I apologize for not posting recently on my blog…but it’s been a conscious choice. I haven’t posted in order to make even more room on the proverbial stage for the protests happening throughout our country in response to the killing of George Floyd and many other black Americans before him. A lighthearted post about Hallmark movies translated to my real life didn’t feel right given the magnitude of the social justice issues at hand. However, I am now understanding how my silence makes me complicit. It’s important for me to publicly share that I stand with the peaceful protesters calling for change against systemic racism. I believe Black Lives Matter.
In an effort to be a part of positive change, I am working to better educate myself about systemic racism, my own privilege, and how to become a true ally. I am trying to listen more and talk less as I attempt to learn about others’ experiences that are so different from my own. I encourage you to join me in this effort so that together we can all work toward equality.
As a first step on my own journey, I recently finished reading White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD, which was eye-opening. The book helped me to more deeply understand how systemic racism is built into our society, our institutions, our culture, and therefore, all of us. It challenged me to think about how my own socialization into the majority white culture reinforces my own experiences and how without constant effort to seek out experiences that differ from those of people who look and live like me, I, along with everyone else, will reinforce the structures of systemic racism.
In addition to reading White Fragility, I also watched the documentary 13th on Netflix. Having mass incarceration framed in its historical context (i.e., with the abolition of slavery and the establishment of the thirteenth amendment) while watching the number of people imprisoned climb with each legal and policy decision was truly horrifying. The director, Ava Duverney, wove history, present-day news, and expert interviews into a coherent, powerful, heartbreaking, and compelling story, which I encourage you to check out.
I will continue to work my way through many other valuable resources, such as So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, and Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. If you have others to recommend, please, by all means, share them with me. This is an education in the making. I am an antiracist in the making.
As I challenge myself to do better and be better, I also challenge the Hallmark Channel to do better and be better. Its slate of movies is not diverse in their representation and, at this moment in time, we all need to become more then our public statements: We need to back those statements up with our actions.