Anguish & Action
Like so many of you, I have been shocked and disheartened by the events of the last week. I was physically ill watching George Floyd's death before our very eyes. This will haunt this nation for a very long time.... and my belated reaction comes from exhaustion, sorrow and not knowing what to say or do. Even with the pandemic, I had resources to share, ideas to cultivate and connections to make, because I know grief so well.
But this grief is different.
I have been in many situations where I have been dismissed and discounted.
I know what it is to be marginalized.
I have known fear and violence.
But none of that even begins to compare to the experience of any person of color in America.
The violence rising once again from our nation's streets and cities, like so many times before, highlights, and screams, the frustrations of our communities of color for generations. Walking a mile in their shoes is something we can attempt - but maybe not truly master.
If you know me at all, you know that I believe in and teach Action.
So what do we DO? We have to be active allies, but the method matters.
Just like grievers dislike being told how to feel, so does anyone who is suffering.
And because this is about grief, many of Fearless Grieving's tools fit here, as well.
- Say "I Know How You Feel" - we don't. No matter what I have been through, it in no way resembles what POC experience every time they walk out their door. Let's listen to their fears and resolve to be part of their healing, not part of the problem.
- Say "You Need to Get Over It" - this is hurtful on so many levels.... millions of losses over hundreds of years is not something you get over.....
- Tell others how they should feel - again, empathy is what connects us - that must be our goal as a society. This is in everyone's interest, because when we turn on one another, we all lose.
- Educate ourselves - countless leaders of color are speaking out - seek them out and listen.
- This also means reading books - I am ordering some new ones myself, some from this list, but there are many more:
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America? by Ibram X. Kendi
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- A Huge List of Practical Ideas has been provided by The Obama Foundation for policy, stats, and social justice initiatives - take a look and see what resonates for you:
Yes, I took my title from here... suffering in silence gets us nowhere, whether we are facing a major life change of our own or change that we want for our nation.
As someone who has experienced trauma and works with trauma survivors, I can tell you. We all have a breaking point. There are only so many times you can get punched, torn down and broken before you snap. And when that happens, we either turn inward onto ourselves or turn outward, directing our rage and frustration at the world. I don't condone it - it has nothing to do with condoning it. I see it and acknowledge it and understand it. And it is all tragic.
My practice is a safe & sacred space - all are welcome who have been unheard and who have suffered discrimination and marginalization.
I hear you.
I see you.
I stand for you.
I have been an activist all my life and I will continue to speak up and speak out.
I will make mistakes - I will strive to do better.
If I may be of service to any of you, please reach out.
By phone, email or Zoom, I am available.
Let us strive onward to build a better nation and a better world.