Hi my fellow white-skinned Humans… I’ve taken the time to watch several posts utilizing quotes or interviews of wealthy, influential, Black people arguing systemic racism and prejudice are being overblow or don’t exist. Maybe YOU have taken it upon yourself to defend white people and make everyone realize how the concept of “white privilege” itself is racist… I understand that there are valid arguments for that. Maybe you feel these points need to be understood at this moment in time. Finding Black voices that echo your beliefs proves the argument is two sided, right? Before falling into that trap, stop and ask yourself: If that Black person was a White southern racist saying the same words would, you be so quick to think their points are valid or interesting? It’s not the words themselves, but the impact they have and the intention of the person saying them. Words can be educational and inspirational. The exact same words also have the power to severely limit, or even end, someone’s life.
Over recent years I’ve developed an insatiable passion for inspiring others, breaking down limiting beliefs and helping humanity raise itself to higher levels of love, compassion and limitless potential. I don’t think I’ve got it all figured out, not by a long shot, I accept now more than ever that I don’t. I’ve found some quotes that are empowering and impactful. They are from one of the most influential humans in modern history. These quotes stopped me in my tracks and made me think about the power and importance of choosing when and how I use MY voice and platform. These powerful quotes have the potential to inspire YOU right in this moment. The words themselves ARE powerful. If you know who they’re from, please read until the end… I’m going somewhere with this. If you heard ME, yoga teacher and wellness advocate, say these things you would be inspired, no?
“Words build bridges into unexplored regions.”
“Only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others.”
“If freedom is short of weapons, we must compensate with willpower.”
“Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.”
“Never trust a person who isn’t having at least one crisis.”
“The man who has no sense of history is like a man who has no ears or eyes.”
“If you want to shine like the sun, first you must burn like it.”
“Obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken.”
Guess who said these things? Adolph Hitler. Now, I hope it is glaringly obvious that I do not think Hitler was a great man. BUT he was a powerful speaker who convinced arguably decent humans to turn on their fellow countrymen; most Germans had no idea of the atrocities happening behind the scenes during WWII. Sharing something you believe to be “educational” that most people, and often fact checkers, would consider false, out of context or racist makes you a racist too in my opinion. Did reading that sting? Good. I hope you start to break down that wall of white righteousness and take a moment to acknowledge the untold suffering of your fellow humans throughout history. Not just acknowledge that it happened, but that a couple centuries does not erase loosing entire swaths of your community to oppression, violence and slavery. You don’t get to decide if what you are saying is racist. If you offend a person of colour and then you defend your position or accuse them of being too sensitive; you may want to stop yourself. In that moment, your white privilege is showing more than ever. Instead, shut your mouth, stop planning your argument, listen, consider their side and maybe, just maybe, change your limited perception. Maybe you don’t agree, but try on listening instead of shutting down. Don’t like the terms “white privilege” or “white fragility”? Shame right… feels gross being lumped in and generalized like that? Funny thing is, the white people suffering worst form these conditions are usually the ones unable to admit they exist. I was one of those people a few weeks ago and am still finding little things that I can shift in myself. I fully own now that life has been made easier by my skin colour and that defensiveness only stops the conversation and lets the racists win another round. They’ve been “winning” for centuries, how about decent people start standing up more consistently?
Stop assuming you “get it” and educate yourself about how, almost certainly, YOU DON’T. Myself included there. I don’t think I get it. I fully own that I have a lot of learning to do. I dropped my “I’m not racist, therefor this doesn’t apply to me” story and only then could I see how blind I was. Shutting down the conversation or thinking “I can’t help” facilitates maintaining the status quo. The status quo puts some people above others and destroys lives. The status quo doesn’t work.
Being “not racist” but sharing racist voices and opinions is beyond hypocritical. “Supporter” of the LGBTQia+ equality movement but touting the importance of “family values” (aka heterosexual, Christian values), think our sex life is not “normal”, transgender humans are “weird” or that sexually inclusive bathrooms goes too far? You are no true ally of mine… Regardless of how “good” of a person you seem otherwise; clean up the hypocrisy. In the words of MLK Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Oh, and if you think this post is directed at you specifically, please trust that I’m in this work with EVERY person that calls themselves my friend but posts something keeping the conversation stuck in the past. The past wasn’t’ working, it’s time for the future… If you don’t like what I’m saying, unfriend me.