I was listening to a podcast last week and this quote rocked my world:
It stopped me in my tracks and slammed me up against the wall. It caught me off guard because it described me so well. I am shocked. I am outraged. I am brokenhearted…but I think the reason what I’m feeling all of these things just now is because I have spent most of my life (maybe all of my life) wrapped up nice and cozy, in my comforter of White Privilege.For the past week I have mulled this post around in my head. As a white woman, who is just at the very beginning of this journey, should I even write this post? There are a lot of voices that should be amplified and mine isn’t one of them. There are a lot of people who have been fighting systemic racism long before it was cool, and I am not one of them either.
But… I didn’t want my silence to be misinterpreted as apathy or complacency or worse.
There are a lot of things I don’t feel sure of right now, but what I do know is this:
This fight has to first be fought in me, at the center of who I am and what I believe. I first have to begin by unpacking my biases and my experiences and exploring how they affect my perspective and behavior. I need to listen and learn and ask questions and listen some more.
So that’s where I am. This is my summer to listen and learn because there are a lot of Little Darlings in my circle of influence, and I owe it to them. I owe it to my marginalized students to be a better ally and create a safe space for them and their voices. And I owe it to my white students who can’t do better until they know better. I will examine what I teach and how I teach it. I will evaluate my interactions and jokes and stories and resources. But first, I have to start with me. And this is a daunting task. And that is why I am so encouraged by Ebony Thornton’s tweet :
If you’re not yet on the journey, please come along. Let’s do our best to be teachable and humble so we can do better.