By Lisa Lindeman Luckett ~
I find I can no longer stay silent. As a humanist, it is clear we are witnessing a moment of social change unlike any other. And as tragic and disturbing as it is, it is also very exciting.
It is time. ANTI-RACISM is not about a certain race of people as much as it’s about changing a mindset to no longer be afraid to share our world equally.
No more excuses. We have reached the ‘tipping point’ (Malcolm Gladwell) of change where the ‘early majority'(Simon Senek) is in agreement–the shift is here, now. This is the first giant step forward in our ‘new normal.’ We are witnessing real, sustainable, positive change in real-time.
Let’s allow logic to prevail. Fear is the real enemy. Lack of education is the problem that involves you and me. I have a long personal story and can speak directly from this ‘unintentional ignorance’.
Instead of what has been taught to us by our predecessors, we must trust our own experience. Ask ourselves, “What is my personal experience of people of color?” For many of us, it isn’t bad, it just isn’t much. (It’s okay to be vulnerable and admit our unintentional ignorance–this humble step will open your life in ways you can’t imagine). If you don’t know any people of color, commit to broadening your circles.
White people can not understand white privilege because all we know is what it’s like to be white. We don’t mean to say the wrong thing–ignorance isn’t ‘bad’, it’s a lack of knowledge or information. Our training is to avoid the discomfort and change the subject.
Yes, there is an elephant in the room. So, you ask, “How can we move forward in this conversation?”
What if it was as simple as asking someone of color, “What is it like to be you?”
To witness this time in our culture’s history is a privilege. The wave is rising, we are amassing. We are growing. We are improving. We are too smart to let this linger any longer. Logic, compassion and intelligence is taking the lead.
No longer are we powerless to help move this important and far-delayed change forward. We can pay attention to local politics. Contact our state senators and congresspeople. Instead of watching the 50th hour of the same news story, take 10 minutes to Google the up-and-coming young leadership on a local and state level, and then be sure to vote.
What is the purpose of COVID 19? If you know me, you know my favorite questions: “What are we being shown? What are we supposed to learn? What is the opportunity in front of us?
Could this anti-racism movement be the first silver-lining of the COVID experience? COVID has given us the gift of time. We have slowed down enough to think. We can ponder difference. We can dream. We can ask ourselves what is important in our lives. We can ask what do we want our new world to look like? What do we want our children’s world to look like?
Power is an addiction like any other and it’s time for treatment. The problem is being played out in front of us yet again in the brutal, senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. African American’s can’t hide their color. They are marked the minute they walk out the door.
Just in the same way that not all priests are bad, all police people are not bad either, but it’s time to address the mental health of people in charge. It’s time to address the bystander syndrome–guilt by doing nothing.
No matter what the circumstances, people must be held accountable for their actions. Our moral character is on the line as a culture. We are better than this. In the cases of George, Ahmaud and Breonna, we will know if things are truly changing when the verdicts come in.
Generalizations no longer apply. Looking the other way is no longer an option. When things become personal, it changes everything. Never before has it been more personal for me. What about you?
2020 is perfect vision. Mother Nature put humanity in a global, and much needed time-out. Maybe she did so we could finally slow down long enough to see the realities of other people’s lives, instead of just our own.
Please join me in tipping the scales to eradicate racism today and make it a thing of the past once and for all.
Reach out to a person of color, smile (behind your mask,) and just say hello.
It is time. We can do this!
This book –Waking Up White by Debbie Irving — changed my life. A MUST read this summer!!!
God Bless us all.