As always, I have a lot to learn in life. When the Black Lives Matter movement became the center of the news front, I realized even more deeply how much learning I have ahead of me. I wrote a little bit about that back HERE, and so many people had great input as advice as to how to delve deeper.
Two of the recommended books were these ones that I finished a while back and still haven’t written about:
I learned a lot, but mostly I realized I’m just hitting the tip of the iceberg. This whole issue is deep and wide. So important to keep in the forefront.
It was interesting to learn from a black author as well as from a white author, and I realized more than ever that everyone is coming from such different perspectives which makes racism such a complicated issue to tackle.
Some things I agreed with as I read, and some I didn’t. But I think the bottom line is that there is so much beauty that lies in humility: something I realized as I read that I need to gain a lot more of. Some things in these books were hard for me to take in. At first I put up my defenses. Of course I love everyone, and would never want to judge another race! But both books helped me see how human nature goes and how automatic judgements are part of how we work. I have a lot to change. We all do. I guess that’s the purpose of life, right? To learn and to grow, and sometimes that sure takes a whole lot of humility. Ibram Kendi talked a lot about how our cultures shape us in How to be an Antiracist, for good and for bad and how racism can go both ways. Going after white people instead of racist policies harms everyone involved. We all need to open our minds.
Robin Diangelo, in White Fragility warns “we will not move forward in race relations if we remain comfortable.” “The tendency to believe that being racist/prejudiced is bad causes us to deny that we are that way. We are ‘good people’ after all, aren’t we? if we are ashamed, because being prejudiced is bad, we feel the need to defend our character rather than explore the racial prejudices we absorb so that we might change them.”
I think that is so true. Defensiveness will never help anything in the business of working to understand racism. It is only in humility and trying to see other’s perspectives that we can make changes.
Diangelo says, “We pretend that it will work to teach humans to have no prejudice at all, it just doesn’t work that way. But we can ask, “Am I actively seeking to interrupt racism, and how can I tell?”
Interrupting racism takes courage.
And we as a society sure have lots of work to do.
**links to these books are affiliate linked, only because I love to share things I’m thinking and learning about.**