Whiteness Is a Disease

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It might be hard to think of what to identify as if not white, but I’ve never really felt connected to that identity anyways, I’m just American (and Minnesotan, and a Midwesterner)

Bitter Gertrude

I’ve been sitting on this essay for months, because I’m a coward. I’ve been through so many attacks this year for writing about race and for writing about the Democratic primary that I was afraid to post this, despite how deeply I believe in it. And then the events of the past few days– the extrajudicial executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile– happened and I could no longer live with my cowardice. Our Black brothers and sisters are taking their lives in their hands every time they leave their houses, and I’m afraid to post *an article* because I’ll be sent more attacks and threats. I was ashamed by my desire to protect myself with privilege and silence. So here is my essay.

Whiteness.Jessica.Rath “Whiteness” by Jessica Rath

We use the phrases “white people,” “white America,” and the like all the time. I say that I’m “white.” I experience “white” privilege…

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I Don’t Know What to Say Anymore…..

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I will never know what it is like to be black in this country;

I never had to have the conversation with my children about how to act so the police don’t kill them;

I will never fear walking down the street in a “good neighborhood” because I might look out of place and be harassed;

I will never be asked  “who owns this car” when I am pulled over by the police, and then looked at with suspicion even after I show proof;

I will never be praised for “how articulate” I speak, as if it is a surprise;

I do not fear that my past mistakes, and I have many, will ever be used to justify my murder;

My melanin will never erase my humanity in the eyes of police, prosecutors, or a bigoted public.

I am confident my children will not be gunned down in broad daylight at a park for playing with a toy;

I do not deal with chronic, relentless stress that has a lasting impact on my health and mortality;

I don’t have to worry that if I am strong and assertive I will fall into the stereotypes of the women of my race;

I do not worry that my actions will feed into the beliefs others hold about my race;

I have never had to fight a school system that suspends, expels, or puts my kids into Special Ed at an alarmingly disproportionate rate;

I will never be accused of “playing the race card”, lying or exaggerating when I speak the truth about my life experiences;

When I go to a high end store I am not followed around – I will not be frisked, patted down, or put in handcuffs simply for shopping while black.

 

My eyes swell with tears, my heart aches, my mind races trying to make sense of it….

but, I will never KNOW, it will never be my day-to-day reality

So all I can continue to do is listen, be empathetic, demand systemic change, and validate experiences.

My Life List

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This is a list of all of the things that I hope to accomplish in life going forward. At 36 years of age I have already had some spectacular experiences, and I have already been lucky enough to be the mother of two amazing young ladies. As they are a few years from embarking on their own journeys in the world, it is time for me to think of life after motherhood and to no longer make excuses or allow anything to hold me back from taking risks and going after things that are important to me.  This list does not include overarching things such as “be a good mom” or “be a generous person” as those are things I strive for every day and can’t check-off a list when done. 

  1. Finish my Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Make a big career change
  3. Visit every MN State Park (35 out of 72 done) Read the rest of this entry

Unlovable or Unable to Love anymore…

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Not the most poetic, more like rambling thoughts – but wanted to post because it has been on my mind lately.

“you’ll find love again when you least expect it”

“when you stop looking, that’s when you’ll find the one”

“you’re too lovable to not find love again”

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