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Babble Voices: Mocha Momma Has Something to Say

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KSID Interiors
Tuesday
Jul162013

Calling Out My Sisters

I see you, sisters.

Maybe you don't know this about me, but I'm leaning in here. Maybe not in the way the Lean In "movement" suggests that I do in terms of getting a job or a seat at the table, but I'm leaning in. I've tried, and failed, when I've done all the leaning. I've lost out on jobs, been demoted, and told that I'm in a position because of my race. I interviewed for a position a few years ago within my district and another candidate, a White woman with whom I worked at the time as a fellow teacher, said to me, "As soon as I saw your name on the interview list I knew I'd lose out on this. You'll get the job. They need a Black person."

She said that out loud to me. In an office full of people. I started floating above my own body in that moment because, no, that didn't just happen, did it?

Indeed, when I was leaning in during that very moment, I got the job. The next time I saw her I pulled no punches. "I got the job alright. But I got it because I was better than you. Not because I'm Black." Whenever I happen to run into her again she refuses to speak to me. Fine. I leaned in and got snubbed by someone whose feelings got hurt when I "got racial" with her. She told this to a friend of mine who repeated it to me. No love lost. I didn't mind. She snubbed me in the Education World in which I live.

 

I see you, sisters, when you're passionate about something. I read your writing, your blogs, your tweets, your Facebook posts, the things you Pin and +1.

Maybe you don't know this about my online world, but I get asked to write and spread news and sign petitions. In my offline world I volunteer, work on phone banks, put up yard signs, vote nationally and locally, march in parades for candidates I support. Do you know what that is? It's politics. It's the things I believe in manifesting through being a change agent.

I see you, sisters, when the world gets political. I stood with Texas women, watched the livestream of the filibuster by Senator Wendy Davis, and tweeted my heart out because I have a stake in this faux-pro-life-but-really-anti-woman stance that is rampant in this country at the moment. It's a distraction from the real politics that affect Americans, but I get the tactic, politicians. If we keep arguing about that we don't pay attention to other important things. Smoke and mirrors.

Still, I stood with my sisters on this, one of many political issues into which I involve myself.

I see you, sisters, when you get close enough to me and feel comfortable enough with the care I will take with you to discuss race. 

Not very long ago The Cuban and I were joking around and thought we would create our own app that we would call Is That Racist? We thought it would function as a sort of browser that would pop up after asking a question. You could type in whatever question you wanted to about race and the answer would always be YES. Because, if you have to ask, then it's probably racist. Then, the app would take you to some informational website designed to help you understand various ethnic histories and, voilá! Learning would take place!

It's not that easy, though, and we know it's a gimmick (but I swear, if any of you steals this idea I'm coming for you) because that's how we learn about race.

The recent and persistent advisement I've seen from White folks about misplaced priorities amongst Black folks is mind numbing. Lean in, sisters, I have some things to say to you.

Here are a few things that are not at all helpful:

1. Being "Just" Curious

In the space of an hour, a CNN newsanchor asked what the haps was, injected President Obama's responsibility and inclusion into the conversation, and talked about dinosaur teeth. Her question, a stupid one, had the hashtag #justcurious. First of all, her willingness to lay the national conversation at the feet of one man and not the Supreme Court justices who struck down voting laws last month was laughable. Does she really want to talk about race? Her question about race in America got the JUST CURIOUS hashtag, but her hashtag on a previous tweet about the death of Cory Monteith was SOMETHING MUST CHANGE. Just curious as in she has some passing interest in this and has some questions, maybe possibly, and could we talk about this and whether or not we can get one more Black man involved in the conversation because, hey, Brooke is curious, y'all. She has questions. But for the death of a Canadian actor? Things must change. 

 

2. Saying that you don't live in America

Guess what? I don't live in Pakistan and I supported and talked about Malala Yousafzai.

Guess what? I don't live in New Delhi and it didn't stop me from donating to the Red Cross the day a building collapsed and killed 46 people. It didn't stop me from refusing to spend money in big box stores that profit off those places.

Guess what? I'm not a homosexual who wants to marry my partner but I still signed petitions, called my state and local representatives, and used the hell out of my social media accounts to voice that opinion.

Guess what? You only have to be a human being to find interest in places all over the world that threaten our humanity, politics, and beliefs. Why so shy about getting involved with Trayvon Martin?

3. Whitesplaining. That's never helpful. Don't ever do that. I never care to hear the accusation that I am the one making it about race ever again. Don't get mad just because someone points it out to you.

4. Lawyersplaining. All of a sudden, lawyers want to break it all down for us Americans who didn't go to law school so we understand why the case turned out that way. Hey, lawyers, want to weigh in on the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act? Were you all getting Tumblr and Twitter accounts at breakneck speed to ensure we understood that? Or did you leave it all up to those hacks on cable news?

5. Ignoring. I see a lot of people whom I consider friends, many of them with powerful Twitter accounts with amazing reach, simply giving Trayvon Martin and all the conversations surrounding his death, a wide berth. There's power in social media, that's a proven fact. 

I remember once when my sister wrote something on Facebook and I asked her if I could repost it on Twitter and when I did there was an uproar from a bunch of huge Twitter personalities who believed a White woman who said I stole it from her. Her account was PRIVATE when I posted it. I remember that I went out to walk my dog and came back to my computer to a veritable shitstorm of angry people telling me I stole it from her. When I tried to explain that I saw it from my sister and didn't have proper attribution yet (my sister couldn't remember where it came from, but it was a variation on a lot of tweets that day) and that I couldn't possibly have taken it from a private, locked account which I did not follow, it fell on deaf ears.

Was that racial in nature? Who knows? I just know that big names CAME FOR ME and got behind the White woman who yelled that I stole it from her. It's still odd to me that even then I had far more followers than she had but White comedians and writers of television shows blasted me that day and didn't listen when I responded.

Far fewer people defended me that day. I had to shut it all down for a while.

I see you ignoring me. I see your campaigns and your righteous indignation. I saw what you did, Motrin Moms. 

I’m leaning in closer to see you.

And I went in today via Twitter. I called you out and asked about your voices while a nation of Black parents grieved, you were like petrified wood, failing to move. I saw some of you cringe and weep along with me, too. I read your private messages and your private emails and your private texts.

Private. Not public. 

Make no mistake: I said hush. I said listen. I wanted you to listen before spouting off right away. Take it in, drink it up, and let it digest. If it were a meal, I would eat first and then do all the talking. You would sit and listen. Nodding, asking questions as necessary. Clarifying when I didn't make sense. Just don’t speak over me. Don’t set the agenda without knowing which players are at the table. Don't play checkers and tell me the game is actually chess.

I need you to speak up about Trayvon. I’ve given you some time but, sisters, I see you've let time go by with nary an outward concern.

The first time I wrote about Trayvon Martin was March 18, 2012.

There are 41 comments on that post and zero shares on Facebook and zero tweets. No pins, no Google+ shares. Nothing. A conversation in a silo. Blogs have been heading that way for some time now. The Cuban asked me once, “People don’t comment on your blog. Are they reading it anymore?” I told him that’s not the way it works anymore. Solidarity is in sharing within my social circle. We share and see the “shares” numbers, the plusses, the Pins.

In that time, and it’s been over a year, I’ve lent support either with my tax paying dollars, my take home pay, my time at a phone bank, my canvassing door to door, my words, my Change.org signage, my posting, linking, liking, and retweeting. I’ve done it for a few important things, too. Things that affect us all. We’ve even done that together sometimes.

I see you, sisters, and I already asked where you were when that racist "Dr" Santoshi Kanazawa claimed that science “proved” Black women were ugly. I wondered, in that painful moment for little Black girls everywhere, where all my White sisters were. I wondered with my writing like writers do. You're writers so you already know this.

I see you, social media crafters, dipping your toes into the political waters for other issues, but not for race. Never for race.

I see you, sisters. I see what you're sharing.

I am biting my tongue about the friends I see sharing Orange is the New Black as their new favorite show with pickaninny imagery. The advertisements which seem so lazily racist in a casual but the writing is so good, I can forgive them the pickaninny part, it’s a character STUDY kind of way. The cartoonish trailers and advertisements struck me so hard as an acceptable image in 2013 that I wasn’t able to see anything else about it. But look! There’s a bunch of Black and Latino actresses! With jobs! They’re working! Aren't you happy about that, Kelly?

I'll let you in on a secret, though, in case you haven't experienced this before: Mentioning racism gets you called a racist. That happens to me all the time. You'll survive getting called one, too.

Sisters, let me repeat something I've said already:

If black voices are lent to social issues that affect everybody, then all voices should be lent be lent in support to the memory of Trayvon and the legacy that Tracy and Sybrina must uphold.

Do you know Sybrina? Sure you do. She worried when she got pregnant, like all moms do, that her baby would be born healthy. She potty trained him after reading baby books and listening to the collective women in her family who offered, sometimes without provocation, their advice. She sang to him, taught him his ABCs, and enrolled him in school. 

Did I interview her personally? No. I just made the same assumption that, as a mother, you would make. 

You have words, sisters. You can’t use them for this?

I love you, sisters, and I’ve been disappointed in the quiet corners where you find me to talk about race when I've seen you in the public arena defend marriage equality.

You let everyone know, with your words, what’s important to you. 

Are you mad? Are you grieving, too? Or is it your fear that's keeping you from amplifying the messages of Black parents right now.

I've seen it, sisters, and it's a powerful thing when you make your friends go viral and when you jump on bandwagons, but when race is painted on the side, you tell me you’ll jump on the next one.

You hashtag the shit out of stuff. I see you. 

I'm leaning in closer than ever, sisters, just so I can see you clearly at this very moment.

« Untold Stories Are Sometimes Secrets | Main | Hushing and Listening »

Reader Comments (52)

Applause. Simply, applause. Passionate words being taken to heart!

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurvyJones

You basically just wrote the post that has been brewing in my head for the past several days. I am disheartened at the number of people I know online who have not said a thing since the verdict was announced. Or they made 1-2 comments and it was business as usual. There are some powerful voices in social media yet the fact they have chosen to say nothing actually says a great deal.

Thank you for this post.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBlackgirlinmaine

Thank you for the wonderful post. Speaking a powerful truth and a call to action.

Thank you for the wonderful post. Speaking a powerful truth and a call to action.

I'm on this bandwagon. I'm a nobody online and hell, I don't even have a blog anymore, although I did write about Trayvon last year.

But I'm here. And I'm not getting off.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

A couple of excellent perspectives you may like to read:

Kristin Wald's We Both Know It: I am not Trayvon's Mother

Cindy Reed's No, Caillou, Bald is not the New Black

Not everyone grieves aloud. I'm glad these two women are speaking out as you are.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica M

You could not make this up: I just went to share this article on twitter, and the share button doesn't seem to be working for me! Oh, the irony.

I'll retweet your link instead, because, as I so often find myself saying, you're right, Kelly.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Advicist

I wrote about race for the first time in my life, after shying away from it all this time due to my shame at my upbringing. But things will never change if we don't start being open & honest with ourselves and working on having the hard conversations and moving forward from this awful place we're stuck in.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTabatha

BRAVO. I agree 100%. So well written. So passionate. So correct. Thank you thank you thank you.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaya

I liked this article and I liked your list. While I am a trained attorney, I refrain from interpreting court rulings and translating them from legalese to English. Instead, I use my blog to talk from one mother, one wife, one woman to another. And yes, I share the stuffing out of stuff that speaks to me.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaneane Davis

Bravo! YES YES YES!

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

This.
(I know that is not constructive but THIS is what I have been chatting about with my friends.)

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachee

From the 14th: http://queenofspainblog.com/2013/07/14/we-blend-trayvon-did-not/ and I'm working on one today about the white women on the jury and the long history of white, feminist racism. It's hard for me to write so it's taking me some time. I can only speak from the white feminist side of things, the rest... well... I just listen.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I am always going to have your back!

I do not talk race shit with White folks. EVER. ( Some of my dearest and bestest Sister-friends are White Women and they know how I get down and they don't bring race shit to me at all). I am not against White folks talking about issues of race... in fact I encourage it...just not with me and that's it.

DO YOU Kelly and keep it moving. You do not need any approval from anybody on the planet. Baddassery is for Grown Women. and you've been a Grown Ass woman for a good while now. The White Women with integrity and backbone will have your back. Fuck all the others... they will spend their time not understanding history, America and systemic racism that is so ingrained in our culture and psyche that even some Black folks will tot the water of ignorance.

DO YOU! You got something to say and there are a lot of Us who can stand to hear it.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBabz Rawls Ivy

Mad, grieving, fear, no. Just complete lack of any idea of how to start the discussion. Absolute confusion that a young man could be walking home from the store and be slain because someone took it upon himself to "protect" the neighborhood. Utter confusion that the same someone won't pay any price for taking a life (I'm not talking about, boo hoo, how his life will never be the same, I mean that he got away with it.) Concern that my words would be taken the wrong way - I fear for my child, but not in the way that moms of Trayvons do. But your post reminds me that silence kills and it's up to all of us to stand our ground because he cannot anymore.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Yes. And put so well.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Piazza

Love you
Thank you for this post and for all the posts you put out into the world the create and inspire change.
Why I am listening: http://creatingmotherhood.com/2013/07/14/grief/

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDresden

So glad to have been a part of our little "Lean In" book club. I am so proud of you and everything you are brave enough to put out there that so many others turn a blind eye to. I am a better person having you in my life. mwah!

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I almost never do controversial on my blog because I hate conflict. But this I had to write about: http://www.owlhaven.net/2013/07/16/racism-trayvon-and-my-kids/
Thanks for your thoughts here. As a momma of four Ethiopian daughters, I read them with deep interest.

Mary

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary (Owlhaven)

Your words are so true. I admit openly and often my own struggle with race and racial issues as I am white and both of my children are black. I had to face my own ingrained bias against those who were black and freely admit I was raised in a family with people who walked the line of racism (and others were very blatantly racist).

I have been outspoken about racial issues since I took by first teaching job (in an urban high school with a student body 95% black) and began to admit and face my own bias--we all have it and have to admit it. We can't be afraid of the "racist" label. We have to be honest.

We have to speak up when we see an injustice and I wish I could go back 30+ years and stand up against it as I do now. I stand up for it now because it is what is right. I stand up for it now because others have stood up for me. I stand up for it now because my children deserve a role model who shows them the way.

I love you and keep on calling us out.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

I saw all the equality avatars light up my facebook feed with red and pink. Hoodies and blacked out avatars.... three.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJasmine

Kelly, I somehow lost track of you months ago. I haven't blogged in a month, and I opened a page to write a post today. I couldn't find the first word to say. I am hurt. I am grieving. I am sad for what the current conversation says about where we are as a people regarding race. I wanted to apologize to every single black person I saw yesterday. When my sister broached the subject with a black co-worker yesterday, the co-worker said, "It's okay, Bry, I knew you'd feel the same way I do about this." My sister said, "No, I know I don't feel anywhere near as bad as you do...I am white. My children are white. I hate what happened, but I know I can't feel the way that you feel."

I haven't been silent on FB and Twitter, and I will speak out every time I can, but it may take me a bit to find words that are approaching appropriate.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermargaret

I haven't written directly about the case yet because I'm still listening, absorbing, deciding what I need to say about it. And because I feel that as a white lady in middle-class New England, it is my time to listen and to learn what I can about how the black community is feeling.

That being said, I cannot FATHOM how what happened is not illegal. I cannot BEGIN to truly know what it feels like to worry that it will one day be your child. And I am angry. Angry at the comments I read when I scroll down on a news article. Angry at the tweets I see when I search a hashtag.

I write mostly about mental health issues. That is where I tend to do most of my advocacy on the blog. But I did write this last week, before the verdict. It had been on my mind a while.

http://learned-happiness.com/2013/07/05/fill-in-the-blank/

Kelly, So much love to you for putting yourself out there. For calling for help. For speaking your truth. Thank you for inspiring me.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

I've never seen anyone go in on folk the way you did here. This could be a textbook lesson. Thank you for your courage and insight.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKhareen

LOVE. You have so eloquently stated what is in my heart, and my tears haven't allowed me to write. Thank you, and I'm sharing.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha Nicholes

Kelly, I love you like blood but you confuse the hell out of me sometimes. (It's not you. It's me. I'm a slow learner.) I read your "Hush, white folks. It's time for you to listen instead of talk" stuff and so I stopped talking and kept on listening. I thought hushing up was damn good advice. I continue to support justice and reason. I continue to be galled and furious at the verdict. I continue to try to learn and to pass on what I learn to my daughter so that she'll be ahead of the game and will understand things it took me years to learn or to unlearn.

I try to step carefully because people I love, like you, have told me to tread carefully...and that is excellent advice. Don't talk at the risk of drowning out someone else who understands the subject better. This is why instead of talking myself I retweet the words of powerful activists and people who say it more eloquently and with more power than I have. It's why I link to studies that make me understand race in new ways. It's why I quietly support what is right...although quietly.

Sometimes the silence you hear isn't silence.

It's respect.

It's quiet thought.

It's introspection or shame or anger or frustration.

It's the fear that we know so little that we'll make things worse.

Sometimes the silence is deafening...but if it's the silence of a nation that is finally actually listening? That's the loudest sound in the whole damn world.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny, Bloggess

I will share as much as I can on Twitter and Facebook when I'm able to go on there. Sometimes I'm off the internet for long stretches of time.

The silence can be deafening. The noise can be deafening too. As a white person, it's been so upsetting to see how many white people are making excuses and not understanding. The juror's horrible rationalizations and distorted thinking are haunting. I felt this palpable relief listening to the Daily Show where it was clear that disgust is a normal reaction for anyone who knows anything.

People are staying silent out of cowardice I think and I am glad you are calling them out.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterozma

What Jenny said, except I hadn't read your post.

I've felt like the best thing I could do is listen, to give space to those who are hurting and who know what they are talking about.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBritt

Oh my lord, this is wonderful and terrible and so very very right.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr Lady

I wrote about the verdict. http://www.adrienneshouse.com/blog/george-zimmerman-should-have-received-manslaughter/ I have many family members whom I have openly chastized for their racism. Who keep yelling "why does everyone bring race in to this!?". So when I wrote about the verdict, I took it only from the perspective that involved 2 men. No matter the race of either, I gave my opinion of the verdict.

I have that luxury. I can look at things without taking race in as a factor. It has just hit me, that being able to do that is a luxury. I am a white woman. I have never been a victim of racism. I can't believe I never realized it that way before. Thank you for calling me out.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne

You got me to write about race, and I barely blog any more. I've made my outrage known, I've done my best to find the best writers on the subject and share them, and I've even called out people in public for being limited in their viewpoints. And I'm an introvert who fears confrontation!
However, like Jenny, I feel like I can't know what it is like to be a person of color, and I want to be respectful.
The thing I have done, and that I have reminded people of, is that we, the discriminated against (being the owner of a vagina I think I count a little), the marginalized, we need to stick together. The gay rights advocates must stand up against racism. The minorities (majorities?) need to support the rights of poor, even the white poor (that would be my history) The civil rights movement in the 60's was successful in part, I think, because the parts of Jewish community, having dealt with the atrocities in Europe, supported it.

There are a million cliches, but dammit, we need to stick together.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia Sprout

Alright, alright, alright.


http://surrenderdorothy.typepad.com/surrender_dorothy/2013/07/what-this-white-lady-thinks-about-the-trayvon-martin-case.html

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRita Arens

It isn't pretty. It isn't perfect. But it is there.

http://twistedcistern.blogspot.com/2013/07/because-i-have-to-say-something.html

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermargaret

I am so glad I read this post. Trayvon's death sickened me. Not because he was a black child, but because he was a child. I am a 58 year old white man with 3 children, fifteen foster children and two grandchildren who is sick and tired of OUR children being killed by adults who have guns. It is not about race but about fear and bigotry. Thank you for your words. May they bring a message to us all

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim

So here's the truth: I have not written about Trayvon Martin or posted on FB mostly because I have no idea where to start or what to say. I'm a jumble of mixed emotions and nothing is coming out right. Also, and this is the big one, my husband is white and we can't talk about this together. That scares the shit out of me because it all starts at home, right? But, I hear you loud and clear. I'll do better.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie @MelanieMedia

Hear, hear! I wondered about the silence. You are absolutely right
Just turned on to your blog from #awesomelyluvvie

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Sistar...this post right here....you have made a friend for LIFE....I have been thinking the exact same thing as I am subscribed to so many different blogs, newsletters, Facebook pages and the like run by my European Brothers and Sistars and have seen them fight for what seems like every topic under the sun...but this one....I can't stop crying about the condition of this world we live in...as my 10 yr old asks me why...I have the tremendous task of schooling her on the intricacies of this country and our culture's complex story...and watching as she processes and becomes sad at the enormity of ignorance that abounds....keep shining Kelly....this call out is well in order....Signed, A Mama Bear

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTranquilb

This. This is why I love this woman. There is no affront here. This is her being her. Listen.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I wanted you to know that you inspire conversation in my real life, off the Internet.

This morning, during one of those discussions, another white woman and I decided what we can do:

We can acknowledge and admit to our white privilege. We can notice when we hold our purse closer. We can admit that we do it. We can keep reading about what it's like to not be born with white privilege. We can keep listening, trying to understand and to learn.

That's the best I know to do right now.

I'm all ears for ideas on what to do next.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Britt

Kelly,

I am not too much into the blogging world of late. Just don't have the time or energy, and the same with Twitter. I have been seeing your links on FB and finally got up and started reading what you are saying. I'll admit that sometimes, I see the upset and think, " Why can't we all get along?" Of course I know these issues are bigger than that, and when your posts challenge me it is a good thing. Your voice has to be hard place to be, pointing out the things you see, that others of us would never see, that we don't always really want to hear. I was reading this post earlier on Relevant Magazine (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/race-trayvon-martin-and-our-national-wake-call) and was struck by several things. For instance that some of us are more comfortable hearing what a ton of people are saying because it was written by a white woman. I have to confront that attitude in my heart.

My community is predominately hispanic and white, and I see the struggles between us all the time. I had a fight all last year with Soccer Board because it somehow became the whites against the Hispanics, I didn't want it that way, kept trying to change it and couldn't ever seem to make headway. I realize a good chunk of it so deeply entrenched in this white privilege issue. Because they saw it as in issue of race, whether I did or not, and I am sure there were things present that I was clueless about, because I do live under that umbrella and I don't even realize it.

So keep challenging us, and I am sorry you get so much flak for your voice. I appreciate it, for whatever that is worth. In the meantime I will keep trying to identify it and change it in my life.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBugladynora

I'm on FB more than anything else, and I can't stop linking to any piece that contributes to the conversation about race. I'm so angry, sick, and saddened on a visceral level. Brilliant post. I will keep reading.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnjali

Kelly,

My dear, you have said so much and have touched on so many points that hit home. So many people think that by *not* talking about race, especially with young kids, the issue will simply dissolve itself and go away but we all know there are still those that talk about race and have hate, fear and misunderstandings about those who are different - whether it be their skin color or anything else.

We must continue to do the talking. And speaking. And listening. And trying to understand. And being respectful in these conversations.

You are right. On so many levels you are right and it is sad that so many choose to have a platform, audience, network and following and neglect to see how that could be used to educate, connect and build our community into what we'd like it to be for our children.

I'm sorry you had to write this and I'm sorry so many are misrepresenting what you are saying and twisting your words and your intention.

You are a teacher, a wise woman and a beautiful writer and I will continue to support you and hope that you continue to write about what so many shy away from. You are an inspiration.

xoxoxo

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSondra

There's so much here, I don't know where to start. There are days where I wonder, did I just put myself out there like that on Social Media? And then I think, if I don't, who will?

I posted right after the verdict, not having processed my feelings or really sat down with what just happened down the street from me. Then I thought, let's see who's talking about it in a week or 2 because you know how things die down though we know they shouldn't.

Tons here, Kelly. I need to sit with what you said but I agree with it. We have to stand in our feelings and not be concerned about the followers we will lose or the people that will look at us differently. I say it all the time: this is who I am. And if we can't show who we are on social media, where can we?

oxoxox

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSili - @MyMamihood

http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2012/03/26/dear-trayvons-mom - this is a beautiful post by a very public white mama. Hoping to see more like it and please continue to provide opportunities and invitations to lean in with you.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I'm a pasty pale white lady and sometimes I feel uncomfortable writing about race, like who am I? Will it just come off as clueless white woman trying to empathize? But I do have two adopted daughters of color, so I get a window on how they experience the world and how the world experiences them. Rather than a straight post on the injustice of the Zimmerman verdict and my heartbreak for Trayvon and his family, I stumbled on some other so-called "casual racism" in children's media - specifically the Caillou cartoon -- and wrote about that this week. It's so important for all of us to speak up and stand up and call out and name racism when we see it, even when it's uncomfortable, even when we don't know if we are "qualified" to do so. Thank you for reminding me to lean in. ~ Cindy

I haven't posted on my blog bc I feel like there is nothing I could say that will make a difference. All I know is that I will never move to Florida because it is full of crazies. Think about all the nutso things that have happened there, entire hanging chad debacle, Casey Anthony, etc. The decision was absolutely not shocking to me at all, not at all.

My thoughts about why more people haven't written about it, it's all about money. Bloggers worried about advertisers/companies not willing to pay them anymore if they become too political. I can't even get google ads on my blog bc I post about human trafficking. Ordinary people on FB not commenting bc they don't want current/future employers not agreeing with their opinions. Everyone is being told all the time to be careful about what they put online. By what I said in the paragraph, I've basically shot myself in the foot with any business related to Florida, right?

I personally don't believe in Leaning In. I've been kicked in the face too many times from doing precisely that. But I will answer your call to action. I'm going to post about it and take the kick in the face that will come from it.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEunice

Your words are so moving and true. Thank you for the passionate truth! Only righteous outrage is appropriate!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy O'Mara

This morning I asked my Intro to College Reading class: "What does the Zimmerman verdict
tell you about citizenship?"

They all looked at me blankly. Then one young woman said, ". . . um, that if you're not white you're a citizen in name only?"

Bingo.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane Goodwin

I'm sorry it took me so long to get here. You always have my ear (if a little late) and I always appreciate your passion and perspective.

More people need to speak. More people need to listen. And I think we as bloggers all need to give more people more forums where they feel comfortable to speak, and listen and learn and speak some more. The comment threads on the news sites are terrifying. Let's create more safe spaces to talk.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMom101

PREACH gurl! PREACH!!! I love this post as there are so many delicious parts about it. I hear you on the leaning in, I hear you on the list you made, I hear you on the #justcurious, I hear you on so much of this, I could easily Tweet each point out line by line, truth by truth. Brava, brava!

As an aside, I have written a few pieces on Trayvon and my latest was in HuffPo and I can't bear to read all of those comments in one sitting, as people's ignorance chips away at my faith in people. So to counter that sentiment, I gotta sprinkle some positive, affirming content such as your blog. :)

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShesWrite

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