Hello Rainbow Cloud -
My name is Anica Garcia-DeGraff, and I’m a white-passing Mexican American.
I would like to share that being a white-passing mixed woman during this historic time is, even though I am Mexican, that I still benefit from systems that favor white privilege.
I am constantly learning when to stand up and when to sit down, when to speak to protect and when to silently hold space for other BIPOC folx.
I really want others to think about, that as we go forward, and as we learn as allies, it’s important to not run away from the racism.
In my experience, when you point out racist actions to white individuals who are not open to having these kinds of discussions, they respond with, “so you are trying to say I’m a racist?!”
My response is: “ No, you are allowing racist actions to perpetuate.”
Racism is a behavior that you can undo, dismantle, and change.
Don’t run away from that, yes your actions can be deeply embedded with racism regardless of whether you feel like they are or not. Whether covertly or overtly.
We have to keep pushing ourselves to fix the world in which we live and we must keep learning and keep listening.
You are never too old, or too smart to learn. We are all personally responsible to make sure that society in which we grew up becomes a society in which we all are included by listening to all of the voices in our community.
Also, I have encountered white folk saying: “ I’m too scared to stand up, because what if I say or do something wrong?”
What I will say is, you will mess up, but learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Be accountable and be better. DO better!
We can grow. And, to be perfectly frank, everything that is happening with civil rights and equality right now, none of this is new news. Unfortunately, it is just now being dragged out into the open. The bandaid has been ripped off.
I will end with this. Listen to those that are hurt, when you feel attacked go home and really reflect on those feelings see where they are coming from. Lean in and challenge those around you that step out of line, and be sure that as you are being an ally, know you are not like the Greek God, Atlas.
Be sure to drink water, wash your hands, wear a mask in public, stretch, journal, even seek therapy if that is something that will better your everyday.
Black lives matter, get rid of ICE, defund the police, and make sure to vote on the right side of history in November.
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