I am finding it very difficult to write this post. It’s easy to say or do the wrong things while having the best of intentions. The PM is taking flack for his 22 second pause. Instragram users who inserted black squares for the day took flack if they failed to follow it up with Black Lives Matter info. So I’ve thought long and hard.
I’ve been concerned that by staying silent it is interpreted as violence or at the least a lack of support to the Black Lives Matter cause. Then I was like wait a minute, it’s not like I have a lot of readers or influence anyway. But then I was like “no I need to address the issues”. So what I’ve been doing is listening, learning and trying to absorb it. Spending time chatting with my other half about it. Reflecting about my/our white privilege. Also the fact that, without my doing a single thing, my life has been built on white supremacy. Never mind that my grandparents came from the poorest of poor when they immigrated to Canada.
I have read a lot this week and two blog posts have really stood out. Both were written by white Canadians and I can see they face the same struggles I do.you can read them here atLost for Words — 22 Long Seconds and In my Garden We aren’t racist but we do have white privilege. We do have a voice and actions and we are all trying to figure out how we can help. I’ve also added a link to an American blogger I follow for a front line view of how Life Goes On but what needs to happen next down there. Here at home it’s a different political story but the same background issues.
There were two videos that were the most educational. The first was the Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s “Take“. He brings an interesting perspective as a South African black living in the States. He helped look deeply at the issue. He spoke from his heart and his voice reaches millions. Let’s hope we can all listen and learn.
The second video I watched I found on Instrgram. I had to look up who Emmanuel Acho is. Don’t jump on me for not knowing; I don’t follow the CFL that close and I don’t follow the NFL at all. He’s a former linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles and is now an analyst on ESPN (thanks Wikipedia). He calls his video “uncomfortable conversations with a black man” and again sheds a lot of light on what the barriers are really like. I strongly encourage you to follow the LINK to listen to him.
“The only way we can solve this issue,” Acho concludes, “Is by exposure, education, compassion and empathy.”
The poster that the little girl is holding has the best analogy. It calls us to stand up and be the voice. Have the difficult conversations to plant the seeds of change. I know I have had to with my parents and my brother.
We must all stand up and speak. Here in Canada we can’t sweep the indigenous peoples concerns aside. If we encounter racism we must speak out against it.
I fear my words and my actions aren’t enough but we must start somewhere. There are all kinds of learning opportunities that POC are posting so that we can educate ourselves. That in itself points to where we came from. We need to educate ourselves while they live “it”.