I've always been pretty closed-minded when it came to racism. I've maybe heard 3 or 4 racists jokes my whole life because people around me knew better. I can be pretty vocal and stubborn. Then I had these two black babies. They are 1/2 white and they call themselves "mixed" but in the world, at school, at the mall, in the mirror, they identify as black - and people around them call them black.

As a white person I was born into privilege. Not the kind of privilege that comes with money or power or being male. A different kind. One a lot of us take for granted. I'm actually taking a 10 month workshop at the Y right now to learn about white privilege and the role it plays in racism (it's huge!)

So even though I've always done little things to fight racism - I never understood. I never GOT IT. Honestly, it's almost impossible to understand unless you really fight hard.

Recently there was an incident with a few friends who I thought were close. It has really rattled me because I had assumed some things about this group of friends and their understanding of racism that wasn't really true.

I mentioned a comment a mutual friend made that I thought to be very inconsiderate at best and possibly racist. They disagreed. When I tried to explain I heard things like "you are so angry", and "maybe you just expect racism so you see it more", and "you should turn rude/racist comments into a positive for your kids", and "well it wasn't INTENDED to be racist so you should be more understanding".

So this is my platform. A co-worker received a booklet from a friend since it is Black History Month and it lists 5 things white people can do to stop racism.

It is one of the most compelling - action oriented - pieces of work on irradicating racism I've read. So I'm going to share it with you.

The first thing you should know is that I believe it is the responsibility of WHITE PEOPLE to stop racism. Period. Not everyone believes that, and this pamphlet also has 5 things black people can do to help stop racism. I will post those too for my readers of color. But it does make me nervous because I think one of the top 3 reasons racism is still so strong - is because white people sit back and wait for black people to DO something to stop it. And by posting 5 things black people can do - only reinforces their theory. Although I positive things can come from the second list - I just don't want that to be a reason for white people to not actively do their 5!

Does that make sense?

And the second thing - racism knows no bounds. Racism against hispanics is at an all time disgusting high right now. These five things apply to all races. But my experience is with racism against blacks because my kids are black. And I also believe there is racism against people of color, and then racism against black people and it's different.

So for the next 5 days I will post one thing white people can do to help stop racism. And I am not one of those "if I can only reach one person I will be happy" kind of people. Not even close.

I hope this opens up an honest dialogue that leads to action from everyone it reaches.

See you tomorrow.

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