I’ve been in tears this week because I singlehandedly can’t fix racism.
I’ve argued. I’ve researched, I’ve watched, I’ve listened. I’ve stayed silent online because I am fearful and not wanting to say the wrong thing.
Black Lives Matter. George Floyd mattered. They matter to me.
George Floyd’s brutal killing by police is so inconceivable. And yet it still happens.
This past week I’ve sat in my own incredible uncomfortableness of being white. Of having white privilege, in a world where I never signed up for it, I never chose to be white. But I am.
Being white means realising, accepting and understanding just what that white privilege has meant for me. I’ve faced racist comments and experiences for being white that have affected me deeply. But not every day and not collectively for my culture.
I’ve cried. I’ve called people out. But I’m not perfect.
Yes, my parents raised me to be thoughtful, kind, compassionate and respectful. They taught me never to hate and to work hard in my life. I am so thankful for them.
White privilege is not to be confused with working hard for a living, having hardship and / or traumatic experiences in your own life history. You can be white and feel and have all of those things too.
I am anti-racist even though simple prejudices have graced my thoughts and mind in the past. It is inherent racism that we have grown up with. But it is wrong. So very wrong.
This will be a short article this week. I have stayed silent because I didn’t know what to say or do. But I can’t not write about what has consumed me this week, my thoughts, my behaviour, my feelings towards all people of colour who have experienced racism and hate throughout their lives.
This happens in America, but it also happens here in New Zealand. People judging others by the colour of their skin.
I am white. I can’t change that. But I accept my white privilege. I acknowledge it and how it makes me feel.
I am bringing my boys up to be kind and caring towards people of colour, towards everyone. To treat everyone the same while still acknowledging that they are privileged in so many ways.
Not one person is worth more than another because of the colour of their skin. I truly believe that.
But Black Lives Matter. Here and now. Here and in America.
I am learning.
I am listening.
I am reading, researching and discussing.
I am uncomfortable.
I am caring and trying my hardest to call out racism when I know it is wrong.
Racism feels wrong to me and regardless of who is being racist to whom, I will call them out.
Do not take my silence as nothing. I stand for anti-racism.
I just get incredibly overwhelmed easily. I feel deeply the emotions and worries of others and that is why I care so much.
“There is no sound louder than war,” from the song ‘Up to you now’ by Ben Harper is a quote I have tattooed on my arm. Metaphorically there is no sound louder than the collective noise of people standing up together for a common cause.