Black Lives Matter, My Limiting Beliefs Don't
-More joy, less yelling by being prepared and present-
I’ve been showing up in all the ways I know how — reading, writing, listening, observing, cheering, marching, watching, sitting with discomfort, going inward, and coming back out. If you’ve wondered what you can contribute to this moment in history but something is making you hesitate, maybe some of the limiting beliefs that entered my mind will sound familiar. Maybe some of my responses will help.
❓ Who are you to be contributing to the Black Lives Matter conversation?
❗❓ Who am I not to?
❗ Of course it has. But I have a chance to reach anyone in my tiny universe that hasn’t heard it. And I have a chance to normalize this movement for them.
❓ Aren’t you afraid of sticking your neck out and getting it wrong? Getting backlash from the very people you’re trying to support, getting accused of trying to be a savior?
❗ I was afraid of that, but I got over it. I’m willing to try, get it wrong, and learn. I’d rather try with my good intentions and get it wrong sometimes, than hold back out of fear, which is getting it wrong all the time.
❓ Nice virtue signaling, lady. So woke, aren’t you.
❗ I’ve sat with fear of that. It’s the same question as above but with a slick label. I’m expressing what I believe and trying to live by it, with humanity and goodwill. I’m willing to risk putting my thoughts out there and being accused — overtly or in your thoughts — of virtue signaling, since putting my thoughts out there could possibly help a black person feel seen or help white person reflect.
❓ Aren’t you afraid of getting trolled? What if this content drives people away?
❗ No. Black people have suffered racism daily and for generations. I can handle backlash for my allyship. And anyone who leaves because they don’t like to hear me say Black Lives Matter, those aren’t my people in the first place.
❗❓ Does this mean you don’t respect the police?
❗ No. I have friends, family, and acquaintances in the police, and in the National Guard that was sent to Washington. I respect them thoroughly. But this isn’t about individual service members, just like it isn’t about individual black people or individual allies. This moment is a reckoning about our institutions. Do I respect the institution of the police force? I’m in the process of learning what’s being asked of them (too much), how they are funded and function (different city by city), and what their cultural norms are (militarization, confrontational paradigm).
❗❓ What does this have to do with parenting?
❗❓ The premise of “Ready Set Moms,” is to be present and prepared, to be organized in our thoughts and actions. To live and parent according to our values. To be reflective and self-aware. How do we want to raise our kids? What do we want to model for them? What kind of community, city, and society do we want them to inherit and take over? So yes, I do think this moment has everything to do with parenting.