Sunday, June 28, 2015

Keep Talking

In the week that my mother passed away, my inbox was flooded with emails of support and friendship. My community texted me, some even called, to tell me they were there for me and that I could count on them for anything I needed. It meant more than I can say to feel the support of people around me who stood by me, even if they had no experience with the pain of my loss.

After that initial week, an occasional question would flit in, asking how I was doing, maybe, but for the most part, life went on for everyone else, as it always does.

And I understand it. We all like easy, status quo, we like to return to things where we left them before we had to look up from our own lives for a moment.

It feels like that time now again, about Charleston.
The first time reaction posts of the horror of Charleston have slowed to an ebb. We're now celebrating Marriage Equality in America, which is rightly so a mind-blowing historical and just event. But today is the start of a new week, and we return back to the lives we have.

It's human nature to tire of work. Emotional work feels equal in effort to physical. Writing about Charleston is an emotional landmine—as anything that is about race. Tempers flare, friendships are lost, and the confrontational nature of opposing sides makes some of us feel like running to our homes and locking the doors behind us.

But we can't let the talk of race die down because the impact of racism in America continues. Even if in your heart, you tire of explaining to people—sometimes even in your family—the dialogue needs to remain. Racism hurts us all, every one of every color. How many times in the past have we pretended with other things in our lives, that something isn't there? It doesn't work. Problems don't disappear.
We all need to keep talking about race, and not leave the work from here on out now to people of color. Whistling about how we don't see color, and we're not the ones with the problem, or how we're not racist and have taught our children to not see color, does not make racism in America fall away. It is there. To see it, read the news on any single day. It's not enough to write our one golden post or deliver our one in-person request to not engage in hateful bigoted dialogue. Without a doubt, anyone being vocal is appreciated, you could even say it's our duty. But we can't dust off our hands now with “my work is done here.”

We need to keep on writing and speaking on the injustice and existence of racism in America. Especially when others have stopped. The hostility from some we know may continue, and we will probably be told by others that we don't see the whole picture—That's when our words take on even more importance.

America has finally started talking about race. Voices dying down can bring that same death to this topic.
You can keep the talk of racism in America alive, but your voice has to be the breath within it.

Please keep talking:

Series of Nighttime Fires Bring Arson to Six Black Churches
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  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Alexandra. And you're so very right--I think we have the tendency to leap from one topic of conversation to another, depending on what's newsworthy (or just good fodder for the week). I'm so glad that we are really having this dialogue about race/racism in our country and that we're starting to understand how many are impacted--STILL--by the color of their skin.

    It's important discussion that we need to keep having. And I thank you for bringing it to light here.

    Thinking about you and hope all is well, my sweet. XOXO

    1. Thank you for your words, Charlotte. You are so right. It's important to think of life for everyone. It's not as easy as it sounds, but we have to listen to the words of all the people



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