A few years ago while at work, I experienced a coworker being openly racist and derogatory during a political conversation. I just stood there and pretended I wasn’t hearing what was coming out of her mouth. I stood in silence and disbelief. To this day I am ashamed that I didn’t speak up. I don’t think I fully processed it all until weeks later, but how I handled it still haunts me. America, let this be a lesson to us all.
Our world is a scary place right now, and we need to make a big change or it’s only going to get worse. I may not live on to see it all but my two beautiful biracial kids will. And I want them to know I used my voice, stood up for what I believed in, and tried to bring peace and acceptance.
Have the difficult conversations.
I generally never talk about politics at work, on social media, or with really anyone for that matter, rarely even my Husband. I have always tried to be non-confrontational with my colleagues and I think that got in my way that day. On the other hand, I think the lesson in that moment for me was that moving forward I would never stand on the sidelines and accept that behavior again. I would have the difficult conversations, no matter who it’s with. I would stand up to fight against racism.
I have always adopted the “to each their own” mentality for the most part. However… since when are we as an entire nation THIS openly hateful?! Maybe I have just been naive and blind to the extent of it. But the fact that someone who full well knows my family is biracial, thinks it’s okay to speak that way in front of me, or in public at all for that matter, is UNACCEPTABLE. I told myself maybe she was raised that way, maybe it’s a generational difference. The fact of the matter is…IT. DOESN’T. MATTER. It’s UNACCEPTABLE. Period. No more excuses.
Racism isn’t born, it is taught.
After six-plus years of working with her and respecting her as a person, how was I just then finding out that she is racist? Because our country is now in a place where it is supporting this disgusting behavior again, and it needs to STOP! As many before me have said… racism isn’t born, it is taught. It is a LEARNED behavior, and starts and ends right under your own roof.
I prayed for my girls extra hard that night. I prayed for their future. I prayed for the world as they will know it. I prayed that they won’t experience hatred and racism because of the color of their family’s skin. I prayed with every fiber of my being that they will know a peaceful, loving, and accepting world. And I prayed extra for our country too.
The truth is, America, we are living in a dark and heartbreaking reality right now. And if we don’t collectively vow for change, peace, and acceptance NOW, our worlds as we know them are only going to get darker. This most recent tragedy in our country has shown us yet again that tomorrow is not promised, and we still have a long way to go.
America, we can do better.
So I ask that we do better, America. Use your voice, and stand up for what is right. Even if it’s uncomfortable. We need to spread love and kindness, not hate. We need to stop dividing and come together. We are all in this life together. We all deserve respect. And we are ALL human.
Peace and love to all,
*The original version of this post was written by me in 2017, you can read the full version here.
*The MLK heart graphic was inspired by @slingshotsandarrows and was recreated by me, with permission.
Share the love.