Tomorrow is officially four weeks post-election. Since then I’ve attended a 4 gatherings set up solely to discuss political action. That’s four more than I’ve ever attended in my entire life. I’ve set up a political digest with a calendar where we are accumulating all local events that either support communities who could be negatively impacted by the new administration, or events that support the political advancement of more progressive candidates in North Alabama. That’s a lot to have done in four weeks. Right?
I say this because the mourning period is over. I have to come out of my echo chamber. I said for years that echo chambers were dangerous, and that I was only creating one for temporarily self care, and now it’s time to let go of it.
I found a great document last week – “Opportunities for White People In The Fight For Racial Justice” and it was SO CHOCKED FULL of information that I wanted to just memorize it all. It has sinse been moved to an actual website and I encourage everyone to take time to read every word. There’s great links/resources and great plans of attack. I love this thing and plan on making it my bible.
One of my key takaways in the your white communities section is:
Reach out to other White people in your life (family members, old friends, distant social media connections) to engage them in conversations about racism, Whiteness, etc. Bonus points for seeking out and engaging (White) Trump voters in your personal networks.
Um. Yeah. I don’t do that. Not at all. It was a struggle to coach myself on how to engage when I feel like someone has said something racist…BUT ACTUALLY REACHING OUT TO START THE CONVERSATION BEFORE IT GETS THERE? That’s a level I haven’t reached yet.
But I need to.
It’s not like I’m letting people who drop the N-word go about their lives like that’s okay. Not at all. But I know I’ve had my hackles raised at hearing comments that I’ve not addressed. And I’ve worked really hard to coach myself to deal with that in a proper way. But to actually initiate conversations? I just can’t see how that works. But you know what I can see? How important it is. I actually have been thinking about that – about how to start these conversations. And maybe it makes me The Person No One Ever Wants To Talk To Anymore, but I can feel how important it is.
But one thing I know I can do is stop ignoring shit on Facebook. I had convinced myself that to engage on someone else’s wall is a social intrusion. Bring white privilege to my wall and you’ll get called out, but I’m not going to go to YOUR wall and call YOU out on YOUR status.
Partly because I’m a chicken.
And partly because I’ve now unfollowed everyone who says that type of stuff.
And as of tomorrow? The vacation is over. I’m going back in and (trying) to remember all of the people I’ve unfollowed in the last four weeks and follow them back. I can’t live in my echo chamber anymore. Not if I want to make a real difference in my real communities.