You may have noticed that Middle-Pause has some new tabs up top. One of them is called Let’s Talk Race. Our fearless visionary editor, Debbie Walker, launched us into a conversation about a topic near and dear to her.
When you read about her mixed-race family, her devotion to her grandkids, and their walk in the world, as well as events in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, you’ll understand why that is.
Hence, the new tab. As a new editor for Middle-Pause, I have the honor of inviting us all to participate in the conversation.
Let’s talk race.
The execution of George Floyd by Minneapolis police galvanized not only protests in the street, but also heightened awareness and concern with the state of race relations in the U.S. and around the world. Since his death, one police officer involved in the killing of Breona Taylor while she slept in her bed has been fired. What about the other two? Will they also be arrested?
Since Floyd’s murder, other black men have been killed or found dead, in two cases hanging from trees. Some cities are calling for rethinking their approach to public safety. Some police officers have quit.
More outrage is coming to the surface on all sides. This is a good thing. In order to heal this deep and aching wound, we need to engage — with ourselves and each other. Our vision is for Middle-Pause to be a safe place where this can happen.
So here’s your call, Pausers:
We want to hear from black women and women of all colors. What are your thoughts and feelings about what’s happening now? Are you fed up and tired of this sh*t? Are you discouraged? Is there reason to hope? Do you have a story to share or a message for us? How are events impacting your children and grandchildren? Is there a way we can support you?
We want to hear from anyone who wants to weigh in on this issue. Those of us who are white may be in a growth and learning process. How has the death of George Floyd and the call to make Black Lives really Matter touched your life? What are you learning about yourself and/or the larger society? Have you had an aha or a heart change? How do we benefit from our whiteness?
And we especially want to hear from women involved in the lives of your children or grandchildren, including mixed-race families. These stories shed a lot of light, families being microcosms of the broader society. What has it been like to watch events unfold as a family? How are the kids and/or grandkids dealing with it? Have you had conversations about race, and what has that been like for them and for you? How are you supporting the young ones?
Hopefully, these questions will spark even more.
We need these stories. They teach by opening our hearts. Please write and submit!
When you do, we promise to welcome and honor them by reading, clapping, and commenting. We promise to make and keep this a safe space for this conversation by showing up with respect, curiosity, acceptance, patience, and appreciation.
It is not ours to judge but to seek to understand. There may be anger, rage even. There may be resentment and confusion, ignorance even. We start where we are and go and grow from there.
For anyone feeling fearful of saying something offensive, that is real. When we come with sincerity, it helps. I believe it’s up to white people to heal the racism so deeply entrenched that lots of folks don’t even recognize it.
But it’s hard to heal without engaging. Let’s not worry about doing it perfectly. Let’s get started.
P.S. Please use the tag, race, so that your posts will go under the Let’s Talk Race tab as well as on the home page. Thank you!
Marilyn Flower writes political humor and satire to delight socially and spiritually conscious folks. She’s a regular columnist for the prison newsletter, Freedom Anywhere, where she writes about faith and prayer. Five of her short plays have been produced in San Francisco. Clowning and improvisation strengthen her resolve during these crazy times.