Dear Folks of Color, Welcome to Soulful Sunday. Please take care of yourselves, cuz THIS Sunday is not for you. Love yourselves deeply and truly.
For White Folks, Welcome to this Soulful Sunday.
“To be born into, to go to school, to study, to learn, to play, to worship, to love, to work and to die in segregation and not have one single person who loved, mentored or guided me convey that there was any loss.” ― Robin DiAngelo
I originally saw Robin DiAngelo share this at a training with pictures. She put up birth photos, and white kids playing soccer (my upbringing), and white children graduating, and pictures of TV shows (Friends, Sex & The City, etc) and my heart cracked open. Not. One. Teacher. Not. One. Mentor. Not one family member having conveyed that there is a loss in my life. And there is a loss of connection and culture in my white washed white culture.
When I first moved to Minneapolis, most of my friends were white. They asked what neighborhood I wanted to live in. “I don’t care,” I replied. “I want a house with good people.” I ended up in a high income white neighborhood with “good schools” and “gorgeous houses”. To date, I’ve noticed one family of color living in this space. THIS IS A LOSS. That white folks (myself!) separate ourselves from persons of color. That we miss out on creating relationships, learning with and from each other. HEALING. I am just beginning to fathom the loss in my own life for the years of being surrounded by white folks, white-washed culture that holds no sacredness other than capitalism. It is the seeing of this loss, the naming of it that I cannot unsee. I walk into rooms and count the colors of the faces. What is happening here? I ask. How are we creating invitations? How am I? What other white people in my life do I need to be having these conversations with?
Let me acknowledge that I am failing. I get testy. I get aggressive. My partner recently asked if I’m planning to lose friends over it. I am sure that will happen. If there is a way to do this better, I am trying to find that out. I have missed opportunities to protect black people. I have also stepped further out, stopping when the police have pulled over a person of color and getting out of my car. Hearing when I’ve been called out and corrected and told that it is not enough.
I’m messy at discussing racism and naming that i am racist. But I am also no longer willing to face this loss of connection. I want deep, meaningful, sustained friendships and relationships that are beyond white individuals and communities. I want to live a life that is rich and deep with folks from so many different walks of life that I know not of.
But first, white folks, we must acknowledge the loss.
MANTRA: May I see the white washed spaces and connections that I participate in and allow. May I find ways to do better, and yet admit that it is not enough.
JOURNAL: Where is the loss due to white-washed connection in your own life that you need to acknowledge? What intentional changes and invitations are possible? What comfort or connections are you willing to lose in honor of healing the loss?
These Soulful Sunday blogs go out weekly on Sundays to be used as a place to step back from the hustle and bustle and explore what your soul might be saying to you. Some folks use these as journal prompts and let loose amidst pages. Some folks bring them to the kitchen table and jam over coffee. Do you, boo.
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