Did You Get ‘Woke’?

I had charts, dates, names, links, more charts, historical references… more bull shit than you could wade through in a month ready to go in an ‘awesome’ post. I would “teach” and I would “preach” and I would present factual data until I could prove to you that I am right. I could show you that I am enlightened, progressive, and educated! I am right, if you don’t agree with me, you are wrong…

This morning I took the following action by opening my ‘awesome’ post and clicking on “trash”. (Are you sure you want to delete this post?) Definitely.

A male simply walking behind a female will never know the reality of her instinctual fear that she may be physically harmed by him. A white American will never understand the reality of the instinctual fear a black American experiences when being pulled over by police. Anyone who promotes the notion that the color of your skin mandates your worth and opportunities in the United States of America -in this century- may need to rethink this. Skin color is a basic theory with very real historical empirical data. (Gender and religious affiliation also have historical data of bias.) My point is that one simple theoretical explanation for a complex, culturally significant experience is not sufficient.

I am white. I have nothing to apologize for. I’m not racist. I wasn’t born a racist. I certainly wasn’t taught to be a racist. I don’t need to be ‘woke’ and I will not be ‘cancelled’. I do not believe any ONE culture is superior to any other culture. I wholeheartedly admit I’m embarrassed to be white right now. I am disgusted that some white Americans are hijacking the Black Lives Matter peaceful protests. I am extremely disappointed so many whites think they can understand the vast and unique culture of any minority … because we can’t. 

We need to listen to comprehend, not figure out what our next comment will be. Learn to hear what is being said! We need to learn empathy not practice sympathy. No one is asking to be coddled. No one is asking for a saviour. No one is asking to be fixed… these are adults, grown people. They are not broken. They have a voice! Meet them with the same level of respect you would want shown. Don’t try to manipulate and define real issues unique to a culture, because positive and negative, these issues are culturally specific. In other words, quit ‘helping’because you are not! In fact, you were not even asked!

Us. Each. We. Unique and wonderful, tragic and sad, joyful and proud. It is what makes individuals capable of understanding humanity. We are able to empathise. Adults want to do better for themselves and their children. That may be the only thing that truly resonates with every culture, we will never question whether our children matter.

25 comments

  1. I agree with what you’re saying, but I seem to be reading undertones that I’m not quite getting. I stay away from as much of the news as I can so I think I’m confused by what you mean by white people hijacking the Black Lives Matter movement.
    I grew up in a very rural southern town where whites were the minority in the public schools, but they still owned the town. They had their “niggers”, literally.
    And it is basically still the same there. I will never attempt to say I understand. I can’t understand. But I will always stand with them, and stand against injustice.
    I was ostracized when I lived there for simply being friends with people of color.
    If we don’t cross the line and let it be known that it is not okay for whites to treat blacks differently then it will persist. This is not just their fight. It is our responsibility to say, enough! We won’t let this go on.

    That is not to say I agree with everything that is happening, nor am I saying I want to swoop in and make it right, but I won’t just sit here and pretend it’s not about me too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wen. This is a tough topic. I believe if it had not started in my home town, I wouldn’t have felt such a need to comment. My friends had their life’s work, destroyed, burned. Others lost jobs, and still others died. I was raised to be curious, to feel humbled by anything shared with me… I’m happy that I have relatives from distinct cultures that have afforded me to grow in my curiosity. I am not trying to imply anything with ‘undertones’. BLM began protesting, and I was receptive. Many were. The hijacking comment is about radical white people defining what SHOULD be done, and demonstrating violently, many paid professional rioters. Many from the ANTIFA group. My heart sank! The positive steps for awareness and reform were completely run over by a freight train of ‘white people’ screaming and making demands for BLM! BLM didn’t invite these rioters! BLM members are adults and more than capable of defining what their needs were but ‘white helpers’ took that away. Why? Many reasons, from good intentions to just perpetuating violence. BLM is structured, was structured… they were hijacked. I’m only cautioning that all cultures are unique, and should be celebrated. Anyone from any walk of life can empathize, listen and encourage seeking solutions. But BLM didn’t ask for the violence. Now their message has been lost, our communities are in ruins, unemployment from lost jobs and destroyed businesses, and SO MANY innocents have been beaten, even killed since this became violent. Just because someone, who is not familiar with the vastness and intricacies within the black culture decided to define what they ‘should’ want. No one stopped to listen to WHAT they WERE asking for… No one listened, those who are NOT black reacted and defined a situation that was not theirs to define! That is not helping.

      I hope I clarified. I know your story and I know you are battling this. It feels unreal. I can’t remember ever looking at my brother and declaring his race to describe him. My cousins… especially the children. My friends, my husbands best friend whose child I babysat for years. Why do I have to define them? I do not. There is uniqueness everyone brings, and that is a gift! 😊💜

      Like

      1. Ah! See I’m glad I said straight off that I avoid the news, I had no idea that happened. That’s why I was confused.
        It all makes perfect sense now. We’re on the same page. (Undertones was the wrong word, I was not getting the whole story)
        I too am very appalled at the violence. Violence never helps.
        Thank you for clarifying, and educating me a bit. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim, thank you for articulating so beautifully what so many of us are feeling and want to convey to others. I too have had the luxury of having met so many wonderful people throughout my life of varied cultures, experiences and even socioeconomic backgrounds that all helped mold me into who I am. They have brought such richness and beauty into my life that I could not have experienced without having known them. They also brought me perspectives, understanding and the ability to truly empathize with them and others. Once I gained that ability to see things through others eyes and that “man’s inhumanity to man” has been with us for so long the dearth of my despair became quite overwhelming. From reading The Diary of Anne Frank and Black Like Me as well as so many more and then experiencing racism myself, in an odd way, it was just too much to try and comprehend. My sort of racism situation came when I was sitting on the subway train with a black high school classmate in 1982 as we both headed into Boston for work. Then 5 white guys started talking trash saying “who does that n***er think he is sitting with a white girl.” I immediately tried to go and give them a piece of my mind but my friend stopped me and said, “If you do, they will kill me.” The calm and certainty in his voice stopped me dead in my tracks. I think now it put me in a kind of shock. Usually you can’t stop me from opening my mouth. He got off at the next station even though it wasn’t his stop. I will never forget his words or how he said them. I will also never forget how helpless I felt to help my friend. It still hurts to this day knowing he had to live his life like that and I thought we were better than that in 1982 but look at the country today. We have a President who tries constantly to divide us and racism is at an all time high. Not only against minorities but also women, the LGBTQ community, freedom of religion or just anyone who isn’t a middle-aged, and white male. We have to vote carefully and get these bigots out of our government and away from our laws! We need to watch carefully how they are voting once they are in office too. Unfortunately most people in positions of power need to be held accountable for their actions or they tend to stray and become corrupt.
    (Sorry for the soapbox, this is a really tender nerve for me.) Thank you for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I’m sorry you had that experience. That must have been scary for you and your friend. I have been in some similar situations when I was out with my brother, the young black men were ruthless, more so than the Asian young men but the remarks came from them too. (My brother was Korean, deceased now.) I was with my BROTHER. My cousins, experienced some of that… mixed marriage. Not too much as they live in New York. I will loose it if there children are made to feel any less special than they are. My cousin has a strong healthy marriage. Doubt those children will ever feel anything but supported. I love them so. I dated a guy in college that I really REALLY liked. We had a lot of fun together… his Mom put an end to our relationship. She didn’t want her son with a white woman. She just wanted what was best for him… I didn’t agree but my boyfriend ended things with me. I get what you are saying. This isn’t a political issue, in and of itself. I don’t think anyway. This is an issue of basic common decency shown to our fellow man. When one culture sees themselves to be saviors to another culture… defining what that culture should be or needs, that message is lost in translation. (Trump had nothing to do with how those boys acted to you and your friend nor to how my brother and I were treated…) No adult male wants to be coddled. That’s the best way to piss off someone. I am with you tho- politics! Corrupt and idiotic. Stay out of our personal business. Run the country to protect all citizens, stay out of issues that have nothing to do with securing the nation. I like what you said on your soapbox! Never apologize. I hear you! The more we discuss the more we learn! I’m up for learning. Thanks Deb. Appreciate you!😊💜

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.