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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.

in BLM

Aug 18, 2020

Labels are a fact of life

Heather asked:

Ever since the BLM movement really gained traction this year, the term “white person” feels more and more accusatory and rude; almost like I’m being attacked personally. Not every white person is racist. But I feel like I’m being lumped in with the rest of them. There’s got to be a better way to discuss this.

I’m glad you brought this up, Heather. Unfortunately, this is the hard truth: There is no special formula, no magical wand that will ease your discomfort when discussing race or racism.  However, you can be better prepared the next time you have a race discussion or other experience once you understand the difference between “white people” as a reference to the structure of whiteness and that of a personal reference to you a person who may be white.

Generally, the term “white people” refers to the institution of whiteness, which has been the bar that everyone else has had to measure against.  This is what we all live with. On the other hand, I can also understand that you wouldn’t want to be grouped with the bad apples, right? Just keep in mind this one important point: Blacks have lived with labels for centuries. Those labels have changed over time, but the fact remains no matter how degrading they were then and still are, it’s something Blacks have been forced to accept without exception.  

I strongly suspect the reason why you feel so prickly when you hear “white people” is because this is the first time ever that whites collectively have an inkling of what a label feels like. So, the way I see it Heather, you have a choice; learn to tell the difference between “white people” and you, or deny that you have any part in the white consciousness. Neither choice is comfortable. Yet only one will guarantee balanced growth. Your single question shows how a willing heart simply needs a little nudge toward further introspection.

Always envision the best.

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.



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