I haven’t written in a while because life has been challenging. All of my time has been spent trying to find a new place for my brain injured brother to live. This, in itself, is challenging. But Covid has made it unbelievably moreso. I have had to move him without being able to tour potential places. This is disturbing at best… And a lot to process.
So, because of the weight of the last couple of weeks, I wasn’t going to write about the events of January 6 or the mess that our country is in. I wasn’t going to write about it because I was angry.
But then I read a post by a long time Blogger and friend, Ra Avis. You should read it too here ….It is both eloquent and gut wrenching. And frankly, it made me analyze my anger.
I have lived my life, my entire life, as someone with a physical disability…So I have experienced discrimination and marginalization and invisibility comingled with stigma! But I have been fortunate to not have experienced much in the way of fear of personal attack because of my disability. That is a piece of discrimination that has not been part of my experience.
And then I read Ra’s piece. Because she is so gifted and so eloquent, she brought me into her experience. She deftly shared her fear and her pain and her trauma related to the riots in Washington … I was truly humbled. And I consider her a friend… So feeling her pain truly made my heart hurt for her.
And that’s when I realized that my anger was part of my privilege. I’m white. I’m also half Jewish but I only learned that a couple of years ago. So I haven’t experienced racism, anti-Semitism, or feared for my safety because of my color or ethnicity.
So as I watched the events unfold during the riots, certainly I was concerned for our country. But it was not triggering for me personally because I didn’t have those old wounds. I could go right to anger because of my privilege. I have been rolling this around in my brain all day… Anger, in this scenario, is privilege… Anger is my privilege because of my skin color!
And that realization has made me sick and sad and disgusted. My friend is traumatized. And I have the privilege of just being pissed.
We can and should and must do better than this. None of us is free unless we are all free. None of us is safe unless we are all safe. None of us are truly living our lives peacefully unless we are all able to live our lives in peace.
White privilege is real. Discrimination is real. Systemic racism is real. And we can’t eradicate these illnesses until we acknowledge them as real.
So I urge everyone to look within and look without and do what you can do to clean up your own corner of the world. Where and how can each of us as individuals support social justice and change? We can’t be so passive about this. We have to look for it and actively clean it up. We have to call it out when we see it and we have to demand better.
Our friends and family and neighbors of color should not feel fear because of who they are. I say this for myself and for my ancestors who faced anti-Semitism. I say this for my friend who is dealing with post traumatic trauma. I say this for my dear friend’s daughter who is from Central America and faces racism in our very white community.
None of us can heal until we heal our own willful blindness to the realities of racism and privilege…. and then do everything we can to eradicate the source of these diseases.
We have to do better… we owe it to our children, and we owe it to future generations! Please join me… We need all hands on deck!
I’m glad you’re here💜