Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Happy Birthday?

on July 9, 2016

Candle

Well, hello there. It’s been a few months. I told you I probably wouldn’t be writing any more posts on this blog, but the need has been growing and I can no longer resist.

There’s a lot to say, and nothing to say. But I’m going to say it anyway.

My 49th birthday was yesterday. It was a great day for me. I heard from many, many friends and family during the day. I took the day off from work and spent it with my sweet husband, doing things I enjoy. Then we had a lovely dinner with some great friends, and my sister came, which made it just that much more special. So I feel prepared for the staring contest with 50 that officially begins today. Bring it, half century. I got this.

At the same time I feel a little weird about celebrating when there is so much awful going on in the world. As I sat in the crowded restaurant eating and drinking and laughing, thousands of my fellow citizens were protesting (peacefully, thank God) the disconnect between “All Men are Created Equal” and the unequal treatment a large percentage of these men and women are subjected to, every day of their lives.

I don’t believe that people should give up their celebrations when things like this are going on. It is as important to express joy as it is to stand up to injustice, and I don’t feel guilty about it. What I do feel is a terrible sense of helplessness, and of inadequacy.

I read post after post on Facebook, article after article in newspapers and magazines, and listened to all the voices raised in this collective howl of frustration and impotent rage, and I wonder if I should add my voice. I suppose this post is evidence of what I finally chose.

I don’t actually have anything to say that hasn’t already been said, and said well, by others. I don’t have any new wisdom, or brilliant insight, or magic words that will make it all make sense and show us the path forward. I wish I did.

What I do have is a renewed sense of the importance of saying SOMETHING.

So, this is what I have to say:

  • I believe that racism is real, institutionalized, and rampant in our country.
  • I believe that racism will never go away until the majority of white people who abhor racism actually DO something about it, and not just assume that because they don’t actively hate black people that there isn’t a problem.
  • I believe that denying racism is racist, and I have been very disappointed to see some of the people I know buying into this dangerous lie.

The thought that any of the black men I know – these smart, talented, creative, successful, loving men – could be shot at any time for no reason is intolerable.

I have to do SOMETHING.

There have been some good things written about what white people can do to help. This is one of those things – speak up.

I never engage in casual racist talk. Sometimes I even try to point it out. I can do better than that. I will be more vocal in the future.

I will look for other ways to help. I will start being part of the solution, however I can.

You hear the phrase “Be the change you want to see”. It may sound like a cliché, but it is a profound truth. We don’t often get to make the big gestures, but we can always make the small ones, and sometimes that’s enough to soften a hard heart.

This is me, a white girl, stepping up. For my friends. For myself. For everyone.

*****************
photo credit: gc366day125 via photopin (license)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: