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I’m Linda, and my style is to keep my blog posts short and sweet, and always insightful. My goal is to help you expand your thinking and your world, to thrive and feel good about you.

Jul 27, 2020

Why Black Lives Matter

Angela asked:

Why do white people believe that Black Lives Matter invalidates the lives of whites? I have had heated discussions with family members. Thanks.

Simply put, Angela, the expression Black Lives Matter threatens whites’ stronghold as alpha dog in our white-dominated society. For various reasons, they cannot or will not see it as a Black effort for validation and societal balance. At the very least, it can make them uncomfortable in their whiteness.

So when you hear All Lives Matter (code for White Lives Matter), especially as a rebuttal to Black Lives Matter, two things are happening here. One, this is a white power grab to reassert their “rightful” position; and two, it redirects the focus away from Black Americans, thereby diminishing and dismissing the systemic racism that has restricted their lives.

Taken at face value, all lives do matter. But the conversation is not about all lives; it’s about Black lives, their rights, and their very human-ness. Never lose sight of that.

So the next time you encounter someone bristling over Black Lives Matter, more than likely that person hasn’t examined their own feelings and beliefs concerning their privilege.

Jul 24, 2020

Supporting others doesn't cost a dime

Tony asked:

I initially supported Black Lives Matter but watching their destructive behavior in Portland, Oregon, and the toppling of confederate statues is causing me to question my support. What’s up?

Tony, change is often uncomfortable.

The Black Lives Matter movement exposed America’s systemic racism toward its Black citizens, resulting in an enormous shift in consciousness that has shaken our foundation and can be felt around the world. Emotions are overflowing; anger over injustice is at an all-time high. Where does all this energy go? Into protests, demonstrations, and in extreme cases, violence. Of course, loss of life and property is never acceptable. Yet destruction of property can be viewed as a symbolic tearing down of old beliefs—of what doesn’t work anymore— just as the removal of confederate statues is symbolic of the tearing down of structures that reinforce racism.

Lastly, try viewing Black Lives Matter as a call for full equality and fairness for Black Americans instead of an aggressive organization acting in ways you don’t agree with and that make you uncomfortable.

Jul 22, 2020

How to navigate prickly encounters about race

Yvonne* asked:

Lately, while going about my everyday busy-ness, I've had white people--strangers--try to turn a casual conversation into a discussion about race by slipping in a seemingly simple question like why do Blacks... (Yes, I'm Black.) I am more annoyed by this than grateful that a white person wants to pick my black brain under the guise of "see, I'm trying to relate", but I'm at a loss as to how to deal with this type of situation. Help me out with this.

I experience this all the time too, Yvonne.

As someone who's shielded more than a few of these wanna-be learning sessions, let me say that being put on the spot as the “official" Black spokesperson is not only inappropriate but also offensive. I understand your frustration. Even if inquisitive whites weren’t trying to be rude but instead wanted to engage, however awkward, in a sincere and comfortable dialogue about race, it's not something you should have to figure out. There's a time and a place for such conversation, and I get that when you're at the grocery store, your mind is on picking the biggest, ripest tomato and not on playing 20 questions about race. It's very much like asking for free professional advice from someone you have just met at a dinner party.

No matter how well-intention their motives, you are under no obligation to follow them down that rabbit hole. Simply point them to the vast informational pool called Google. Its a helpful resource for everyone.

*Name changed for privacy



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