People Can Change
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.
People can Change
All too often I hear excuses when it comes to people’s unknown, or even known, racist behavior. They seek to justify or excuse the things they say or the things they do. Things like, “George Floyd had multiple prison stints. George Floyd broke into a pregnant woman’s home and put a gun to her stomach. George Floyd committed crimes on the day he was killed.” This is the equivalent of a “yeah, but” statement. It shouldn’t never be said! True or not, when these statements are included in the same breath as the mention of him being killed, it implies his death is justified. NOT TRUE!
Similarly, people may have had an upbringing or experiences that have given them a certain perspective which they view the world through. This perspective may lead them to act a certain way that is racist or prejudice. You may use language or speak to people in such a way that is racist or prejudice. Listen, don’t attempt to justify this behavior based on your upbringing or experiences. That perspective says, “I am incapable of change.”
PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE. Change often takes work and may be painful. But, if you’ve previously acted in a certain way, or said certain things, or held a position that you no longer believe in, that is okay. It is important to first acknowledge it, begin to learn, apologize, seek forgiveness where necessary, and then initiate change. It may not happen right away, but your heart will be known by your actions. The time is now.