I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to start giving in to my rants and writing about the things that bothered me. I’ve started half a dozen pieces about a variety of topics, and they just go nowhere.
Last Friday I went hiking. I don’t listen to music while hiking because I like to listen instead for things like bears and snakes and zombies. So I get a lot of thinking done when I hike, because I’m not forcing something else into my brain. I thought about all of these issues that worry me so much and why I wasn’t writing about them, and figured out why those pieces aren’t going anywhere.
I’m afraid of my ignorance, that I’ll write something easily rebutted and expose me for knowing the surface of issues but not the depth. I’m afraid I’ll lose my job–I run into this more on Twitter than anything, afraid that if I make any kind of political statements students or parents will see and will ask for my resignation. And I’m afraid that whatever I write just ends up white noise in a landscape cluttered with people way more eloquent and smarter than me and writing about issues affects absolute zero change.
Today I’ve been reeling a bit. The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have me questioning so many things, and at the top of the list is what can I possibly do? I honestly don’t know. I want to do something but I don’t want to assume myself as “white savior”. I want to say something but am not certain it’s my place.
I’ve spent the day checking my privilege–I’ve been to four different public venues today (museum, library, convenience store, restaurant) and never once felt uncomfortable or judged or really, even seen. That’s a start, to acknowledge simple acts I take for granted every single day. At the library, I checked out some titles to help me understand how people of color experience America. I want to understand. I want to help. I want to stop this madness that is happening way too often. But I feel caught–what can I say and do that won’t get me fired? What can I say and do that won’t be seen as poor allyship? What can I say and do…what can I say and do…
I have zero answers. But I think the suggestions here are a good start.