The fear of speaking my voice sits lodged in my throat. Yet, I can do this. It is nothing compared to the years of suffering my brothers and sisters have endured.
I can no longer remain silent about matters that offend my heart and soul. I have been quiet about current events as I begin to educate myself. I am 50 years old. I have been quiet for far too long. I know that no matter what I say in this writing, something will not be said in the best way, or the wrong words will be used. However, I cannot let that delay my speaking up.
I have been walking into my own discomfort for the past 15 years. I’m prepared to walk into the discomfort of learning about systemic racism and I’ve been doing it for a week, and will continue doing it until I feel I’ve educated myself fully, spoken, and continue to live from a different place with this knowledge. I love my fellow humans and I will do this for them, for myself, and for the positive advancement of the human race. This is an act of love. For me, love is not just a feeling one has for another. Love is an action. How do we expect change to happen unless we address it within ourselves first and foremost?
I support Black Lives Matter. I support BIPOC. I support the lifting of oppression. I support justice and equality for communities of color. I support the white population waking up to and educating ourselves, and then living from a different space. Once we educate ourselves there is no way we could continue to live from the same space we have been. I will not stick my head in the sand and pretend this does not exist. I will not bypass this portion of my DNA that needs to be opened, drained, and healed. As a dear friend recently stated, “this isn’t some fake assed thing that someone made up.” To quote her again, “It has some very real roots in it that needs to be addressed by every person.”
This paragraph spoke to my heart, as well as my mind as I’m deeply interested in epigenetics. I will be getting this book, too. Follow this link to read the full article … https://engage.onbeing.org/_notice_the_rage_notice_the_silence:
” ……. Resmaa Menakem is a teacher and visionary in this city, though I only became aware of his groundbreaking work a few months ago. Just before the pandemic sent us into lockdown, I sat across from him in our studio on Loring Park. He watched me as closely as he listened to my words. He caught me bracing at the term “white supremacy,” and taught me that noticing such bracing is exactly where I have to begin to live differently. He’s drawing on knowledge we’re just now gaining about systems and processes in our bodies that we’re only now learning to see: vagus nerve, psoas muscle, trauma, epigenetics. He draws a stunning connection between generations of trauma that white bodies inflicted on each other in the centuries we call the Dark Ages and the generations of horrific trauma inflicted on black bodies in the “new world” of America — which, as Langston Hughes wrote, “never was America to me.” We are all literally carrying – breathing, reliving, and so repeating — much that didn’t happen to us personally. It’s one way to finally grasp why talking about race, and “teaching our brains to think better” about race, has fallen brutally, tragically short: “The vital force behind white supremacy,” Resmaa Menakem writes in his extraordinary book My Grandmother’s Hands, “is in our nervous systems ….. ”
The work I have done over the past 15 years has been for my own self-gain, addressing my own mental and emotional health. The purpose of this current work is to help heal and restore dignity to BIPOC. I believe that every human being deserves dignity, freedom, and equality. I desire wholeness for myself and the world. This is a commitment to my personal and spiritual values. I am doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I know no one is going to congratulate me, or celebrate me. In fact, I fully expect it will turn some away. This will bring sadness, as I do not like controversy or confrontation. I’m sure some will choose to unfollow, unfriend, or ghost me. However, it is more important that I be in integrity with my values, my soul, my heart.
I commit to:
Continue to educate myself, expunging what is in my subconscious that I’m not aware of
Continue to research every candidate running for any position. If I come across any information which makes it clear the candidate does not align with the values stated above; they do not get my vote. (I did this in the election this past Tuesday, finding at least three candidates that were a NO due to this or for standing against the LGBTQ+ community.)
Continue to vote in every election. See above.
I will begin to support non-profit and community organizations that stand for justice and equity
Pay attention to other ways in which I can help
Here are a list of resources that I am making my way through. I have not looked through most of these. I am making my way through them and will come back and note when I’ve watched, read, or listened to a resource:
Articles with lists of things to do and resources:
Articles with information:
(Many of these movies are free during the month of June.)
Ghosts of Mississippi – FREE for the month of June – Watched this on Friday, June 12, 2020. Watch this one.
Selma – FREE for the month of June – Watched this on Friday, June 19, 2020.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Watched on Friday, June 26, 2020.
I am making my way through this list .. Spotlighting Black Cinema
I’m reading “me and white supremacy” right now and am halfway through the “workbook” portion. Powerful book.
Search #ShareTheMicNow – on June 10th white women with large audiences shared the mic with Black women to magnify the important work they are doing.
I am a mother. These words and how they came to be uttered ripped my heart to shreds. This was the final straw.
Elijah McClain’s last words:
Thank you for taking the time to read this with an open heart. I am not posting this to open a channel of debate in this matter. Simply to speak my mind on this platform I have been building for the past 10 years. Should you disagree, that is your business. Not mine. I press the publish button with love … xoxo (I will continue to update this post as I come across more resources, or learn that I should word something differently.)
P.S. … There will be a post coming soon in support of the LGBTQ community, as well as the Me Too community. I did not want to lump them into one post as they each deserve their own space.
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!
“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.