via Daily Prompt: Oversight

It was gradual. But powerful. Sitting back and watching the protests in  Ferguson, where ever there was violence against people of color, the beginnings of #BlackLivesMatter movement, I thought to myself, “Wow-how angry these people are.” And went about my own business. I wasn’t indifferent, just ignorant in my understanding of their experience. Sure, I could watch the tv news every morning and night and see the violence that people of color are subjected to daily by the government meant to protect us all, but hey-it didn’t affect me, so….I didn’t think about it too much. Am I showing how deep I was in my own white privilege?  I hope so. Honestly, I am still shoveling my way out of this deep hole I am in.

Then I spoke with people. SPOKE with them about their experiences. SPOKE with them about their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. And it started to sink in. I wrote a piece earlier last year…about 6 months ago…and I stated that violence begets violence begets violence…but I better understand WHY there has been violence. I was still mired down in my own privilege and allowing that to influence my thoughts and feelings. But not anymore. I GET IT NOW. We have, since the founding of this country, used non-peaceful protest and actions to achieve the desired results (Hello…the American Revolution! A giant war that included an act of rebellion and governmental property damage in Boston). WE WERE FOUNDED ON NON-PEACEFUL PROTEST. I get it now, my friends of color. I get WHY there has been so much violence. I get WHY peaceful protest does not always work. And I understand that, if I want to be a part of this protest against the atrocities taking place in our country against people of color, women, immigrants, the LQBTQIA community, I HAVE to WAKE THE FUCK UP to the fact that it will not be peaceful, silent, or pretty. I HAVE to be okay with that because if I am not, I will remain in my bubble of ignorance surrounding myself with the unrealistic and idealistic point of view that just by talking about it, something will happen.

NO. I was WRONG to think that a peaceful protest will always be the best way to be heard. And it is uncomfortable. I feel guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel like I have been part of the problem. And I am going to try my damndest to correct my oversight. I am going to try my damndest to continue to be uncomfortable, because when I am feeling this discomfort, I am learning about what I have done to overlook the truth of it all. And MY truth is that I was too scared to be fully involved because I didn’t want others to think poorly of me, to think I was stirring the pot, to think that I was supporting something just to support it and not because I truly believed in the movement. I didn’t want to catch shit from my family, whom I love dearly, but I do not share the same political beliefs as they do.

The amount of emotional labor that my friends of color and my friends in the LGBTQIA (of which I identify as being a part of, btw) have put in to educate cisgender, heterosexual white people has been tremendous. They are the ones experiencing the violence, condemnation, anger, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc and then they have to EXPLAIN WHY they are upset?? No. Not okay. NOT OKAY AT ALL. I should not expect them to go through all they do and then do MORE work to try to explain why things need to change. So, I plan to stay uncomfortable. And I plan to make other folks uncomfortable as well by talking about it.

So, my friends of color, my friends in the LGBTQIA community, stay angry. Keep protesting. Keep speaking out. I am going to be a better advocate for you. I am going to be a better listener. I am going to pay attention to the ignorance that is around me and try to educate people as best I can. And I may come to you from time to time to help me use the right words so I am not furthering misconceptions or passing along unhelpful and ignorant information. I am going to stay #woke.

Birthday Wishlists

I’m shamelessly copying and pasting my birthday wishlist I posted on my personal Facebook page on Friday. I’ve altered it so it reads more accurately in regards to my birth date…which is today. I have zero shame about re-posting this because I feel it needs to be said.

My birthday is today. I keep getting asked what I want. Honestly, I have all the material things I could ever need. What I *WANT* is this:

I want, when a police officer encounters a person of color, I want that police officer to not make any assumptions. I want that police officer to not shoot that person of color for reaching for his ID.

I want police officers to stop using their badge as an excuse to shoot people.

I want people to stop assuming all cops are bad cops. I know some pretty amazing police officers and they shouldn’t have to pay (with their lives) for other officers terrible mistakes.

I want people of color to not experience the egregious racism that remains in this country.

I want people of color to not have to mourn the loss of their children, husbands, mothers, wives, family, friends…simply because they are black.

I want white people to pop their privileged bubble (yes, I am one of them so don’t start) and open their eyes to the injustices, the inequalities, to the unacceptable state of our country.

I want others to realize the Civil Rights movement is STILL HAPPENING!!! Until everyone realizes that we are STILL ACTIVELY FIGHTING inequality, racism, bigotry and hatred, NOTHING will ever change! I can NOT stress this one enough!!!

I especially want my friends to stop assuming that being assholes to each other on these posts about what we, collectively, can do to help is in anyway helpful. Don’t jump on someone else for being a FB Activist if you can’t list every damn thing you have done to prove you are not another armchair/desk chair FB Activist just looking to stir the pot. Be a part of the solution, don’t add to the unrest, sadness, anxiety, or any other negative emotion that is floating out there-there is already QUITE enough out there as it is.

Will I get everything that I really *want*? No. I’m a realist with this. What I want is pretty idealistic. But I still want it.

A Country On Fire







I am in fear.

But not for myself.

I am in fear for my friends of color, fear for my family members of color, fear for all children of color who are being raised to know that, despite all the “progress” in the civil rights movement, there is still SO much further we need to go before their parents can sleep at night knowing their kids, their family members, THEY are safe.

Our country is on fire. We are being consumed by it. The flames of hate and violence are feeding on our fears, feeding on the intolerance, feeding on the blatant racism that is still so prevalent in this country. Yes, I see it. I live in the South. I see the looks my black friends get. I see the differences in treatment in the justice system. I see the differences in treatment by the law enforcement agencies.

I never thought, in my lifetime, I would see this. I never thought my children would have to see this. I have always taught it is not the color of the person’s skin that is important, but what is in their hearts. That we are all equal and that we are better than no other person around us.

I have never felt more naive in ALL MY LIFE.

I am a white woman, living in the South, married to a white man. I have white kids. I have never had to experience racism. I have never had to fear for my life because I am white. I have never had to worry someone would assume my teenage son was a threat and take his life before thinking twice just because he was a male with a certain skin color. I have never lost a family member to violence based upon their skin color. I have never experienced ANY of the atrocities that black people have because I AM WHITE. And that is what makes me naive, that is what makes me ignorant. My white privilege has made me blind to the world around me and this wake up call, this sudden thrusting of the realities of this world and how things really are sickens me. How could I be so naive? How??


I wish I knew. So, I am apologizing. I am sorry for anything I may have said that was naively racist. I am sorry for any assumptions I may have shared that were blatantly wrong. I am SO SORRY.

I hate this. I hate this violence. I hate that people are dying because they are black. Yes, that is what is happening. People are dying, being KILLED, because they are black. And then the protesting…the peaceful protesting of these terrible acts…shattered by more violence. More deaths. More anger. More protests. More violence. More deaths…..its this terrible vicious cycle that we keep playing out over and over and over again and it is solving NOTHING.







Violence begets violence begets violence. It’s a dance we, as a human civilization, are so very familiar with and we can dance it in perfect rhythm and honestly, it’s a dance I wish we would forget sooner rather than later.

But what I will not forget are those who have lost their lives to this violence, due to the obviously ingrained racism that is so pervasive in law enforcement agencies all over the country. And I will not forget the officers that have also lost their lives to this racial violence-in retaliation or in the line of duty. I have learned something important from this, though. The Civil Rights Movement is FAR from over. FAR FROM IT. In fact, I think we have only begun to scratch the surface.

I am going to try and be a better ally. I am going to try and teach my kids to be better allies. I am going to check MY privilege if I start getting complacent. Because becoming complacent about this is a direct result OF my white privilege. I have that luxury-people of color DO NOT.

So this is me. Checking my privilege.