My blog update gave me the gentle reminder “time to post” last week. I debated on what to “talk about”. I journal less now. Time has gotten away from me even before Covid 19. Since Covid 19, time has really slipped through my hands. I felt rushed before College Daughter left for Seattle and I continued feeling rushed up until last Wednesday morning. I’ve been a part of a book club/open conversation group for over a year now. However, since we can not meet in person, Zoom meetings have become the norm for Wednesdays at 10:00 sharp. By Wednesday evening I was journaling – and I haven’t stopped. I spoke with a friend who lives in Florida and we decided to have our own Zoom meet up. There’s a point to this just hang in there…..
While having my morning coffee I began to read the last few pages of my journal. I was startled with how I sounded from the words that were on each page. I found words expressing anger to sadness and one word that has never made it on my pages before – feeling empty. Why empty? Because our world has gone from cracked to split. From split to broken. How did we get here? How is it we are so far advanced in science and technology but social injustice hasn’t moved forward? Flashing back to my childhood I was educated by my parents enough where I was able to understand racism – but was only given enough to help me to understand and give my maturing mind the tools it needed to not walk through life ignorant. My mother was an advocate in many areas of my life growing up. I thought she was outspoken before it was popular. At least it appeared to be that way to me. If I said to you I never recognized the color of skin – I would be a liar. Of course I noticed different shades of skin colors. We ALL do! My teachings from the time I can remember – all human life must be valued from conception to natural death. [one topic of my Wednesday morning group] And this is what I’ve incorporated into my own parenting. Our family is diverse. Our oldest daughter is adopted from China. My nephew is biracial. I have friends from many parts of the world and I love learning about their cultures and traditions. What I learned of my father’s family when they arrived in America broke my heart. I couldn’t imagine. The slurs. I never knew even after I started Jr. High why we were referred to as “dago’s”. What is a “wop”? No one and I mean no one could pronounce my maiden name. Unless you were a Priest or Nun or another Italian. However – I still grew up “white” to those who didn’t know my DNA. Blonde hair, blue eyes and tanned very easily. But still white. Never did I experience social injustice. I can’t tell you what it’s like to worry about not having something because of the color of my skin. I think back to my college years when one of my besties was also my sister-from-another-mister. We shared the same first name – however we were known as “black L” and “white L” at one of the popular dance clubs where we both served drinks. To this day we still have contact thanks to social media. Not too long ago we shared a good laugh at how the other employees and even consumers who came to the club would identify us. We were silly naive twentysomethings having the best time of our lives …….
My last Wednesday group discussed the protest, riots and even politics. Politics is one thing we don’t want to bring to the table. But on this particular morning we did. Many agreeing on the political atmosphere. One group member referred to it as “political pollution”. Which opened the door to environment – climate change – endangered species among others. But one thing we all agreed on and our hearts were hurting as we took turns sharing our thoughts…..to gain an understanding on a different level the history behind social injustice and racism. Beyond text book material. Beyond my position in human services. Beyond the middle school teacher or the librarian. Beyond what our places of worship can give us. To not only teach us emotionally but intellectually. Beyond the arguments and anger. And most importantly for our fellow humans. Please do not email me insinuating I’m against the police. I’m not. We need our police departments as much as we need a leader in our country to do what is right. To lead us out of the darkness. I never liked politics and to tell you the truth I certainly can’t stand either party now. Please don’t email me insinuating I’m a revolutionist or whatever the non-goverment folk do.
This is beyond my dislike for democrats and republicans. This is me working on a better me. This is me working on understanding how we entered this era. Please don’t email me saying all lives matter! Of course they all matter! We can’t say all lives matter and not understand the depths of racism. As the book indicates; everyday white people confront racism and social injustice. To be an anti-racist in todays society. I look forward to my next Wednesday morning book club meeting and my afternoon chat with my Floridian pal.