Updated: Dec 3, 2020
I am listening and learning…. and my heart hurts as I listen and learn. I know that love is the answer. Is the world truly listening this time?
It’s about me, it’s about you, it’s about us. Yet at the same time it’s not about just me, or just you, or just us. It’s about everything, people, politics, and so much more.
Could the simple solution be love? Sounds simple. Yet, not so simple.
What can I do?
I can keep doing what I was always doing. Shutting down any racist joke when I hear one. Ask the uncomfortable questions. Be aware of my white privilege. Love and respect anyone and everyone no matter our differences .. including our difference in views and opinions. That’s right, even our differences in views and opinions.
I will not force my views on others. I will continue to lead, influence, reach others through my own acts, words and behaviour. And I chose to do so with love and respect. My heart hurts as I listen and learn.
It’s about me… and it’s not about me.
I am white. Yes. I will never understand. Again yes. It is only in high school that I was introduced to the world of racism and prejudice. A world that I so ignorantly had never noticed in the past. This angered me, confused me and left me with so many questions.
I have some fragment of experiences with prejudice towards myself as a woman and as being believed to be First Nation. (What?).
Sexual harassment way too many times. This happened as a teen and as an adult… from a boss, from a friend, and from someone even closer to me.
Then there is the one time, only one time, but it should never happen – ever. It’s a small thing, but still angers me that it even happened at all. It was while I was visiting from college. I grew-up in a small town. For the most part we all get along. But there are still some not so trust worthy, scary bad apples out there, just like in any town.
As I was driving from my boyfriend’s house to my parents’ house, way past midnight, I was being followed by another car. It was summer, the sky was covered in clouds and made it quite dark. The road I was on wasn’t very well light. I could not make out what kind of vehicle was following me other than those were headlights of a car and not a truck.
The car kept getting closer and closer to me. I was going 40 or 50. I was young, alone, and scared. Who is following me. And why staying so close to my vehicle when there is no one on the road. Just pass me already.
This lasted maybe 5 to 7 minutes? Until finally we got on the main road where there are more lights. I saw …. a cop car as he turned his cop car lights on. I was left very confused.
Why was he following me so closely, for so long, before turning on his lights? What did I do wrong? Was he hoping to catch me with an open bottle of alcohol in the car?
Why did he wait until we were on the main road? Because before this, I was on the reserve. Why was he driving so close? Maybe he was hoping I would speed up, or wanted to scare me, but one thing for sure, he thought I was from the reserve. Why was he pulling me over? For no reason at all!
He asked for my idea, gave me no reason for having stopped me, and I being only 18 or 19, was scared and did not know to ask for a reason for being stopped. Of course, he then let me go and that was that.
This is only my story. I have heard similar stories from friends who were from the reserve. One friend in a similar situation was only sixteen. He got scared enough to speed up past the speed limit. He got a ticket for speeding.
I know this is but a blip of an example… but again… why?
As we know better, we do better.
The world is not all bad. Humans are not all bad. I believe that. There is so much love in the world. Yet at the same time, the system is broken.
I have been seeing a positive steps being taken towards a better world. We need to see, share, post more of this. The more good we see, the more good we do. The more we learn, the more we understand how to make things better. As we know better, we do better.
Personally, seeing all the violence and finger pointing on the media is not helping me understand. It is overwhelming and makes me want to hide in a corner and cry. My heart hurts as I listen and learn about all that is/has been going on in this world. Instead, I want to share, post, see solutions, uncomfortable conversations, anything to help us in making things better, not worse.
Love is the answer.
I understand that I will never understand as my skin is white which makes me born with white privilege.
I will keep doing what I can as I grow and learn. If we all do our part, something has to change right? Love is the answer.