I've been struggling to find the right words to say. But not saying anything at all feels like complicity. Day after day, I am appalled (though not surprised) to hear, see, and experience the racism in this country. When will it end? When will all the 'woke' people realize there is still so much work to be done? It is not enough to make this post and say a few words. I want to actively work against racism. I stand in solidarity with the black people in this country being murdered in plain sight again and again. For simply being alive. I will continue to educate myself on how this can be done. For now, I'm going to shut up and listen to people of color on what they need and what their experience has been. I share with you all again that empathy is a skill. A skill that can be taught and that can be learned. Many white people apparently never learned it. They reached the top from climbing on the backs of indigenous peoples. We will work against them and their ignorance. Racism stems from fear (and extreme hate) we need to educate each other and find communion and commonality in the human experience.
To speak on this issue and not discuss generational trauma would not make sense. They go hand in hand. Generational trauma is trauma that can be passed down through generations. This happens in all families with trauma but is heightened in families whose ancestors have been marginalized, oppressed, beaten, and killed. Resulting in younger generations to remain in the cycle of trauma though the issues have "long past". Remember unprocessed trauma doesn't just dissipate, it stays stored in the body of mothers and fathers forced to shove it deep within themselves to be able to survive. The body remembers, always. There is a ton of epigenetic research on this. How our brain and our blood literally transforms from pain and we hold trauma in our genes as it passes to the new generation. This has been occurring in black families for centuries. From being torn away from home to be shipped and sold into slavery oceans away. For modern black Americans who grew up in the time of an "official" end to slavery but had grandparents and great uncles whose lives were spent in the terror of growing up in the time of slavery. To act as if the impact of slavery ended when slavery was written out of law is a disservice to the trauma experienced by an entire people. We celebrate MLK day as if he wasn't assassinated. We celebrate Columbus day as if he didn't pillage and colonize a land that must certainly did NOT "belong to you and me". So what we are seeing now is consistent with symptoms of trauma. This isn't exclusive to black families of course. Families of holocaust survivors and Jewish families in general have higher rates of anxiety disorders. This has been whitewashed into the comedic archetype of the neurotic jew in Hollywood. While black Americans have been stereotyped as angry. These aren't just funny anecdotes. This is generational trauma. And as a society, we have been ignorant to it for too long.
Justice for George, Ahmaud, and Breonna, I hope it will come. But the grief experienced by their friends and family, will not end. Please let's not allow another black man or woman to be killed for being black.
Beautiful image from Pinterest.