. I think of my own bones, my own internal support structure. I have broken them, and I have healed them. It took time, gentle care, loving awareness, and a doubtless knowing that, if I honored those steps, growing together and fusing back to wholeness, would be the ultimate outcome.
And maybe, that’s exactly what we need. Maybe, that’s exactly how we can heal our own country, the internal structure that’s meant to support us all—time, gentle care, loving awareness, and a doubtless knowing that we can come together, healed and fused into wholeness if we honor this process.