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It's Important for You to Know

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Friends. 

It is a devastatingly heavy time in our world and our nation right now.

And to not to acknowledge that and let you know where I stand would be totally inauthentic of me.
On average...I think about 50-100 people read my blog and I have under 400 people who follow me on my two Instagram accounts. So literally- in the land of social media and the internet, I am a gnat on the wall that you can barely see.

HOWEVER. If I were to run into you at the store, or if you were my friend or just someone I struck up a conversation with at the park- this would be something that I openly share with you....because I am the type of person who shares her heart, who feels things VERY deeply and for a very long time, due to past experiences, have been ACUTELY aware of the tragic, ongoing state of racism in our country. 

So- if this post only gets read by 10 people or 200- I don't care. The people who read this will know where I stand and that is IMPORTANT, IMPERATIVE for you to know.

I am a white woman, born into a white, middle-upper class family. 
I was born into privilege just for that sheer fact.
I am SO grateful to have been raised by two parents who exemplified the belief that we are ALL made in the image of God and that I was no better than anyone else. This was actually something my parents consistently taught us and I am SO thankful to have grown up with that belief system engrained into me. 

It wasn't until I started my first job out of graduate school, on the South side of Chicago, working as a speech therapist for 2 Chicago Public School system elementary schools, where I realized racism is REAL, SYSTEMIC and that my privilege automatically forced me to take a much DEEPER, HARDER and BRUTALLY honest look at my heart and the prejudices I had formed just by being a white woman- and the privilege I had because of that.

At work, I WAS THE MINORITY. And for the first time in my life, I felt out of place, questioned, wondered if people liked me or trusted me. I remember specifically, there were security guards at my school and one in particular wanted nothing to do with me. She plain and simple didn't trust me...and so she wouldn't let me into the building. I would have to wait until a teacher that she knew came up to the door and then I could enter with him or her. And I was totally blown away by all of this. And it led me to really look at my life, my upbringing and just how UNAWARE I was of the injustices that exist EVERY DAY. EVERY MINUTE. for people of color.

I am SO incredibly thankful for my experience working for the Chicago Public Schools...I went through some HARD stuff during that time but I am a completely different person because of my experiences.

And so I have continued to learn and try to understand as best as I can AS A WHITE WOMAN. And while I will never truly know what it is like to live as a person of color in our country, I know that desiring constant change in my heart, asking for repeated repentance from God for the times I have judged and made assumptions, teaching my children that differences DO exist, that we must KNOW BETTER to DO BETTER and seeking answers from my friends who are people of color is my mission field right now. It feels insignificant and so not worthy of the struggles that people of color have experienced for DECADES. 
But I have to trust that in my tiny ways I can create change by doing small things with great love and if we ALL did that...the impact WOULD be significant.

I reached out to a friend recently, who is the mother of 4 GORGEOUS children. My friend is white and her husband is black. I told her my words felt cheap but I needed her to know that I GRIEVE that she has to be scared when her sons want to go for a run. I told her I don't have the words to express the pain I have for her living a completely different reality than me- BECAUSE OF HER KIDS' SKIN COLOR. 
And she didn't disagree with me. Because that is a fear she has. Just as she has that fear when her husband goes for a run. 
And I DO NOT know what that feels like- but I am open to being uncomfortable. 
To listening to the pain she has to feel and I can let her know I not only want to do better- I WILL DO BETTER.

As a Catholic, I believe with every fiber of my being that EVERY human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.  

It is IMPORTANT for you to know that about me.

It is IMPORTANT for you to know that I am aware of how insignificant I am in this vast world, but that I will continue to pray, ACT for the transformation of our country and strive to lead a life that reflects I only care about the opinion of one person: My God. 

This is no time to be silent. This is a time to grieve, to learn, and to act—together.

Friends. It's important for you to know WHO I am. This internet is a weird thing. It allows us to put on facades and pretend. But that is NOT me. And that is why I shared my heart today. Thank you for listening and reading and being a part of this tiny but precious to me community.

I will leave you with this beautiful prayer, from Lauren Winter, you can find her @brickhouseinthecity, because it speaks the words better than I could ever say them myself.




5 comments:

  1. Your experience in Chicago must have been truly powerful and perspective-changing. Thank you for sharing these important words during this very difficult time for our country.

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  2. I was happy to have you back. I taught in a Title 1 school. If people could see these young children with love and understanding, the world would change.

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  3. What a beautiful post and so beautifully stated! Thanks for sharing your heart!

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  4. Thank you. I also taught in a same situation. Now that I am retired after 30years it was the best part of my life to teach and show my students kindness and respect . Being Jewish I have also felt hatred in situations and it is terrible to experience.

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