As a white woman, I am humbled to write a blog on racism and Black Lives Matter after all, what do I know but my own experience? But I feel that to not address the current issue would be too easy. I am writing this for all the white community because we all have a lot of hard work to do.
My Childhood…I was born in Berkeley, CA in 1966 an incredibly liberal and politically active region. Black Power was born in the 1960’s and I recall that my parents had taken my brother, sister and I to a protest in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. At such a young age, I could feel both excitement and fear in those around me.
White Flight… Our family had a long history in the Bay Area with generations of relatives there to support our family and I went to Malcom X Elementary School. But then… we moved to Indiana very suddenly when the opportunity arose and black /white violence in the schools became the norm.
I tell these personal stories because I would always say that I’m not racist, my childhood was filled with people who taught me to love my neighbor as myself and that we are all equal. Yet, there were mixed messages in there too. Our societal norms, non-verbal and verbal reactions to people and situations all form who we are internally. This fact has been incredibly eye opening for me and honestly a very painful.
What has been your journey of racism? I think we should all pause at this time to self-reflect and evaluate our experiences.
If we don’t look racism in the eye, how can it get fixed?
I am where I am in my career no doubt because I am white. As a middle-aged white woman, I believe I am being called to Donate, Learn & Have tough conversations. And Listen to the younger generation and black people to learn how to undo the false truths inside me.
I am so proud of our younger generation. For their ability to see color and not judge or hate but to love and support. To march in the streets in the heat for hours during a global pandemic to make a point and be heard by those in power in a PEACEFUL way in order to form a better nation.
As we move forward, white guilt, shame and blame will get us nowhere. And I don’t think we need to feel defensive; it too is not helpful but an opportunity to look inward as to why we are being defensive is valuable. It’s okay to explore those thoughts and feelings without anger but with compassion and humility.
We ARE all created equally, let’s now treat each other equally.
What can we do?
Amy Dutton Home will MATCH your donation to either Black Mammas Matter or Fair Fight. Just email us your receipt and we will send in our matching donation.
Fair Fight (fighting voter suppression – Stacy Abram’ organization)
Talk to your children about racism from the time they are little and especially teenagers! Talk to friends (especially those who do not agree with you) about racism. Respectful conversations can heal.
Here are some suggested readings:
Young Adults: Stamped
Young Children: Antiracist Baby
MOVIES & Documentaries:
13th – Netflix
Minding the Gap – Hulu
Hale Country This Morning, This Evening & Black Sheep & Luce – Amazon Prime