I have not written for this blog in the past year because I was busy being a newlywed. That silence ends today with a post that doesn’t talk about gluten. It talks about something even more sickening.
This post sprouted from a conversation I followed on Facebook. The conversation was started by a beautiful woman I had the privilege of learning from when she was a student at the university that employed me (and also is our alma mater). I still learn from her, ten years later, as she challenges white people me to understand and confront our own racism and its crippling, killing effect on her and all people of color.
She said she doesn’t trust white people. A large number of her friends admitted their distrust, too, a distrust we white people have earned with our mercurial support for civil rights and equal rights. We show up when it suits us, and when we show up, we twist the whole thing to suit us. We want “credit” for supporting Black Lives Matter with our signs and bumper stickers but where were we in the demonstrations and marches against racist police brutality? We marched en masse for women but our pussy hats all were pink (didja think about the colors of women of color down there?)
Continue reading Complicit in Oppression: What I, a White Person, Must Do to Stop It
This year I served as president of my neighborhood association. I live in a small townhouse enclave, a place where people were so offended by the county’s pilot once-a-week trash pickup program, they protested by leaving in the street for days the heavy-duty 40-gallon rolling trash cans the county gave everyone as thanks for being part of the pilot. This is the same place where people regularly violate the legal covenants about parking and property upkeep, complain about and report their neighbors’ violations, and then refuse to pay the fines for violating the covenants themselves.
I didn’t start the year on the board. In fact, I declined a nomination at the annual meeting last November. When the president quit the thankless position this past April, I agreed to join the board after a hard press from two members. Our first order of business was the county trash pilot program, for which we were blamed despite everyone receiving from the county informational packets explaining what/when/why/who/where. The second board president quit at the end of July, along with two other board members and the remaining two board members pushed me to assume the presidency. I reluctantly agreed. Continue reading Ten Lessons Sans Carols: #9 The Gift That Keeps On Giving–No