Today I came across this photo on Facebook.
The picture and the comments following got my wheels turning and I couldn't help but post my thoughts, which I'll post next. My post may seem off-the-wall considering the image above, but I promise that they tied in with the direction the comments went!
I've found that the word "racist" has often turned my ears off in my past. That word would make me instantly stop trying to hear what those crying it were trying to say. After all, I considered myself the furthest thing from a racist!
However, now I stop defending myself and try harder to hear what is actually attempting to be communicated.
There may not be overt slavery today, but what I've heard since I started listening and what I've seen since I started looking is an entire community that has been and is still being oppressed, in a myriad of ways. And I've been shocked to see how I perpetuate it through my ignorance.
I believe a huge percentage of accused racists are actually just ignorant. They're ignorant to the oppression others endure for reasons outside their control, and they're ignorant to their own privileges they did nothing to earn.
But until we stop trying to defend ourselves against the "racist" accusation, we'll never get the blinders off our eyes to really see what is goin on TODAY. We'll just keep perpetuating "systemic racism" through our own ignorance.
So I guess in short, I'm trying to be less defensive and more sensitive to the cries of others. I'd appreciate you holding me to that!