So You Want To Talk About Race
written by Ijeoma Oluo
There's a lot for me to process here. As a white male, I've been avoiding a lot of the tough conversations. I've always been in the "all lives matter" camp. 2020 has been a tough year for a lot of people. The death of George Floyd sparked international discussion and protest. There is a lot going on that we haven't been talking about or dealing with.
Do you believe in justice and equality? Because if you believe in justice and equality you believe in it all of the time, for all people.
I grew up in rural Alberta. Everyone around me was white and privileged. When that's all you've ever known, your naïvety can get the best of you. It's clear to me that I have a lot of educating to do. Reading books isn't going to change the world, it's not the only thing I can do, but it is part of the work that I need to do. Tatiana Mac wrote a great post with things to read, do, and think about. I'll continue to use that as a guide moving forward.
As far as the book is concerned, it is packed full of great insights. It was a challenging read. On every page I was asked to acknowledge the biases that I carry around with me. Challenged to open my eyes and see the systems we have put in place. Our world was built on top of sexual and racial biases. Brick by brick we have built structural injustice up to be what it is today.
So how do we fix the monster we've created?
I'm not sure if we have an answer to that question. What we do know is that we can't dismantle systemic racism without acknowledging it. Without talking about it, marching in the streets, and looking at the deep history that brought us to where we are today. Oluo does a fantastic job at getting the conversation going but she also makes it clear that conversations are not enough. We need to do the work every day.
I think this book should be read by everyone. It isn't going to be an easy but it is important.
I have a lot more reading to do. A lot more to uncover. But I'm grateful that I found this book and have started to do the work. I will never understand the pain and suffering that the system has created but I can do my part to help dismantle it. I do not deserve praise for this work, it simply needs to be done.