This is not one of “those” challenges.
You’ve seen the “10 days, 10 pics” challenge for moms, the 10 favorite albums or 10 favorite books challenge, and others. The kind where you post an image per day for 10 consecutive days. No explanations, no reviews, just an image.
This isn’t one of those challenges.
Every day for however many consecutive days I can stand to do it:
– I am going to post a pic from my family collection;
– I will tell 1 brief story of how racism has affected us;
– And, I will also post 1 way I am trying my best to expose, acknowledge, and confront my white privilege.
Every day I will ask you (the reader) to do the same. If you’re not interested or not able, no worries. If you are, thank you for your candor.
Today I nominate you.
NOTE: I will delete any mean-spirited or combative remarks so don’t try it. I will have absolutely no tolerance for that kind of response. Unapologetically.
PS: I appreciate the fact that the other challenges are more upbeat, more fun. This may not seem to be in that same genre. You’re right. It’s not upbeat, not very fun. But at the same time, it isn’t intended to be negative or depressing either. It’s meant to be hopeful: that we can expose the racism that still exists in our country in the hopes of creating a better future for our kids; that we can do our own hard work, that inner excavating that we need to do in order to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to love them — and ourselves — well.
STORY OF RACISM: this pic was taken in November 2001. Not this trip, but another around this same time, we were scared out of a diner where we were trying to feed 3 tired and hungry small children, by a group of 4 large white men who then chased us for miles and miles as we tried desperately not to lead them back to our hotel. When we lost them, we returned to the motel, gathered our belongings, and left to drive another 2 hours up the highway to stay somewhere in a bigger, more secure hotel. The kids were so tired and stressed that they cried the whole way. I did too.
EXPOSING MY WHITE PRIVILEGE: on a similar road trip, I took the kids into the only bathroom at a small service station. Changed diapers, used the facilities, etc. Went back out to trade places with Jacques, who was pumping gas. He went in but came right back out. They told him the bathroom was out of order. The same bathroom I had just used without issue. I wanted to go back in, crank up my best “let me speak to your manager voice” and complain. Jacques wouldn’t let me for fear of retaliation. I hadn’t been afraid, just angry, until that moment. That is white privilege.
Originally posted June 2020 on https://medium.com/@invisibleleftovers