The last couple of weeks have been tough.
Last week, after the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, John and I sat True (9 yrs old) down and had a conversation with him about what is happening in the US. We told him about the murder of George Floyd by a white cop, about the uprisings, the dispair. We’ve had many conversations about how his/our white privilege shows up, about racism & white supremacy. But this conversation felt different. More urgency. More anger. More solidarity. And a very clear understanding that THIS IS OUR WORK as a white family.
As we talked, I imagined black mothers having an entirely different conversation with their children about what it’s like to be black in the US, their concerns for safety, protocols they must follow if they were to survive, the injustices to be expected, how to navigate and live and love in a country that has deep rooted systemic racism everywhere.
I have been working to unravel my white privilege, fragility, & racism. I am fumbling my way through. I have caused unintended harm for which I am ashamed. I have spoken out of turn when I should have let BIPOC do the speaking. I have leaked my white fragility all over the place.
I am a work in progress. And I will keep progressing. I want to be an ally AND I have much more work to do.
Here’s what I pledge to do:
- Continue to have conversations with my family as we learn and unlearn.
- Listen and learn from BIPOC while not expecting them to do all the labor
- Amplify the voices of BIPOC by reading/listening/supporting/recommending their words/works/voices across my social media platforms
- Donate to organizations who are helping educate and end systemic racism
- Read books from BIPOC. Currently reading Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Vote and speak up and out in my community.
- As a new retailer/shop owner of SoulShine & Co and co-owner of a new food truck, I’m taking a closer look at how I can support black & brown owned creative/food businesses with my spending dollars. I’m also looking at ways I can amplify BIPOC voices in my small rural town, which is so important.
As an artist, small business, mother, and human in the world, I will carry this work forward with great intention and thoughtfulness.
Big love, Kelly Rae