Black Lives Matter

Many moons ago, my daughter’s ‘educator’ said to her “that robbers are mostly black people”, let’s call her Susan. I didn’t confront Susan about it, instead I went to her senior. Susan’s boss said “oh don’t worry about it, she’s probably a Sun reader”. And I left it, but hating myself for not pushing this. As this comment should have been caveated with facts about institutionalised racism and structural inequalities. Susan is a -nice white lady- and refuses to acknowledge the frictionless way she has moved through the world. Susan hasn’t learnt yet that she needs to look inwards, that she/we have spent our whole life internalising messages about who is dangerous/who isn’t and who deserves things/who doesn’t. We all need to challenge our own internalised prejudices. But what really makes Susan an arsehole is she isn’t going to change, she slowly phases out anyone who challenges her opinions. And so the thing that makes Susan the most insidious racist of all- is her ignorance that this is somebody else’s problem.
I may not have confronted Susan about what she had said 8 years ago to my daughter, but I have told lots of parents in the interim about what an arsehole Susan is. Wait….does that make me an arsehole too? 
We all have learning and unlearning to do. My uncertainty of whether to post this comes from me centring myself. That is my privilege as a white woman that I need to work hard to recognise, deconstruct and challenge. There are a number of accounts that I follow who are teaching me an incredible amount. It is uncomfortable to sit with.  To really listen to what is being triggered.  But if as a white person reading their content you don’t feel uncomfortable, then you’re not listening. Read the posts, the captions and their comments.  Search out for yourself the resources that have been collated, read the books.  Sit with what it brings up for you. Start to take action.  We all have a responsibility in this. It isn’t enough to express outrage and shock.  That is white privilege is action.  We need to do more and we can start by looking inward.

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