As someone who has chosen to put herself out there in the blogosphere and as I continue to grow a platform without becoming less intimate (and quite frankly just as a human), I feel obligated to share the following with you. Before I start, please know this is coming from an honest and self-reflective place and what I have to say might not be exactly how you feel, but I’m asking you to consider my words.
In the wake of current events this week, I have felt so incredibly defeated. Half of the country will know that feeling and maybe half won’t understand at all. That’s okay, because what I have to say isn’t about the election. This is personal.
I grew up in a world (more like bubble) where I never understood what racial struggles certain groups of people face on a day-to-day basis—didn’t understand a lot about the racial divide that is still present in America. We are getting better (I like to think) but there is still a lot of work to do. More so than I thought. And as a young white female who’s had to endure no “struggle” in her life, I am responsible for educating myself. I am responsible for having those hard conversations and using my voice to talk about it. Thankfully, I have people in my life (one important one in particular) who are willing to have those conversations with me and who I learn from everyday. Sure, there are things I’ll simply never understand because of where I’m from/my race/how I grew up. But that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to be empathetic towards each other.
My boyfriend (who is black) and I celebrated our two-year anniversary on November 9th. So this post seemed even more appropriate knowing what things we might encounter moving forward these next four years.
I won’t ever understand how it feels to be called a racial slur. But I do know what it’s like to watch someone you love experience that.
If people want to call me a n-word lover (true story), fine. If people want to ask me if my parents are cool with me dating a black guy, fine. It doesn’t shake me, and it never will. But I refuse to stay silent. I owe it to him and to every other minority who will feel that pain like boiling water running through their veins.
If you take anything away from this please remember, it’s extremely hard to sit around a table with people just like yourself and form your own opinions. They say you can’t change people and growing up, I believed that. But people can change. You can talk about tough issues. You can learn who people really are, underneath their skin and clothes and sarcasm. You can learn about these things without having to argue. You can ask how someone feels. It’s okay to feel ignorant and awkward.
I have learned A LOT and changed my views A LOT since I began intentionally having conversations about race and what it actually feels like to grow up in a place where not many people look like you. See, it’s easy for the black culture to sound loud when the white culture is silent about important issues. Especially when you haven’t been exposed.
So the point of this post is to acknowledge that maybe we don’t know everything and maybe we need to own up to that. Don’t be silent. Don’t be afraid. Talk to each other, read articles and watch videos. We live in a time where many people are SO accepting and encouraging (of interracial dating, the LGBT community, and beyond) while others can’t seem to grasp why I would date anyone besides a white person. Crazy, huh?
And to my women reading this, keep fighting, keep working your ass off, keep shining like the diamond you are. NO ONE can tell you what to do, how to react, or what you can accomplish in this life. Things won’t change overnight but we have to work every. single. day. on trying to understand each other. I refuse to bring my biracial babies into an unconscious society.
Thanks for sticking with this one. All love.