I’ve had a heavy heart and cried many times this past week watching the protests and riots all over the country.
As I went to sleep last night, I opened up the next chapter in the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It happened to be about racism:
Glennon shares a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr’s, famous essay “Letter from Birmingham Jail”:
I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action.”
These words called to my heart.
Because here we are, having the SAME conversations and fighting the SAME fight on the SAME issues of injustice, oppression, racism and discrimination, that Martin Luther King fought…and his parents fought…and their parents fought before them.
When will oppression and racism end?
Black people can’t do it alone. They’ve tried.
They need our help, white friends.
Svadyaya is Sanskrit for self-study. If we’re truly on a soul’s journey, we’ve got to commit to growth, which requires getting uncomfortable, unlearning and self-inquiry so we can step into our courage.
So, I reflected:
Am I a racist? I don’t think so.
Am I a coward. Yes.
I’ve sat silently on the sidelines, because this wasn’t “my” fight, I felt ignorant and nervous about saying the wrong thing or offending someone.
So, I just prayed, focused on being a good person and liked other people’s posts on these subjects.
It’s not enough.
Empathy doesn’t mean you understand someone else’s struggles of what they’re experiencing.
Empathy means you understand the feelings they’re experiencing.
While I may not understand oppression, because I haven’t personally experienced discrimination, racism or physical abuse, I can understand feeling unheard, unseen, insignificant, bullied, less than and not enough.
We all can.
Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”
I want to do better. I’m new at this, which is shameful because I’m 41 years old.
It’s never too late.
Although I’m scared, I’m committed to unlearning my beliefs and learning new perspectives from BIPOC to educate myself so I can help bring change in the way we think individually and how we treat black people collectively in our political, legal and social systems.
None of us are free until we all are.
It’s not enough to be “not racist.” I am committed to being anti-racist. Are you?
Want to learn more?
Here are 75 things white people can do for racial justice now:
Also, I’m teaching a yin yoga class tonight (Sunday May 31st) at 7pm pst on IG LIVE dedicated to self-reflection and courage. My classes are always free/by donation, and I truly thank you for your donations to me in the past. If you have the means, please donate to the NAACP for this class: https://www.naacp.org. All of my weekly yoga classes are stored on IGTV on instagram so you can watch anytime.
Thank you for being here and being a part of this community together.