I could say this week has been a whole thing, this lifetime, or these 401+ years – they all follow the same course. Hello everyone. I am a human. Just like you are a human I am a human. I should not have to work for this fact to be normalized, yet here we are with people wanting to know what to do in all directions. I take it that white people are asking for my survival and thriving but there is a chasm between that and assuaging why you are looking. The talk for my non-white folks… do what you gotta do to make it back home at the end of the day. As Auntie Maxine recently said about life and COVID19, “You’ve got to take care of yourself because a lot of people out there don’t care about you.”
If you want to stop reading now and have the means look to your pocket. Make sure your money goes to people and organizations that are BIPOC-led. Here in Denver I have been directing people to the Colorado Freedom Fund and Black Lives Matter 5280.
If you want to go further then you have some work to do. I am not gonna hold your hand because there are a number of BIPOC efforts where facilitators get paid to walk you through that. Unknown to Dr. Tyler I worked with her on one project with a large organization and have attended a workshop with her via The Equity Project. I know Regan Byrd more informally and think she is a rad human with people raving about her work through her consulting firm. Both resources are Denver-based, both professionals are Black.
I am seeing people express their concern for kids and talking to them now about racism or for themselves. This is where I am gonna hit the pause button for one concept in addition to EVERYTHING else being compiled and offered at the moment…
People really need to check themselves first. Check your value system. If you do not have values that are pinpointed that you can name then this is where you start. This is great stuff to do as an individual but if you are taking kids and a family on a ride do this for your whole unit. You can start by searching for value checklists if this is out of your wheelhouse.
I write starting with your value system because when mirrors pop up in life to question if you really are walking your values you can get tripped up hard. Kids over the age of seven are some pretty intense mirrors that will call you out if you are faking what you are saying. If you do not already value equity, justice, and community will anything you say, read, or watch about racism make sense for how you have lived your life? If these values do matter but are not part of your value system it is time to adjust the compass you supposedly use to walk your path.
People can only do so much of the work for you with resources – and there are some fantastic resources out there. The work is your values and how open you are to modify your beliefs. For my non-white friends, much like the last 401+ years in America, do what you have to do to survive and make it home at the end of the day. I wish you JOY and HEALING with a future where we are not always looking over our shoulders based on our beautiful looks. I am a human. I see you human.
Learn about yourself. Learn about our past. Acknowledge our true history. Go forward with an eye for how systems were built and if you want to be part of living life that does better. Beyond systemic oppression. Tread lightly on your heart, this is a hard road for all of us but one of many things we all have in common.
Of course, donate money if you can. These are well-funded systems anti-oppression work is going against.