time to step up
Friends, I'm shaken.
My family planned a little staycation this weekend -- overnight at a local hotel, sort of a last bit of intense family time before Alex starts school in a couple of weeks -- and while she certainly had fun (and Marcus and I had a date night), I spent most of the day glued to my phone watching the white supremacist terrorist act of Charlottesville unfold. At dinner, I burst into tears when a young family -- handsome dad, beautiful pregnant mom, 3 lovely little girls likely under the age of 8, all of them African-American -- sat down next to us. I haven't slept well the last couple of nights. My emotional state has definitely taken a hit. And it seems Charlottesville is only the beginning: friends tell me there are white supremacist marches planned for Boston, Seattle and right here in Texas.
I am rapidly approaching a time where "be kind to everyone" is the very least of what I expect people to do, especially my friends, or people who consider themselves a friend to me. There are tons of people who are kind to me to my face -- graciously serve me my coffee with a smile, politely answer my questions -- who deeply disapprove of my marriage, say, or people who look like me. There are many people who have Hispanic gardeners, or black accountants, or gay dentists, and who would never consider saying an unkind word to them, but would still vote against their best interests. Platitudes are cute, and we all love saying and sharing them on social media, expressing horror at the evil that keeps going down in this world, but I'm now finding myself paying attention to those who are actually doing the work to change what they can in their own spheres of influence, and those who aren't. Paying close attention.
If this sounds harsh to you, well - you might want to consider why. But I would say this: if you have friends of colour (or other marginalized groups), trust and believe that at this point, I'm not the only one who's taking note.
(And if you think you can't figure out what to do, I have faith. You're smart. You know your talents and gifts. You know your community. You know where you have influence. Get creative and figure it out.)