Build your “talking about racism” muscles.

White Americans…

Apparently those two words are highly offensive. I got more negative responses to those two words on my Facebook page than about what I posted.

Why is that?

I believe it’s because white Americans aren’t taught how to talk about race. Speaking from personal experience, I didn’t want to talk about race for fear of looking racist or saying something offensive.

Once I began my journey I learned that my “talking about race” muscles had never developed, and a result, I avoided it at all costs.

What did it cost? More than I knew! To protect my comfort I inadvertently let people of color think I didn’t care about them or their experiences. I wish I had known earlier in my life that to be an ally to those around me I needed to grow those muscles, and the very first muscle I had to recognize and come to terms with is the fact that I’m white.

If I’m white, then I experience life from that perspective. If I’m white, I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color (someone who is not white). Simple concepts that you would think are easy to grasp, but those who won’t acknowledge this will never understand why things are so much easier for them than for people who aren’t white.

I share the following image to prove that America is not post-racial. If racial ideas in America have improved to the point where all people are actually treated fairly/equally/equitably we wouldn’t be seeing the devastation we’re watching unfold in front of us.

No-one-is-born-hating-another-person-because-of-the-color-of-his-skin-or-his-background-or-his-religion.-People-must-learn-to-hate-and-if-they-can-learn-to-hate-...-Nelson-MandelaWe have learned to hate. But that means we can learn to love. We must dig into our history (our textbooks were not completely honest and they have been edited to make us feel better about ourselves) and we have to teach our children our full and accurate history, even the facts that are not only unpleasant, but downright appalling.

As you work to grow your own muscles, I know you will want to also begin growing those muscles in your kids. This podcast episode is a great place to start: Talking to kids… about race. This is Amber Coleman-Mortley and her kids chatting about race and racism. Listening to a black family talk about this I can learn from their experiences what I can’t learn from my own.

let-s-k12-better-episode-momofallcapes-race-landscape_orig

Amber Coleman-Mortley – @MomOfAllCapes

Resources:
How to talk to Kids about Race and Racism – Website with great content
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James W. Loewen (Author) – book for adults
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Reader’s Edition by James W. Loewen (Author) – book for youth
Episode 156: How To Talk To Kids About Race: Edit Your Life Show – Podcast episode released sometime around June 2019

 

Kathleen Johnson

 

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in #OnceYouSeeRacism, Racism/Race Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Build your “talking about racism” muscles.

  1. Maria Currey says:

    Thank you for transparently, honestly leading with your voice toward racial reconciliation, Jennifer!
    I want my “talk about muscles” to grow and be a loving embrace to what has been abrasive and avoided for long enough. Praying gratefully as muscle-growing dialogue grows!!

  2. Pingback: The Dangers of the Colorblind Mentality | thehamricks

  3. Pingback: Be color brave, not color blind | thehamricks

  4. Pingback: See and Honor Color | thehamricks

  5. Pingback: What is an Ally? | thehamricks

  6. Pingback: Allyship – digging deeper | thehamricks

  7. Pingback: What privilege?!? | thehamricks

  8. Pingback: Nobody is mad at you for being white. Nobody. | thehamricks

  9. Pingback: What “White Privilege” is and is not. | thehamricks

  10. Pingback: Independence Day – Juneteenth | thehamricks

  11. Pingback: Erasing History… | thehamricks

  12. Pingback: Jim Crow Laws | thehamricks

  13. Pingback: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man | thehamricks

  14. Pingback: Systemic Racism and Bob the Tomato | thehamricks

  15. Pingback: Mortality and Black Skin | thehamricks

  16. Pingback: Redlining | thehamricks

  17. Pingback: Bootstraps and the GI Bill | thehamricks

  18. Pingback: This is Us and Why We Should Celebrate Black History Month | thehamricks

  19. Pingback: Microaggressions | thehamricks

  20. Pingback: Grace, Justice, & Mercy | thehamricks

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s