Y’all. It’s been a really long week. I think for everyone.
(Fair warning, I’m not going to talk about knitting this week. I usually try to keep my personal politics out of the blog, but sometimes you just can’t do that. If I didn’t mention everything that’s been going on, it would be the next thing to dishonesty. If you’re not up for it, feel free to come back next week.)
It’s hard for me to know what to say, and since I’m a very white person, in a very white part of the country, working in a very white industry, I know my perspective on the events of the last week/month/year/entire history of our country is not necessarily what we need right now.
But, since I have this platform, regardless of how small it may be, I wanted to stand up and say that black lives matter, and the systematic racism in the United States (especially in the police force) is just not acceptable. It’s horrifying that we had to lose so many lives, to have so many examples of the inhuman treatment of black and brown Americans at the hands of the police before we as the (white) community said “no more.” I’m ashamed of my community’s (and my own) inaction and complacency, and deeply disturbed that this has been the norm for so many without me really registering what has been going on.
But me wallowing in my feelings isn’t going to do much. I (and everyone else who wants change) have to get in gear and change our behavior.
Here’s what I’m doing/planing to do:
- Give money. We’re lucky enough to have some extra cash, so we’ve donated to our local chapter of Black Lives Matter and supported our local bail fund to help folks who can’t otherwise afford bail stay out of jail (especially important in a pandemic).
- Educate myself. I’m going to watch, read and listen to black voices tell their stories and history. I consider myself a pretty well-educated person, but the little I’ve learned in the last week has really shown me how much of a blind spot I have when it comes to black and brown history in America. These lists seem like a good place to start:
- Protest, sign petitions and generally stay more on top of current events. I’m not able to go to protests right now, but I’m going to be doing my best to make up for it by doing whatever activism I can from my computer. I will follow activists and organizations that support the Black Lives Matter movement on social media (and actually read what they are saying, not just pass them by). I will stay updated by listening to reputable news outlets and paying attention to the sourcing on stories that I see online. I will keep an eye out for anything that I can help with- I know I’m just one person, but sometimes just one more person, one more call, or one more signature is all it takes.
- Pay more attention to how I’m raising my kid. Like I mentioned above, we live in a very white neighborhood in a very white city. I hadn’t paid too much attention to how that’s been impacting my kid or my parenting. In the last week, I’ve realized that almost all his (human-ish) toys are white, or white-passing, and he only has a handful of books that feature characters of color. Sure, most of his toys are trucks, and most of his books are about animals, but that’s just an excuse. I’m going to start expanding the diversity of his experience as much as possible (which, because of quarantine, is pretty much just toys and books). He’s going to grow up to be a white man, and I want him to be as empathetic and aware of his country’s history as possible. (Yes, I know he’s just 2 right now, but it’s not too early to start thinking about.) If you’re raising small kids in a similar situation, I’ve been recommended these, which I intend to read/watch:
Thanks for listening to my “To-Do” list. It feels like it isn’t enough, but it’s a start. Let me know what you’re planning to do to help our country grow and become better.
Stay safe, be kind to each other and yourselves.
(Also, I would like to apologize if last week’s post’s timing seemed insensitive. I usually write the blog a week or more before it posts- you never know what life’s going to throw at you with a toddler/pandemic/national civil unrest. I didn’t get a chance to change last week’s post until after it had gone live, and wasn’t able to collect my thoughts enough to sit and type a post until today (June 5th). Thank you for bearing with me.)