I grew up in an Old Testament conservative Christian home - we believed in the separation of races. I had no interaction with any persons of color until I was a teenager. I wasn't taught that they were less than, but I realize that I learned to fear blacks, especially angry blacks, because of the 1965 Watts riots (not being taught at the age of 8 what they were really all about - no one in my home was talking about the reasons, just the violence). I left that religion many years ago and have followed a path of spiritual discovery, but the BLM protests have made me realize that I too have accepted the status quo. I'm not an activist by nature, but taking this course is my first step in changing that.
After watching the video on the atrocities committed on Mexicans crossing the border, it's become clear to me now that growing up in Southern California, I picked up on the dirty, greasy Mexican propoganda, even if I wasn't aware of it. I've always sort of cringed internally around Mexicans or other hispanics - now I know why. And it makes me very sad and horrified to understand what they endured. Treated like animals, worse than animals.
I'd heard of the policy of adopting Native American children out of their homes, but I had never known about the boarding schools - both horrific, but hearing about the number of children sent to the boarding schools to become "white" made me sick to my stomach. I believe it was my great great grandmother who was Native American, but her name was changed to an American name, and I've had a very hard time trying to verify any ancestry. Maybe she went to a boarding school...
I can't change the fact that I am white. I can't change the fact that I grew up in an America that has allowed systemic racism and white supremacy to flourish. I can't change the fact that I have buried my head in the sand and just accepted things as they have been. But I can change now and choose to become Anti-Racist.
I saw a very disturbing video not long ago that my daughter posted on Facebook. It gave statistics on how many times in America there have been movements toward changing systemic racism and how those movements have always failed because it's so ingrained in our society, our minds and hearts.
May I be humble and teachable and be the change necessary to bring about this much needed change in our country and our world.