BE THE CHANGE, PARENT THE CHANGE
Hi, how are you? How are your kids? How are you really?
I have been feeling very heavy. Very sad.
Like most of the world, I am horrified at what’s happening in the world, in America, the death / murder of George Floyd, the violent clashes that then ensued. The level of grief and outrage and anger that is pouring out and quite frankly is justified as we stare the hundreds of years of injustice and racism and inequality that black humans and people of colour have endured.
The things I was going to come on and talk about last weekend just didn’t seem appropriate. It didn’t seem right. Quite frankly I didn’t want to take up ANY bandwith…..but as I’ve been watching and listening and learning and processing I’ve realised that in order for change to take place we all have to get involved in the movement of ending racism and injustice…..so I’ve managed to shift from a bit of hopelessness and grief and what can I possibly do to help this huge systemic, engrained, societal, historical problem into one of we, white privileged people, are all responsible and we can ALL do something and it’s going to take ALL of us doing something to change this.
Racism, prejudice, injustice is not ok. And nor is becoming aware of it, and not doing anything about it. Right now it’s being brought to our attention and so lets seize this opportunity to move forward.
So, what can I do…what can we do?..
As parents, there’s a lot we can do. We are responsible for the next generation. We are their caretakers. We have an opportunity to change the story.
What world do you want your children to grow up in? How do you want them to be treated by others? How do you want them to feel as they move around the world? Teach them to treat others and view others with the same lens that you want your children to be viewed and treated.
Let’s create that world together.
We can’t undo the past, we can’t change the past. But we can affect the future by doing something different NOW. Making a resolve, and doing something different in every moment. NOW. NOW…how we show up in every moment is important…
As he was dieing /being killed, George Floyd cried “Mama”.
Every mama around the world, can you hear the call of your children? Of you sons and your daughters, pleading for you to do something.
Do something. For your children. Is this the world you want them to live in or is there a better one for can envision for them? One of equality, of love, of compassion, of safety, of peace?
To create change we need to do something different than we’re currently doing. However much we may think we are not contributing to racism in the world, as white privileged people we need to reassess. We need to educate ourselves, we need to listen and we need to do something.
And we need to raise our children to be antiracist. Developing empathy, compassion, and a sense of justice at an early age helps our children grow into adults who want to help make the world a better place.
I’m quoting Ibram X. Kendi, executive director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C. who says,
“we should raise children who can express notions of racial equality, who can see racial disparities as a problem, and who can do their own small part to challenge this big problem of racism.”
Now of course our children learn from watching us, so this starts with looking at ourselves and what we are modelling, what our norms are, how inclusive our lives are, and it means examining the beliefs our kids have already developed regarding race, really paying close attention, and it means having conversations with our kids about race and racism.
Racism is a learned behaviour.
As we know, to unlearn a behaviour we first have to be honest about our current behaviour and create space to talk about it and most of all be the example we want to see.
If you want to see change in the world, start doing something different. NOW.
It’s all very well saying this and having intentions but what are we actually going to do? Especially if we feel a bit stuck on where exactly to start?
Well, I’ve been researching this and having a look at what the experts have to say about raising an antiracist child, so I’m going to put some links under this vid of websites to have a look at, practical tips on things to do – from how to have conversations around racism, to actual simple practical things like looking through your library of books and movies and consciously evening up the groups represented there… you know rebooting the notions around what a hero, neighbour, or friend might look like. What an inclusive society looks like.. we were probably already aware that the majority of picture books centre around white characters, but did you know that black and brown human characters are even less represented than animals and other cartoon characters??…
lets take whats going on currently in the world, as an opportunity to jump into change and move forward.
Lets seize this opportunity to create change
Let me know how you go. I’d love to hear what you’re doing in your family, in your world, to help us, humans, society move forward and upward and outward.
Sending out Love and peace from here.