I was told to keep mum yesterday

I was told that because I am white I am not allowed to have an opinion about the violence I see taking hold of the city in which I live…

Isn’t being told to be quiet, to not speak out when we see something wrong, the root of all the problems that we face today?

Isn’t being told to be quiet oppression in its purest form?

Newsflash: I know that I am white…

I live in one of the most diverse citied there is. I live here because I embrace diversity. I raised my daughter here so that she would know people of every race, religion, nationality and sexual orientation. I raised her here so that she could appreciate how people are different. I raised her here so she could see how we are all the same.

I have volunteered in her schools- schools where being white made her in the minority.

I have raised funds for schools so that all children, no matter what background, had the ability to have the same education as anyone else.

I have volunteered my time to help any child who needed extra help in a subject.

I have spoken out and confronted people who had not treated my daughter’s friends, children of color, with the respect that all people deserve.

As a judge for middle school debate I have spoken out when I see kids acting in a condescending manner towards others.

Maybe it’s not enough, but I have tried to raise my child to not see color as anything other than a different shade of the same crayon. I have tried to treat everyone exactly that same. I have tried to speak up if I thought someone wasn’t being respectful.

I know that I am white.

I do not know what it feels like to be a person of color- I can only empathize.

I know that I have never walked in the shoes of a person of color.

I have done my best to walk alongside them.

But please do not ever tell me to remain mum…

 

50 thoughts on “Mum

  1. I felt I heard a calm voice in your post, but a voice that was firm and a hint of anger. Living in a diverse city I am certain that your daughter has witnessed countless examples of her parents treating every race equally. I think she is also proud of your strong example in speaking up for others. I hope she learns that confidence.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I read that comment and struggled with the “stay mum” part as well. It confused me. I don’t always succeed because I have issues of my own, but I do my best to speak up on behalf of those who are wronged in any way: The marginalized; the beaten down; those discriminated against. But how do I do that and stay mum at the same time? I think there are many who “know not of which they speak” and when I know not then I do stay mum. I don’t think it was meant to be insulting but I can understand where it would be hurtful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think anyone ever should be told to be quiet on something they believe. We can use our voices to air grievances and frustrations and to try to make things right. Oppression is being told to stay quiet.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We should all stand up for what is wrong. We should all side with those treated unfairly. We should all learn to respect one another in all ways

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You most definitely shouldn’t stay quiet. You have a right to use your platform and say exactly what you believe. I pray and hope that the focus will switch to the real issue which is racism and police brutality against black people. That is the true focus. That is the reason ALL of this is going on. That is the reason why people are frustrated. That is the reason why people are angry. That is the reason why people don’t know what else to do and some may resort to violence. People don’t want to react like this but when you’ve not been heard for so long this is what some people may resort to. MLK once said, “A riot is the voice of the unheard” and I completely understand that. I am crying as I write this to you because I am in fear of what will happen to my son and my husband and my brothers and my friends. I’m so tired of seeing on the news year after year after year people being murdered and nothing happening to the person that did it. Just imagine what that does to us. Thank you for reading and listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what path you’ve walked. I only know that I’ve tried to treat everyone equally with respect and with dignity. But I’ve seen small businesses in my neighborhood shuttered because windows were broken and goods taken. Three businesses were decimated by the quarantine. Now this. Many if these shops are owned and operated by people of color, by immigrants. I do not see how looting their stores helps. I am against police brutality. I am against any unnecessary force. I am sickened when I watch that video. Personally I would like to string up that officer, and any officer like that. But that’s not going to reach the people who need it most. Personally I think everyone should live in cities that are completely mixed…go to schools that are mixed. But I fear the rioting and violence and vandalizing will only make the divide further. We can burn cities to the ground, but I don’t think this will make things better. My daughter rode the subway to school every day. I feared for her every day. Every day. Because some people are horrible. People of all types are horrible. My husband works on the 59th floor of a building in lower Manhattan. I fear every day that a plane will fly into that buildings. Though it is not the same fear you face, the same reality, I get being scared.i will try to do anything I can to help all those that need it.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Keep on doing what you do. Empathy is what we are missing in this country. I hope some sort of positive change will come from all this, but I know I will continue to stand up for what I think is right, it is up to all of us to make a change.

    Like

  5. I was reading a good book last night and the author mentioned his version of diversity “sharing a conversation with those who are different from us” and not based on correct political platforms. I guess I am politically ignorant because this is what diversity means to me and what enabled me to travel and work in some far regions of the world and to work with some people whose viewpoints are very different from mine. Thanks for listening.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I saw that comment, and my first thought was, “if LA isn’t allowed to speak about the protests and riots because she’s a white woman, then why is a man who doesn’t live in her neighborhood allowed to comment on her blog about what is going on in her neighborhood?” Obviously, his “keep mum” if you aren’t a particular type of person doesn’t apply to him. Which just goes to show that everyone has the right to state their opinion. True, some people have first-hand experience, and some do not. But that doesn’t mean anyone has to be silent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I was infuriated at that comment and I actually had to put my iPad in a drawer and walk away. If we don’t talk about this, acknowledge the elephant in the room, it doesn’t get solved.

      Liked by 1 person

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