Dear Other White People Who Think You Don’t Have Time or a Responsibility to Participate in the Human Rights Issue that is Racial Injustice
Dear Other White People Who Think You Don’t Have Time or a Responsibility to Participate in the Human Rights Issue that is Racial Injustice,
Dear People of Color. Please forgive me. I will not stay silent anymore.
Over the last few years I have focussed my political and social energy mostly on Women’s Sexual Healing, creating Conscious Relationships, and the conversation of Integrity, Consent, and Masculine & Feminine energy dynamics in our culture.
At the same time as the #BlackLivesMatter and race conversation was rising on social media and in my USA community I was navigating the waters of my personal sexual trauma healing, physical and emotional health challenges and the re-activation of more layers with #MeToo. I felt like I didn’t have any space in my world for more.
While this is true — there is more to it and I am deeply sorry that I was not part of this conversation sooner.
This weekend I went to a friends event, an all day event to watch and discuss a documentary called “13th”, which explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that this nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans and that this indeed is another form of strategic Slavery.
Two African-American Men and one Woman were our facilitators, the rest of the room white.
One of the men who runs an NGO called Village Connect in Oakland, Gaylon Logan Jr. asked us to share why we came.
Collaboration, compassion, creativity came out of my mouth — I want to be in the ring of life, not watching on the side lines. I want to understand my privilege, be an ally to my colored sisters and brothers, and heal together. I want to be part of finding radical creative solutions to collaborate on making the world a safer, more equitable and healthy world for all of us.
As I was sharing my intention I could feel another story inside of me rising up… I was terrified to let it out in this room but I realized that it was part of what kept me held back from participating until now…
I shared about growing up in rural Australia with my Aboriginal family who although we were not blood related were my aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters. They took me hunting for turtle and crocodile, they gave me a traditional skin name, we sang songs and camped under the night’s sky around the campfire. I knew the color of our skin was different but inside we were the same.
By high school, it was evident the differences between us were causing anger, blame and violence rather than a love for our shared humanity. “Gangs” of white boys and black boys formed in and out of school, roaming the streets at night and crashing parties. I lived between two worlds, hanging with the ‘heavy metal’ boys at school and riding in cars with the Aboriginal boys at night. I wanted to stand with them both, and felt split in two at the divide.
My mum was in a mutually alcoholic and domestically violent relationship with a traditional Aboriginal man and at age 15 I was attacked by a group of colored girls who I didn’t know but needed somewhere to discharge their pain and anger of the injustice that our white people had done to them.
I remember the absolute rage I felt inside as I was being punched repeatedly on my head and kicked to the ground — the rage I felt toward “black people” for the harm “they” did to my mum and now me.
After the purple and black bruises had faded I came back to my innate knowing that it wasn’t black people that were violent, but hurt people that hurt people.
I didn’t feel like I harbored any internal racism. I forgave my step-dad, I dated black boys, I had black women friends. I felt deep grief for the Indigenous people of Australia that were treated like animals (and still are to this day).
I understood who I represented to the girls who hurt me. I was their white haired, white skinned colonizing oppressor.
I was their ancestors catholic white nun who would beat the native stories out of them after they were stolen from their families, severing a connection with their culture, their land and their soul.
I represented all the opportunities that they would have to fight an uphill battle to ever come close to having.
In the healing day while listening to a story from one of the men of color, I remembered a memory of my mum and step dad taking me and his daughter, my full Aboriginal step sister to highschool and although I was nervous on my first day, as we rolled up to the drop off zone she was wailing in the car, absolutely crawling out of her skin with terror to go in to this mostly white school.
How could I ever truly know what that felt like?
To have been stripped from your own home and suddenly put into white people’s world?
So, as the words of my old wound left my mouth I knew that I also had not been showing up for the race conversation and the healing that is deeply needed now, because I was still carrying fear in my body and separation in my mind.
We watched 50 mins of the documentary until one of our black facilitators asked to pause it. Tears streamed down his face and we sat in silence crying together for a good ten minutes.
Gaylon had asked before we begun watching the film to ask ourselves if we think that what happened (Is happening) was by accident.
I shared there was no doubt in my mind (and really there has never been) that this injustice was/is deliberate.
It was a deliberate choice to steal people from Africa, to put them on boats to America, to poison and slaughter the Native People who were “in their way”, to make African people their slaves, to rape their wives, to make a clause in the 13th Amendment that “abolished slavery” except in the case of being a criminal and then completely paint POC as Criminals and people who should be feared, and therefore creating a whole new slave trade of prisoners and making over 1 Billion Dollars off of the incarcerated and leaving generations and generations of families without Fathers since they first stole them from Africa.
The kind of person who believes they can make someone else their slave or brand all POC as criminals or profit on broken families has lost their connection to their humanity.
Treating people who have been traumatized for multiple generations as criminals instead of people who need support to heal and integrate into society that had cast them out as equals is insane.
And it is insane and furthers the damage when we deny this reality.
I had a friend, a very sweet spiritual woman, who after we had been seeing very obvious streaks in the sky over our home in Topanga and seeing our plants strangely die at the same time, I mentioned Chemtrails and she said “I don’t believe in chemtrails”, I asked her why, and she responded -
“Because I don’t want to.”
“I don’t want to believe that people would intentionally hurt others. So I choose not to believe it.”
This kind of spiritual, emotional and HUMAN bypass is detrimental to our psyches and our souls.
I’m sorry that it makes you uncomfortable to know the realities that some people have agendas that are serving their concept of power and abundance but not others.
I don’t want to believe that the sex trade exists, but it does.
I don’t want to believe that men who call themselves conscious are still raping women but they are.
I don’t want to believe that my white ancestors thought it was ok to kidnap people from their homes and make them their slaves, but it happened.
I don’t want to believe that politicians and corporations are profiting off people being imprisoned but it is happening.
One reason we don’t want to believe or look, or have that conversation or participate in that movement is because we feel powerless to change it.
Be with that. Feel the grief. Ask how you can be part of the solution.
Instead of watching the rest of the documentary, we all stepped into doing a healing process of Accountability and Reconciliation.
The white people of the room spoke on behalf of our ancestors, our deep apology and acknowledgement of the harm that has been done.
Our Woman of Color sister acted as the Vessel for all African-American Women who were impacted from this line of injustice from the beginning of slavery in the 1600’s to the imprisonment of over 200 Million people and the police brutality targeting people of color happening today.
The words poured out of my mouth as fast as my tears,
“I am sorry that we stole your Men from you, your Fathers, Sons, Husbands and Brothers. We left you alone, vulnerable and without the Men who you loved.”
I bowed down in front of my Brother of Color, Gaylon’s feet, trembling with the power of what wanted to be spoken through me,
“I am sorry we called you Monster.
I am sorry we tried to take your humanity away from you.
I am sorry we said you were bad, wrong, evil and we that we should be afraid of you.
I am sorry for anywhere we ever made you feel that you should be afraid of yourself, that you are a Criminal, and that you are unworthy of your own human rights.
You are good, you are holy, you are sacred, you are Divine and you are so beautifully Human.”
As we all wept, Gaylon looked into my eyes and said “I have been waiting my whole life to hear that from you. Thank you. I am not afraid of me anymore. I forgive you. Let’s heal together.”
We may not be responsible for causing the afflictions of the past, but we can be responsible to the impact now.
I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.
Things white people can do:
Start educating yourself by watching 13th on Netflix now
Get the book Waking Up White and start a Discussion group with your white friends
Ask POC about their experience, their heart, offer amends of behalf of your ancestors and where you personally have bought into racism.