Dear Friend of JP:
A few days ago, I came across the Facebook posting of a JP parent, one who is steadfastly private and typically reticent to share any part of her or her family’s personal life. Her account had a profound effect on me because of what she and her children face with regard to everyday experiences about which most of us, certainly those of us who are white, have had no inkling. I’m reprinting her account here, with her permission.
Thank you for taking two minutes to read a mother’s thoughts.
It is so hard to draft a succinct summary detailing our opinions & experiences in relation to the recent events that have unfolded when there is so much to say. These events have indeed shaken us all to our core...
While I always choose to keep the intimate details of my private life out of the social media spotlight, these circumstances necessitate that we share our perspective with all of our friends and followers. To create systemic change and develop a social infrastructure conducive to more diversity, equity & inclusion in our society, it is of outmost importance to educate ourselves and those arounds on what racism is and how implicit bias manifests daily in our lives.
If you asked me, how my life is impacted by these concepts, I will tell you the following:
- Going out of my way to make sure my neighbors know who I and my children are. This way, we are not seen as strangers when walking, running or biking around our neighborhood.
- Being mindful when I walk into a store & hold my phone in my hand. This way, I am not suspected of shoplifting if I reach into my purse to grab it.
- Telling my growing boys not to wear their hoodies over their heads because every time I think Trayvon Martin, it brings tears to my eyes.
- Putting my car registration / insurance info at the top of my glove compartment so it is easy to reach in the event I get pulled over.
- Constantly ignore and stoutly educate those with derogatory comments (i.e., “you sound very educated for a Latina”).
How do we bring about change?
- Start adopting a multi-frame/lens mindset & don’t restrict your learning/knowledge to your geographical lens.
- Educate yourselves on the social structures or lack therefore that afflict our black / brown communities. A few examples include redlining, Jim Crow laws, Rockefeller laws, gerrymandering, etc. and how those concepts/ facts have negatively shaped the social fabric of these communities for many decades.
- Covid 19 has further exacerbated the problem of educational equity in minority communities where families can barely afford a $200 chrome book to participate in online learning.
- Please consider volunteering, mentoring or simply educating yourselves about these topics because only then you will start to see these social issues through a different lens.
As a collective, we can all contribute, promote and adopt systemic change in our society! #blacklivesmatter