Let Me Borrow Your Glasses
efore real change can happen, it’s important to acknowledge the past. For this reason, I need to say I am sorry. I’m sorry for the times I listened to jokes directed at people of color, specifically black people, and didn’t speak out against them. I’m sorry for the times I said something offensive myself. I’m sorry for the times that I ignored the inappropriate and offensive things my family members said and didn’t speak up. Please, let me be silent no more, by borrowing your glasses in conversations that elevate black voices in the search of perspective that can change the world.
I recently began putting my pride aside to challenge my own views and personal narrative. In order to process my thoughts, I’ve learned to write, to journal.
When the news broke about the tragic deaths of Ahmaud, and then Breonna, and then George, it stirred something inside of me that was different than any of the previous times that something similar occurred.
This time, when I sat down to write, I didn’t have the words.
The truth is, I used to think the present condition we find our country and our world in as it pertains to the issue of race wasn’t my problem to deal with. I thought, “I’ve never done anything directly to hold anyone back or oppress anyone.” And I thought, “those things happened years ago.” I wanted to see the world through only my lenses, so I crafted a perspective that was exclusively my own to support that and I never sought to challenge it. How selfish of me.
Being born a white male wasn’t my choice, just as much as black people don’t “choose” to be born black. While I didn’t start any of the injustice in our country, it is extremely apparent to me now, that doing nothing is the same thing as supporting racism’s existence. We all have two choices to make when we conclude something like this: We can ignore and remain silent in our words and our actions. Or, we can act, no matter how small, to make a positive impact. So, I choose to be SILENT NO MORE.
White people haven't been "silenced." I’m not under the impression that they have. White people have however, been silent on the topic of racism for far too long. In this series, I vow to be SILENT NO MORE by way of elevating black voices and experiences through conversations about race. I will ask people of color to let me borrow their glasses in search of perspective. I am sharing these conversations via written articles and video clips in hopes of instilling this perspective into the hearts and minds of others.
Those three words really amount to my personal rally cry. What they mean to me is this: I am going to STAND up for racial injustice. I am going to STAND up against racism. I am going to STAND with the black community by using conversation to elevate their voices that so desperately need to be heard.
STAND behind you to support you.
STAND beside you to fight with you.
STAND in front of you to protect and defend you.