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I stepped away from the internet for a few days to focus my energy on my children who have yet to realize how heartbreaking this world can be.
And when I pulled up my email, there was a flood of messages waiting for me; like me, many of you are still grappling with where we go from here.
There are so many people hurting right now.
What can we do?
The first step is recognizing we [white people] are capable of doing something. Our skin gives us power, but we're not completely sure how to use it.
I don't have all the answers, but I do have some simple suggestions for how we can be better allies:
1. Reach out to your black friends -- even strangers.
Acknowledge their pain and grief this past week.
One of my black girlfriends said I was the only white friend who reached out to her in the wake of these incidents. THE ONLY WHITE FRIEND.
A simple hug or handshake or, "This must have been a hard week for you," can go a long way.
Books are a great way to start a conversation with your children about our differences.
If you have young children, this book is a must-have on your book shelf.
BUY IT NOW!
It is hands down THE BEST children's book I've read. From the rhyming sentences to colorful illustrations that emphasize a message of celebrating and embracing our differences...every child should have this book.
Get it for your kids, your nieces and nephews, your grandkids...any and every child you love.
Our family also loves this compilation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech with stunning paintings by Kadir Nelson:
If you see something on Facebook that doesn't seem quite right, say something.
If a family member makes an inappropriate comment, speak up.
If you overhear a colleague insult or judge another person based on their skin color (or any characteristic for that matter), let them know you have zero tolerance for ignorance or discrimination.
Be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Be willing to speak up when it's not popular. Be willing to listen to others' experiences even when it's hard.
These are small things, but if we do them together we can make a difference. A little empathy and understanding can go a long way.
I Stand With You
To The White Momma Of A Black Child