During the Covid-19 stay at home order, I was looking forward to life getting back to normal. But after the recent events following the death of George Floyd, I realized that I didn’t want my life to go back to the old normal. I want a new normal. A new normal where racism doesn’t exist, where there is not police brutality, especially against Black men and women. Because BLACK LIVES MATTER!
For the past several weeks, I’ve been listening and learning more about systemic racism. I never thought of myself as a racist because I have been faced with racism myself. But I don’t think I have done a good enough job at being anti-racist. Looking back, I should have spoken up more often when others were making racist comments. I stayed silent…which would make that type of behavior – to the people making the comments – acceptable. And it was not.
I’ve always been an ally to my Black friends and coworkers. I’ve sat and listened to their experiences with racism in social settings and in the workplace. I’ve had the privilege of being a confidant. At times, I have asked what they wanted me to do to help the situation. But I never fully understood because I would try to see both sides and make excuses for the other party. From now on, I will listen without judgment.
What I’ve learned about all this is that we are all learning more about racism towards Black Americans through this Black Lives Matter movement. We may not all be at the same point but I hope we are all moving towards a better future for our Black neighbors and our kids.
Charlie and I have had discussions with Luke on racism. To be honest, it has been quite difficult for him to understand. He says he sees everyone the same. He knows he has Black classmates and that’s about it. We explained to Luke what racism is and if he ever experiences it or sees that someone else is being treated poorly because the color of their skin that he takes some action – speak up and stop it.
Ways You Can Help
Many people have been sharing how to help with this movement. You can donate to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, sign a petition, protest, vote, support Black-owned, among the few things to do. I’ve found the following websites to be very helpful – Black Lives Matter Carrd, Time and The Good Trade.
About the pictures in this post
These pictures were taken about a week or so after the initial protests and riots occurred in Chicago. As a result of the protests and looting, most businesses in Chicago boarded up their windows. Shortly afterwards, local artists came and painted art supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. I found them to be beautiful and hopeful.