I’ve been intentionally quiet over the past few weeks and days as I see more and more of my friends and acquaintances making declarations of anti-racism; sharing book, article, and speaker recommendations; declaring how tired they are of “everything that’s been going on“ (which could include the virus, really); and so on.
I see you. I hear you. I am not unaffected.
For those of you who didn’t know or may have wondered (which is something for which I don’t blame you), I am just black; all black, not mixed with anything. My mom’s side of the family has very light skin. Black people come in many colors.
I’ve also been thinking about what I want, what I need specifically. I speak only for myself, Lindsay Wilcox, and not for anyone else.
I want you to get to know the actual black people in your lives, and I want you to get to know them as black people. That includes me, so you’re off to a good start. 👍 I’ve been black my whole life. It is part of who I am. You might not think about that part of me when you think of me. That doesn’t make me not black.
I also want you to listen when people say that some things are not okay. I mean matters of race right now, but it applies across the board. That’s the phrase I use (“not okay”), and that’s what I teach my students, and that’s probably what I would teach my children if I had any. When someone—anyone—says “that’s not okay,” the correct response is “I’m sorry.” Then stop talking. If it’s not a big deal, you’re all set, and we can all move on with our lives. If is a big deal to that person—even if it is not a big deal to you—keep listening. Big deals get explained. You can defend yourself second. The one who was offended gets to speak first.
That’s all I have to say for now. Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring.