Black Lives Matters & Conversations We Need to Have
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
To The Black Community,
We are so very sorry.
The horrific reality of slavery is hard for anyone to stomach. Tragically, you are still dealing with its impact today.
We are so sorry.
We have set up economic, political, social structures that keep your people in poverty, without proper access to education or work opportunities, with disparities in health care coverage, in a legal system that disproportionately criminalizes and incarcerates your kin. Even for the fortunate who grow up in loving homes with enough money, you don’t see yourselves represented in holistic ways in history or in popular culture.
We have suppressed your ability to vote and have discriminated against you in the housing & financial sectors, making it difficult for you to own homes or receive loans. We segregate ourselves from you (while appropriating your language, music & fashion) so that we never have to face what we’re doing to you.
We lack a public discourse on the systemic effects of racism, which keeps many well-meaning people in denial. It is not fully understood that a person’s race has consequences.
We are so very sorry.
We hear how deep your pain is and we will continue to listen. We will educate ourselves. We will consider something better for everyone and will use our power to push for changes that promote justice for all oppressed people.
At Flow, we will become more culturally informed counselors and will invite others to expand their comfort zones by engaging in safe and honest conversations about race & privilege.
𝗧𝗼 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆,
For some of us, this is an invitation to wake up.
I know I’m a therapist and it’s my job, among other things, to give you a safe space where you don’t feel judged, where I nurture and support you, and remind you to have compassion for yourself.
It is also my job, in my opinion, to illuminate blind spots, to help you grow & transform, to stretch your comfort zones, to respectfully challenge you when I see stagnation, to expand your perspectives, and help free you from the prison of self-obsession.
How many white men have you watched die? We don’t share white death like this (we take down videos of white men being beheaded by ISIS). We are desensitized to seeing black men being killed - we circulate these videos or sometimes don’t even pay them attention.
Before last week, did any of the previous shootings make you evaluate yourself for even half a second?
To be white is to be born into a system that has been set up for the benefit of people like us and provides a head start to those of us in the group. It means we will inherit certain advantages and will continue to reap the benefits of ongoing racial privilege.
For many of us, there is profound ignorance about the existence of these advantages and their consequences. But we are waking up. We can choose to resist a system of racism and unjust privilege. We can learn to develop our resistance muscles - how and when to resist and what to do and not do.
I don’t know exactly how this looks yet for me personally or for this business. I am taking the time to listen, learn & respond thoughtfully.
If you are interested in looking more deeply into the ways race has affected your life and the lives of others, we would love to have those conversations with you.
Photo taken in Junction City, KS by @400northcreative