Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Aren't We Hearing?

The other day a friend from Wales requested I blog about the current football-kneeling kerfuffle to help her understand the uproar. I gave her a short but very incomplete answer on Facebook, thinking I could do something more in-depth here. But after much deliberation the truth is I just don't have it in me. Well, not true. I do have it in me. Too much in me. I have lots to say about it. Which is one of the problems.

As a white woman of a certain age, it's not my place to explain or pontificate on this. What I need to do is listen. But I want to make a couple of important points:
  1. We white folks need to stop telling black folks how to act. How about we check own behavior and that big ol' log in our own eyes before giving advice to people who have very different life experiences - just by walking around in black skin - than we do? 
  2. We need to shut up and listen to the stories different from our own. We don't know best, obviously, or our country and our world wouldn't be in the state it is now. Shut up and listen.
  3. Stop saying this is unimportant compared to impending war with North Korea, health care, climate change, Russia election influence, and current weather disasters. None of those is more important than systemic racism and upholding everyone's constitutional right to freedom of speech, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic class, bat-shit crazy politics, or fame. Downplaying what is being expressed here is a great example of white privilege, y'all. 
There's so much more I could say, but I'm going to take my own advice to shut up and listen. And read more black authors. And do my damnedest to walk together with, rather than ahead of, folks who have really important things to teach me.