How to Respond When You are Tired of Explaining Inherent Racism
This past week I booked a stay at an AirBNB. While I was there, my host (a white male in his 30’s) asked me how I was feeling about the protest.
I took a breath and briefly shared my grief at the loss of George Floyd and so many others who look like me. He listened compassionately, but I could tell he didn’t understand how I felt. In the absence of knowing what to say he asked:
“Is there something that I can do for you and your wife to make things better?”
I said no at first because I was surprised by the question. But after collecting my thoughts, I encouraged him to engage in dialogues with his black friends so that he could gain a better understanding of the issues. He said he would try, and thanked me before we parted ways.
As I gave more thought to his question, I realized that I may have set him up for failure. We are in a moment where black people are tired of explaining the pain of being unseen, unheard & distrusted. It is not our responsibility to make people feel comfortable when we feel uncomfortable.
Still, If he followed my advice, especially during these times, he might not get the response he is looking for. Sometimes, it is not good manners to ask for a conversation in the middle of a funeral.
I also didn’t consider that he might not have any black friends. So I sent him this follow up text:
…You asked what you could do about the racial climate in our country. After giving it some thought, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about the history of the issues so that you are able to share your wisdom as the opportunities present themselves within your spheres of influence. This documentary “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son” by Tim Wise was eye opening for me. Hope it’s useful to you in your journey.
Ultimately I wanted him to know is that the best thing he can do is speak up when his friends or colleagues do something that is racist.
You may be struggling with the craziness in our world right now. If you are emotionally exhausted, I completely understand.
But we need allies in our pursuit of justice and many of them will need some time to catch up.
I'm sharing my experience in hopes that it will make it easier for you to respond when you are tired of explaining yourself.
- If you haven’t already, please watch the video before you share it so that you have a baseline for discussion when you are ready to talk.
- If you are looking for a way to TAKE ACTION IN YOUR CITY RIGHT NOW please visit 8CANTWAIT.COM
Last but not least, we cannot forget Breonna Taylor. Today would have been her 27th birthday. Before I go I’d like to ask you to honor her by being an ally to the women in your life.
They are the safe people who protect our egos in the secret moments when we can’t hold back our tears. They are our Moms, Sisters, Daughters, Aunties, Cousins, Wives, Partners, Girlfriends, and the Mothers of our children. They are Warriors and Queens who deserve our respect.
When we are grooming our beards to impress them, let’s remind ourselves that they are so much more than the objects of our pursuit.
Thanks as always for your trusting us with your beard care needs. If you have a question or if there is a thought that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Stay Safe & Be Blessed!
Eric Canaday | Founder | NuGrowthBeard.Co