I do not know what to say about Michael Brown’s death. I, like everyone else watching these events from afar, do not know who is innocent or who is guilty.
But what I do know is that this was a wake up call. It has me thinking. It has everyone thinking, or so I hope it does. But somehow, even just writing in this very, very tiny space feels like a gamble. It is so incredibly uncomfortable to talk about this. To talk about race. Especially when you have spent 31 years on the blind side. But this is a start, because this is what I can do.
In college I took a class called, “Curriculum”. A very vague, non descriptive title for what would go down in between those four walls during that semester. My teacher, Robert Kelty, led us through article after article of eye-opening material. We read Sherman Alexie then we talked about why he was the only popular native american writer any of us could think of, we read about Disney and the messages it sends children (damn it people, it really does), and we read about white privilege. That one was hard to swallow. Oh I resisted quite hard. But, it turned out, I did in fact have such a skewed one-eyed vision of the world. So much so that I couldn’t even go into the library and pick out a picture book that wasn’t blatantly ambiguous and cliche. (For the record I picked The Girl who Loved Wild Horses... you can read about some of the issues we found with it here.)
My point is this: I don’t know what to do about the injustices that occur in this country EVERY SINGLE DAY. But it makes me feel so sad. They don’t happen to me, or near me, or around me, and somehow it makes it feel like they don’t happen at all. Now, with all this in the lime light, I am thinking about it. I am thinking hard, and taking the time to think up ways to explain these complicated things to my boys. I am talking about it here. I am talking about it with you. I am trying to learn.
I am thinking. I am beginning to ponder the idea, the possibility, the likelihood, that this change is up to me too. It is up to me as an individual in just about every move I make. And it is up to me as a mother, in the seeds I plant inside these little minds I spend my days with.
4 thoughts on “a seed for change”
Mariah – I appreciate this post so much – so eloquent, frank, and truthful. Thanks for your courage to start a dialogue. The complexities are so real – it’s hard to make sense of it. What to do? But I agree that talking about it is crucial. It’s a start at least. These issues about race are so easy to avoid, but then we become part of the problem! We may not find answers but perhaps become more enlightened during the process. Personally, I think you’ve hit some of the biggest points that we can do everyday – be humble & curious, recognize our own privileges, and model for our children to do the same things. I’m with you – I feel a responsibility to do something too.
Beautifully written, Mariah…heartfelt ❤
I’ve been blessed to live my whole life in a very diverse area of upstate New York ~ about 20 miles north of NYC. I’ve never known anything but diversity. Our school district is a giant, beautiful melting pot. White, black, Asian, Haitian, Catholic, Jewish, gay, straight, and on and on and on. My children are being raised the same way I was, thankfully. I have such mixed feelings about what’s been going on in this country. I also have differing opinions on Ferguson as opposed to what happened on Staten Island. I will say that I am so proud to see that peaceful protesting is possible and it makes me very proud to be a New Yorker. To see the businesses of hard working people, including African Americans, being burned to the ground was sickening to watch. I could write a thousand more words but I won’t. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now and I just thought I’d chime in. : )
Merry Christmas to you and your family ~ Wendy
Thank you Wendy for your words. I too am proud of the people taking a stand (in a peaceful, righteous manner). It will be something in the history books I am sure. I am envious of your area. It sounds lovely to be filled with all sorts of people and colors and customs and traditions. Thank you for reading. -mariah