Obviously, with all that's going on in our country (and the world) at the moment, the shared information is both critical and disheartening. While I was lucky enough to learn about most of this horrors in US history through my public school education, there was still an amount of distance involved. Somehow, despite many of the racist actions taking place less than 50 years earlier, I still felt like those instances were in the far past. Obviously, the US was modernized enough that we no longer held such illusions.
While I quickly realized how wrong I was once I was older, it still saddens me to hear about one for tragedy on the news, or see about yet another instance of racism and bigotry across the nation. I'll admit that often I skim the articles, or wait for a friend to share the details because I don't want to focus on the negative aspects; however, I also must acknowledge my own privilege by having the option to do so.
So now I struggle with what to do next: It seems obvious, that given that "all people are created equal" people should know that the Latinx living two doors down isn't actually after your job, or that the African American worker at the grocery store isn't just waiting to steal something. Hearing the comments, or seeing posts on social media makes me simultaneously angry and sad, since it seems that we take five steps back for every step forward. Additionally, while I in no way feel that any prejudice I've faced (as a handicapped female) comes close to the actions taken against the populations mentioned in the module, I also feel the same frustration when it seems like every reasonable request has been ignored. Now, knowing that going in, that it seems like no matter what we say or do little changes, what's the next step?
The recent protests have certainly given rise to a growing realization across the country - and beyond - about the status of racism here, but now that it's recognized I wonder about my role. I will certainly support BLM and other causes, but is that enough? What else should I be doing to help finally stop the systemic racism and inherent biases that have permeated the country. My position in a higher education institute allows me to routinely meet with students, and I hope they see me as an ally, but again, is that enough for them? And, for those with differing views, how should those opinions best be addressed, without falling back into biases and anger?
I still don't have an answer, honestly, but I hope that through this training and changes in the future I can do better.