#BlackOutTuesday Is Over. Now What?

#BlackOutTuesday Is Over. Now What?

On Saturday night, I mulled over a long list of options.⁣

Almost an entire yellow legal pad (double sided) of notes and copious slices of sourdough dripping in raspberry jam later (I’m an emotional eater. Surprise!), I boiled down my actions to a short list of next steps.⁣

It’s not everything. And it’s not where the work ends. But it is a beginning.⁣

THE INNER WORK

  1. Listening – you can’t understand what you won’t hear. Defend less. Listen more.⁣
  2. Watching – history has been captured on film. Watch, especially when it feels uncomfortable.⁣
  3. Reading – allow the voices of the oppressed and informed to pervade your grey matter in order to learn.⁣
  4. Reflecting – on your behavior, habits and biases. They exist (even in a non-white person, like me).⁣
  5. Journaling – dump your feelings, guilt, rage, sorrow, confusion, righteousness, shame all of it onto the page instead of the shoulders of the already burdened. C’mon.⁣
  6. Understanding – yourself. them. us. we. Because the time for change is now. Actually…it’s long overdue.⁣
  7. Forgiving – your privilege. your heritage. your ignorance. And then, get to work!⁣

THE OUTER WORK⁣

  1. Amplifying – the voices of those that want, need and deserve to be heard. ⁣
  2. Supporting – people that are tired of being disenfranchised.⁣
  3. Applying – new behaviors. new practices. new understanding.
  4. Allying – because defensiveness, ego, the need to be right, the need to have the final word, getting it perfect, the need for a pat on the head, are behaviors that demonstrate how much (or how little) you’ve committed to the inner work.⁣

Outer work without ALSO doing the inner work is hollow. Because it’s the stuff rooting around on the inside – our values, our beliefs, our understanding – that make us true allies.⁣

#BlackOutTuesday may be over but the work needed (if we believe that #BlackLivesMatter) has just begun. And this? Well, it’s a mere fraction of what’s needed – but it’s a damned good place to zoom in on.⁣


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