learning to do what’s right

I know what it’s like to be poor in America.
And I mean poor. The kind of poor in which a family is chronically on the verge of homelessness.
I know what it’s like to be a woman in America.
A place in which my rights to my own bodily autonomy hang by a thread. A place where I remain constantly vigilant whenever and wherever I am out in the world.
I understand being fearful.
I understand being hungry.
I understand feeling my effort to improve my life falling consistently short.
But even though I know these situations, I cannot fathom the depth of feelings they would bring if I was a person of color instead of a white woman.

I understand grief. I understand trauma. I know how hard it is to experience these huge feelings.
I understand the need for peaceful protest. My God, I understand the need for non-peaceful protest.
I find myself working so hard to understand how deep and wide is the pool of fear and grief that causes people to destroy their homes and businesses. That the only way to express that desperate depth of feeling is to lash out at your own neighborhoods.
I have no way of understanding the endless generational racial trauma constantly pounding down on people of color. That level of pain. That constant barrage of fear and grief and killing.
No human should be made to live like that!

What is going on in America is frightening!
The status quo is sick and wrong! It needs to change!
I have so many feels and no where to go with them.
I don’t know how to help. I don’t know what to do.
But I have to try!

I don’t know what’s the right thing to do.
I am fearful of doing the wrong thing.
I am fearful that by doing the wrong thing, I’ll contribute to making the situation worse.
I am fearful that by doing nothing to avoid doing the wrong thing I am actively making the situation worse.

Because I’m a white woman, I feel like my voice can be easily misconstrued as disingenuous and I feel unsure about speaking out. However, I realize my silence is me being complicit.
I feel like my duty is to listen and learn as much as I can.
I feel like my duty is to support those who need it.
I feel like my duty is to help educate people. Especially people like me who won’t ever have to worry because of the color of their skin.

We are one human family.
I am resolved learn how to be a true ally.
I may stumble and make things temporarily worse. But I am committed to doing what is right. I am working toward being a true member of this human family.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “learning to do what’s right

  1. I have never understood riots. I hope the riots will end and be replaced with large scale rejection of racism and violence.
    I hope and believe that most police do not abuse the authority given to them and severe consequences result to those who shame the uniforms.

    • My dad was a police officer so I have experience the complexities of that position. There are some seriously bad cops out there, but I’ve seen evidence of the contrary too. I remain hopeful.

  2. What is happening today is scary. But violence is never the best cure. 💖

  3. This is beautiful, my friend. I feel the same way. Together we stand. 🕊

  4. I think none of us know the right thing to do. We need to follow our hearts and lead with love! We ARE one human family!

  5. debscarey

    Robyn, you’ve expressed the dilemma faced by so many of us, and you’ve expressed it beautifully. It is heartbreaking to watch from over here in the UK, although I know all too well that we have our own similar troubles.

    • Thank you, Deb.
      It’s heartbreaking and makes me angry and the tears come and then I’m so grateful that I have a voice.
      I don’t know how to best help, but I’m working on it! ❤

  6. This is perfect. I don’t know the right thing, and I fear doing the wrong thing. 💔

    • I keep thinking is this the time to try to do something and have it be the wrong thing? Is that worse than doing nothing?
      I want to be helpful.

      • I’m thinking it starts with conversations with family and friends, and especially with friends of other races, oh, and voting. And Maya Angelou’s words come to mind: “Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better.”

  7. Absolutely! ❤

  8. its very beautiful

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