During the past week plus, we have seen people, Black and Brown people who have been long victimized by injustice embedded in our culture, rise up and say that this is enough, that it isn’t ok, and that we need to change that culture.
Martin Luther King said that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The death of George Floyd created a flashpoint! This was a culmination of several inexcusable events in the past few months that result from a history of institutional and cultural racism in our country. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Christian Cooper were visible examples but there are many less visible.
As a health advocate, I am appalled at the demonstrable difference in outcome experiences among black people, in particular during our COVID crisis, as they struggled to gain access to care and resources. I hope that the protests of the past week and the injustices that preceded them lead to real change. More than that, I hope that we, as individuals, gain greater awareness of things like unconscious prejudice, meaning prejudice that we all have buried within us based on experiences and things we learned when we were very young like words and kids songs, so that we become more open to learning about ourselves. It’s not easy to do. It’s even scary sometimes. None of us are perfect. But it can also be very rewarding.
So please stop and think before you judge someone else and act upon that judgment. What is motivating their behavior? And what is motivating yours? Would you want to be treated this way? Could my words, action or inaction, be hurtful? And what can I do to change myself first and foremost?
Because every one of us can do something just a little differently.
Because Black Lives DO Matter.
If you want to gain a better understanding of how racial bias has evolved and what it feels like to be on the receiving end, watch these enlightening videos:
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