The Black Ally: What Makes You Care?
No one wants learning and growing to feel like pressure.
Even if it's an existential human rights issue. I don't want it to be something you do or participate in because someone is telling you it's the right thing to do. Do you want you to be able to find within yourself your own motivation, your own understanding, your own desire to support others because you recognize how intricately connected we all are, and how important the well-being of other people are in relation to your own well-being?
It's interesting that I delivered a workshop on work-life balance the other day and one of the key principles we addressed was the idea that we all have motivations, drivers that affect our lives, that work together, depend on each other and thrive in certain circumstances. If one area like your family life is doing well, then the others areas, like career or community are generally doing well too. And if one is not doing well the others are generally not doing well because they all negatively and positively affect each other, and the care you take to make sure that you're attentive to all dynamics of your life is super important.
Now think about that for a moment, the lowest economic groups are typically racialized Black and brown folks. That's not to say there aren't also lower class white folks that continue to experience the same pain and economic hardship these crises deliver. But the pattern we see that continues throughout history is that those in power make the rules and break the rules, and white supremacy and anti-black racism have been tactics and policies that enabled division, hate and fear.
So the question is what makes you want to care more?
What is the push, the drive that you need in order to do the work in your community? What you makes you feel responsible for helping equality become a reality? Now we know that together we can limit the forces that continue to divide, incite hate, oppress and control the average person. We've see the gravity of this situation, and we understand that we are actually all in this together, and that our strength will come when we increase our affinity for one another. So what do we need to do to appreciate each other’s hardships and challenges?
It's only with that affinity that we care enough to show up and speak out.
The strength of an ally is exactly that. When you have privileges you use them to benefit the collective. You put your socio-economic or racial privilege to use in a way that brings light to marginalized groups, that disbands racist, divisive policies, and we empower each other by taking responsibility for something that is a human issue. We all own this problem. All races, all classes, all countrymen have a stake in making sure that power and profit do not ruin the possibility of racial equality or the future prospect of our human rights.
This Black History month, I challenge you to dig deep and uncover why you should care, and why being anti-racist and fighting the good fight is so vital to your essence. I hope to see you on the other side when life is better, kinder and more rewarding for us, having each other's backs and loving each other despite our differences.
This is my not so fluffy news, these are my thoughts this last Saturday in January preparing for Black History month, and reflecting on what we've been through recently. We need to be patient with ourselves and others, but at the same time resilient. There's work to be done, yet we can't beat ourselves up, we have to be strategic with our energy and step by step make improvements, while helping others to do the same. Having these tough convos is only one step, but an essential step in the right direction.
So reach out and build some new bonds, some new neural patterns, some new connections; for Black history is world history, it's your history.
Your Tough Convos Team