A lot of us are thinking about racism during the past few weeks and the way it impacts people we love – a lot of us have been living under the violence of that racism for past centuries. For those of us who don’t live the horrors of racism directly, there are still a lot of emotions that go along with that: anger and helplessness at the injustice we see, fear for people we love, and maybe even some anxiety over difficult conversations we have been having, or are gearing up to have, with people who just don’t get it. As a nonblack person, I am one of many people trying to be allies, who will always have more to listen and to learn about how best to be supportive to our loved ones of color.
Recently, I messed up. It’s an instinctive thing to reach out to the people we care about for support, and I reached out to the DDP editing circle for support with the anxiety I felt about upcoming difficult conversations about race with my family members over Thanksgiving. In doing so, I redirected attention away from the people who are directly experiencing this violence. Whatever my anxiety about engaging with ignorant family over the holiday, the conversations the black community was gearing up for over their Thanksgiving dinners would be far more somber. All I had to do was get my family to open their eyes and see the violence; black folks and their families must have conversations to explain to their children that they are the targets of that violence. Continue reading