Good morning friend,
You, like me, are probably angry and heartbroken about the state of our country.
Angry and heartbroken not only from the recent racist murders of Armaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor but also enraged by the hateful rhetoric spewed and lack of leadership around these events from the highest office in the land.
This week has been a hard week for many of us as we question what kind of world we live in these days where our Black family members, friends, and neighbors have to live in a country that essentially state sanctions their murders.
These recent weeks have been a reminder of so many things.
A reminder that the ancient wound of racism, supremacy, and violence (in thought and in action) is wide open and still festering in this country.
A reminder that our current President does not stand (nor take a stand) firmly rooted in esteemable morals and good judgment (and let’s be real, that’s putting it extremely mildly).
A reminder that even our family, friend, and acquaintance groups may be divided in themselves about how (if at all) to respond or react to this.
These past few weeks have been a reminder of so much personal and collective pain, a reminder of so many deeply entrenched, destructive systemic issues that seem to have no solution.
Oh, and of course, we’re dealing with all of this against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the likes of which most living has never known.
I had a blog post scheduled to go out this week all about boundaries and the downside to being a high-functioning overachiever.
That post is on pause and, depending on events and the coming weeks, I may even delay the launch of my course.
I don’t want to draw attention away from the most important issues right now: racial injustice, white supremacy, and the horror of what it means to be a POC in this country.
And honestly, my voice is not the most educated, relevant, or important voice to talk about this, even in my own blog post.
I’m a privileged White woman.
This is not my time to speak up, it’s my time to listen, to learn, and to amplify and elevate other more marginalized voices who have powerful and important things to say.
White apathy is lethal and what’s also true is that we can use our voices and rage in ways that might unintentionally harm and silence others when we’re doing so.
But White silence is violence, too, and so I’m speaking up, but hopefully in a way that elevates and supports. I may get it wrong, but I’m willing to try.
So to that end, what I want to do in this post is to share a curated list of activists, thought leaders, and resources (organized by topic category) if you, like me, are hungry to learn more and do more to play a part in the undoing of White supremacy and brutal racism that is woven into the fabric of this country.
And for anyone who questions why a therapist might share such a “non-neutral” “non-clinical” blog post, know that social justice issues are INEXTRICABLY linked to mental health because therapy clients do not live in a vacuum.
They are shaped and formed by society, culture, and context. Social justice issues ARE clinical issues, full stop.
Please, don’t stay silent, be willing to be uncomfortable, and weave the undoing of White supremacy into your personal growth work as much as you might any other mental health issue.
Self-Care Support If You’re A Person Of Color:
- 4 Self-Care Tips for People of Color After Charlottesville (from Teen Vogue in 2017 but yes, it’s still relevant).
- Radical Self-Care.
- 5 Self-Care Practices Black People Can Use While Coping With Trauma.
- How racism impacts our mental health: a podcast episode by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford of Therapy for Black Girls.
- Self Care For People of Color After Emotional and Psychological Trauma, a terrific article not only for people of color but for anyone who is an ally and/or who wants a deeper dive into the physiology of trauma and the criticality of engaging in self-care after traumas (be they racial or otherwise) occur.
Strong POC voices to follow and learn/unlearn from now:
Additional multimedia resources if you want to learn about White privilege, White Supremacy, Racism, and what you can do to help:
- The Charleston Syllabus – compiled by Chad Williams, Keisha N. Blain, Melissa Morrone, Ryan P. Randall, Cecily Walker, this is a truly phenomenal and comprehensive list of multimedia resources.
- Addressing Race And Racism With Young Children – A terrific list compiled by Lovery, the children’s toy and education company I fervently love.
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D. An article I read in grad school which began my journey into understanding White privilege.
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo: I just downloaded this to Kindle since they’re sold out of hard copies.
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad: Again, sold out of hardcopy but I downloaded the Kindle version.
And friends, I want to learn from you: what other resources would you add to this list? What other strong and important POC voices and activists would you recommend that I/we follow?
In times like these, it’s important that we take care of ourselves, and that we take care of each other in whatever ways seem possible for each of us.
We are living in extraordinarily challenging times plainly seeing and feeling painful, social systemic wounds that, perhaps, many of us with privilege haven’t had to confront or live with so acutely yet.
Please understand: I don’t have the answers.
Instead, I join you in the question of how to best help in the small ways I can, including continuing to own and understand my own White privilege, elevating voices that are relevant and important, and taking personal action to eradicate racial injustice and raise an anti-racist White daughter, and to do this as I labor in my daily life and tend to my corner of the world in Berkeley, California.
This post is less an article than it is a letter from me to you, wanting you to know that I’m in it with you, that I’m thinking of you, that I have a couple of resources that might feel helpful for you.
But most of all to let you know that we’re all in this together. I’ll keep trying to do what I can to be of support to you as these weeks, months, and years unfold.
And, until next time, please, remember to take good care of yourself and take care of each other.
PS: And please, if you do not support Black Lives Matter, unsubscribe from my articles. Thanks.
Do you struggle with knowing what to say during challenging conversations?
I created this list of 25 scripts to help you feel calm and empowered when communicating with the difficult people in your life.