[Conversations with Fellow Warriors]
A close friend reached out last week to talk strategy and ask questions and have difficult conversations. I asked if I could post it anonymously and they gave permission. I also have things I would add to these answers / things I wrote since I took the Introduction to Being an Antiracist event but I didn’t want to edit either sides of the conversation. I’ll add to these statements soon. Let me know if this helps.
Warrior: I was reading your blog post about Juneteenth
Warrior: So I was listening to the CodeSwitch podcast earlier…They’re basically asking, “what’s different about THIS time vs all the others,” and it’s a lot of things that I’ve been wondering, too.
Warrior: That was a lot of it and Trump.
Me: COVID wouldn’t have been as shitty if trump weren’t there, yeah. and there’s a LOT more hate and unrest in america right now because of trump. The rest of the world joined in because of covid, though.
Warrior: The theory that they were talking about was basically, “Once you kick out Trump, and you can go back to your jobs.. will you still feel the same way”
Me: And the covid vaccine arrives? Yeah, it’s quite possible. It’s one of the reasons i also posted about turning the passion into systemic movement
Warrior: (that was the “go back to your job” part, but yeah; I just really struggle with the idea of “if you’re being silent, then you’re part of the problem”
Me: You are.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”Edmund Burke
Warrior: So how does that jive with the similar mindset of “white people, shut up and let the people who understand the problem talk”?
Me: That is some people’s opinions – you can speak out without interrupting. you can take action without interrupting.
Warrior: Okay – so as a white straight CIS-male, I am the antithesis of ALL things diversity, and quite frankly I am ignorant, so I try to listen and learn, but I do not feel I am anywhere near educated enough to speak. And yes that sounds like a cop out when I write it but still, that’s how I feel.
Me: Your feelings are valid. You can quietly support the movement, do something, and still let the people who understand talk. Read that article. Do stuff in it.
Warrior: I see the seething outrage from my partner and they wonder why I’m not the same way, which makes me wonder what the hell.
Me: Everyone reacts in their own way; that’s fine. It’s okay to not feel seething outrage. Enroll in this course. Listen to this podcast. Learn some phrases to say when someone is racist around you. Practice them so they roll off the tongue when it happens. Don’t turn away when it happens.
We don’t do that here.
It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.
What would Jesus think of these statements?
How would you feel if someone else said this about someone you love?
Can we not?
Stop with the racism.
Me: My favourite is ‘Can we not?’ But it’s new; I haven’t ingrained it yet. I typically use ‘we don’t do that here’ because it’s something i ingrained in response to sexism. It works for both…
Warrior: I like those. And I already tended to do that when I recognize the situation
Me: You’re a good person, Warrior.
Warrior: What I’m struggling with are ALL the situations that racist, sexist, etc that I did not see at all. I try to be good, I really do; but it seems like I manage to fuck up a lot.
Me: We were raised in the nineties, really. Our ‘normal’ is so fucked up. It’s not just you. It’s our entire generation. And, frankly, everyone older than us.
Warrior: And see? Right now, I’m doing exactly what we’re told not to do. Don’t make it about you.
Warrior: Waaaaaah! God, I’m a whiny bitch.
Me: No, you’re talking to me. Asking for advice. Breathe.
Warrior: Yes, I am. Thank you.