The difficult emotions I navigate while living in a racist society mostly fuel my activism. I use them in my words, while preparing D&I trainings, at protests, and in reverence to my ancestors. But I’ve begun to notice how such difficult emotions have had a detrimental impact on me, too. Over the years, my rage really has become, as they say, "anger that has aged."
Eventually, I began to wonder how White people were responding to Wright’s murder. That’s when it hit me in the pit of my stomach; in reality, White people don’t have to sit with the kind of anger that sits with me. White people may be angry, but their anger will never match mine. Black anger is an anger White people will never know. It’s an anger White people can choose to avoid if they want, which is also damaging, and yet, another benefit of white privilege.
As I wrote and reflected and turned the pages in my journal, I became overwhelmed by how much we all suffer from racism in this country – BIPOC who are oppressed by racists intentions and motivations, and White people who must face their own legacy of inhumanity and complicity in a system that has willfully failed its citizens of color. It’s sad. I wish there was a blanket answer for how to immediately ease this suffering. The best thing I can think of for now is to be responsible for our own healing as best we can.
This week will be another hard week as we await a trial verdict for Derek Chauvin, especially for Black people. Be gentle with yourself, folks, and with each other.
Journals for Racial Healing are available at this link for purchase.