Here we are. On the edge of the proverbial tipping point. And we ask, is it really real this time. Gripping to the edge, many of us will try not to tumble into rough, uncharted waters. Others of us are summoning the courage to dive in. Some of us are already swimming.
This time, I believe, we truly are at the tipping point. A time and space where we are being asked to let go of old punishing, societal constructs. A time when we are being asked to swim in troubled waters. A time when we are being urged to become so much more than we thought we were.
I can no longer stay quiet, or comfortable, as millions of our Black citizens, neighbors, friends, family, children, and colleagues continue to be silenced, exploited, oppressed, marginalized, disenfranchised, unjustly punished, terrorized, and murdered. All to hold up an antiquated, historical, systematic, oppressive system designed to protect white culture.
As a white person, I understand the discomfort of stepping away from societal norms, family beliefs, and privileged refuge. I understand the pain, and shame, of facing both conscious and unconscious racism. I shudder with guilt as I realize the extent of my privilege, due solely to the color of my skin.
Yet, I remind myself that discomfort is only discomfort. Fear is only fear. Shame is only shame. And all of these are only feelings.
Feelings, we can learn to accept, we can work to transform, and we can move beyond. What we cannot accept is the continued mistreatment of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
When we let go of the conditioning that imprisons us, we can swim more courageously in the waters of humanity. It’s time to dismantle the conditioning, along with the behaviors, and beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, that are causing harm to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
It’s time to learn what we need to know, listen to what we need to hear, see what we need to understand, and do what we must to create a more just, equitable, loving, kind world.
It’s time to go swimming.