It’s Not About Me…

Photo Credit: UUA Multiculturalism

Photo Credit: UUA Multiculturalism – click photo to check out their page

This week, I participated in one of the last classes for my Beloved Conversations. We only have one more class. This has been a special class so there is some sadness around that. In these classes, we have addressed the concept of racism and how its presence in our lives is rather ubiquitous, mostly without our even thinking it really exists.

We can’t help it. We can’t help that we grew up in a system that taught us to fear people different than ourselves. This is not about blame. It is about change. It is about kindness and empathy, in areas that we didn’t even know we weren’t being kind and empathic.

My small group of about 15 or so people are not directly going to change the world, but I can tell you that I have been changed by this class. I didn’t expect to be. I thought I had it already figured out. I am thoughtful and kind. What’s not to love?

As I am choosing to face my own blind spots, I will impact those around me – and the wave goes on and on. It is my hope in writing this post (and others to follow) that I will convince even one person to do a little research into the topic of race. I will give you a list of resources at the bottom of this page to get you started, if you would like. I promise you – it will be a freeing experience.

This first video is a series I found on YouTube. It’s a great series for “us white people” who have no idea how we might be offending people of color without realizing it. The series is called Decoded (by MTV) and there are lots of videos you can watch to get an idea of what I am talking about. Here is the link to the full channel but here are just a few to get you started…

This first one is about the word “Privileged”. As she says in the video, most people are privileged in some way. Talking about it isn’t about giving up your privilege, but it is important to talk about it. When you talk about privilege, you are bringing the elephant out of the closet for a nice little chat. (4:52)

How people talk is a big deal. Check this out… (2:35)

 

This one is hilarious. Just imagine if people said things like this to you every day. You would feel kinda sensitive, wouldn’t you? (2:40)

OMG. Whitesplaining. (2:48)

If that got you intrigued, here are some other links to learning more!

Allies for Racial Equality – This site has a TON of great resources but this is a link to their resources page, which lists many great books and resources for racial equality. They have a free webinar series posted on their YouTube channel.
UUA Multiculturalism Page – This is the site for the Unitarian Universalist organization, specifically their page about the projects they are involved in internationally for the equal treatment of all races.
Links to Anti-Racism Activist Sites – This is a collection of sites that are working together to combat racism.
Here is a list of books on racism, if you just want to read about different perspectives.

I know that’s a lot. I am going to try and write about this topic more on my blog because it is just that important. I hope that you have found this interesting! I know I did when I started digging. Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are about all of this!

7 Comments

  1. And I always thought the Golden Rule was all we really needed!

  2. Amy, this is timely because I think it is an issue that is going to need to be addressed during the coming presidential campaign. As you said, racism is ubiquitous in our lives, mostly without our thinking about it. In fact, it is there despite our pretended denial. One of the disturbing things about Donald Trump and his supporters is that Trump recognized that there is blatant racism and has chosen to let people believe he can be spokesman for their suppressed prejudices. It’s going to be a long time, I’m afraid, until we get to celebrate another “morning in America.”
    Louis Weltzer recently posted…STRAIGHTEN UP, DONALDMy Profile

  3. I agree we all have prejudices…I think the ‘knowing’ you have them is half the battle. At least now, for the most part, I realize when I’m thinking or making a prejudicial statement. I do try very hard to ‘correct’ myself. I also try to not be so judgmental towards people in general….reminding myself that I don’t know the whole story. But it is difficult….to say the least.
    Debbie Goode recently posted…Comment on Morgan Hill by Alison MillerMy Profile

  4. This is a hugely important topic Amy and I look forward to your continued exploration and discussion of it. I feel really blessed to have been part of a grassroots feminist organization who was doing work in the area of providing services for women and children survivors of violence. At a time when primarily white women were in positions of leadership in the coalitions, we did a lot of investigation and internal work about how our own attitudes and behaviors might be making it difficult for women of color to assume their own rightful positions of leadership. Like you, I learned very much about myself (and my society and my culture) – very often in ways I wasn’t expecting. I believe this is a life-long learning and exploration, but I truly hope we make significant more progress than I’ve seen up to now.
    Deborah Weber recently posted…#WeekendCoffeeShare: 5/21/16My Profile

  5. I think a couple of moments in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” are instructive here. Auguste St. Clare means well, but he thinks “I am just one man against an entire system, what can I do?” and gives up trying to fix things until it’s too late. George Shelby sees the same problem and says, “I will do as much as any one man *can* do” and proceeds to do it.
    SKJAM! recently posted…Book Review: Uncle Tom’s CabinMy Profile

  6. It’s amazing what we unknowingly do to offend others, isn’t it? I’ve certainly been guilty even when it wasn’t intended as such. Thanks for sharing the interesting videos and for bringing up this topic, Amy. Your Beloved Conversation participation must have been very enlightening and rewarding.
    Nanette Levin recently posted…Floyd VirginiaMy Profile

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