"Lord please help me help my stupid self." If those words sound familiar, they probably are. It is a line in the popular country song Watching You by Rodney Atkins.
"I have said this to myself many times over the past few weeks. As I listen to the current events in our country. I wonder what can I do? What can I say? How can I help? I say to myself "I am not racist" and deep down I know this to be true. But as I watch, read, try to learn; I find some things I say may very well be, unintentionally, offensive to POC. For that I am truly sorry. So I am making it my mission to learn more, to read more. Will I be perfect? Hell no! But I can be and do better and I will.
If you don't know me, you won't know that I grew up in the south. If you've ever spoken with me, you probably picked right up on that, lol. I remember, vaguely, the days of desegregation in the sixties. My family were very prejudice. As best I can surmise, they weren't racist, but they definitely were prejudiced. I was intelligent enough, even as a child, to know that. I also deep down knew that it was wrong. I did my best, as a child, to not live, feel, or speak, the way they did. As an adult I let them know they were wrong. I did not raise my children to be prejudiced or racist. I can only hope I was successful in that. It is not easy to not fall down that rabbit hole. I was naive enough to think we as a society had come much farther than we have. Everyday, I hear or read something that shows me how far in the dark ages we still are. The past 3-4 years have brought it out in full force. Racism is all around us. It has never left. Will it ever? I don't have the answer to that. I can only hope that someday we can and will all be "people". Not people defined by the color or our skin.
As a child I went to Sunday School. We sang a song every week "Jesus Loves the Little Children". You may know it. This is one of the verses from the song; "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world; red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." I believed every word in that song, as a child and still. But somewhere between Sunday school and going to “big church“, that changed. I can remember the preachers in the church making racist/prejudiced comments from the pulpit. What happened to Jesus loving all the children of the world? When did he go from loving children but not loving allTo me we were and are all the same. We are people. The Declaration of Independence states "All men are created equal". This I believe. I hope some day our society gets to that point. Until then, I pledge to do my part to be part of the solution, not the problem.
A group of yoga teacher friends and I are coming together in a virtual book club to begin educating ourselves. We are starting with reading the book; How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. If anyone would like to join us, let me know and I will link you to the FaceBook group we have formed. Yesterday I listened to a podcast by Brene' Brown with the author Ibram X. Kendi. All I can say is WOW. It was a bit eyeopening. You can listen to it here.
As a white woman; a southern white woman I pledge to do my part. Will you join me?