I'm sick. I'm sick because our world is sick but mostly I'm sick because I've been part of this sick world and I've been helping to keep it sick.
I'm a racist.
I've been sitting in it. I've been sitting with my own racist behaviour, the ways I've sat idly by and kept quiet. I've been listening, watching, FEELING the discomfort of my own white frailty, struggling to understand and learn the right words to speak up, in a way that serves others, and not me.
Because I am finally awake.
I want to crawl out of my skin but maybe that's for the best. I feel like I am shedding my old skin all together, working it off, moving it along and all the while sitting patiently as the itchiness and irritation of the new skin grows. But while it grows, my flesh is raw and I am feeling the pain of just the air hitting it. I am impatient and uncomfortable. But I also know that's necessary. I should feel uncomfortable in my white skin. I finally realize that white skin has allowed me privileges not allowed to other humans. Systems are in place that continue to allow that privilege to exist.
This is not a time for me to look away, it's time to walk into the pain that has dogged so many, for so very long, with the understanding that I had a part in ensuring that pain would continue.
I've started conversations with, "I'm going to get this wrong but....".
I want to be better. I want to do better.
Will I stumble? Yep. Have I stumbled already? Yep. Do I have the strength to stand in it and wait for what to do next? Yep.
I'm also trying to be gentle with myself as I learn and grow.
In the words of Austin Channing Brown from her interview with Brene Brown in the podcast Unlocking Us, "The work of anti-racism is becoming a better human, to other humans."
We are not equal. I need to do better.
I can do better.