The other morning I wake up for my morning run. Eyes crusty, body achey. I suit up in my light up gear. It’s dark out, which has now become my happy, alone time while the birds chirp and the neighborhood sprinklers are going.
I am running as the sun comes up. A young, white man run past me at a very fast pace. He startles me with his rapid pace. He is not ill intended, but simply runs so fast I barely register it. I wave. I always wave when I pass someone on my run. He doesn’t wave back because he’s too fast and doesn’t see me. I’m safe and it is okay. I feel safe again in my neighborhood. I continue.
I continue another mile down the road. I see another runner on the road at the corner I’m approaching. I wonder if he feels safe. Not because of age or pace, but because he is black. Social media is flooded this week with stories of racism, murder and hate. I do my usual runner’s wave but he turns to go the the opposite direction and doesn’t see it. Why is it that when I see a white man I don’t worry if he feels safe, but when I see a black man I pray he feels safe? This thought makes me sad and is one I didn’t know I would be struck with at 5:30 am. A reflection on society. As the female runner I am used to questioning if I feel safe. How devastating that I wonder for this man if he does too. I realize it doesn’t matter what hour of the morning it is. I have no right to turn these questions on and off in my brain. If I want to be better and promote change I don’t stop thinking about these things simply because it’s early. This is another tough conversation to have with myself. Racism doesn’t have business hours. I have had friends express their experiences, worries about their children and sleepless nights at all hours.
I have no real point to this. I am starting hard conversations. I want a better world. I seek change. I have asked so many how I can be better and do better. I am starting by talking about things. I am reading. I am watching. I am confused by it all, but that means that I am thinking about things.
I have had tough conversations with myself lately.
- In what ways have I been wrong in the past? How can I change that?
- In what ways am I like the people I disagree with? How can I change that?
- Am I more willing to say the wrong thing but start a conversation so I can learn more and be better than I am than I am willing to stay quiet?
I don’t know how to end this writing today. I am learning and want to be a better voice for change. I’m here, and not in a passive way. I’m here for the first time with the intention to actively be here. Not passively. I hear you and I see you and I stand with you. #BlackLivesMatter
2 thoughts on “Start the conversation.”
Thank you for your willingness to have this difficult conversation. We can no longer wait for it to just get swept out by the next tweet because it is hard to talk about. I have no answers, but I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. A colleague posted this extensive list of resources and I have made it my mission to share it with anyone willing to have the conversation. I hope someone finds it useful.
Oh my stars friend! I am with you 110%! Have you read “White Fragility”? I’ll admit that I started reading it last year, but never finished it. I’m going to pick it up again and finish reading it. Yes, we can NOT stay silent and we MUST start the conversation. This is one of the MANY reasons why I’m so glad you’re in my life!