Racial Healing in America Conference – 2020

Women For Equality presents its
Third Annual Racial Healing in America Conference
February 29, 2020
9:00AM to 6:00PM
9249 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95826

This one-day conference is in response to the heightened awareness in our nation of the need for racial healing. The prevalence of hate crimes, social injustices and racial divides have been brought to the surface to demonstrate the need for us to come together.

Participants will:
• Experience unprecedented bonding
• Understand the importance of racial healing
• Explore their own biases
• Experience what it is like as a marginalized person in this country
• Co-create a community-based plan of action

Click here for tickets

Click here for Facebook Event Page

Tickets will also be sold at the door as space allows.

Flyer

A Smattering Is a Big Measure

I grew up in a culturally diverse neighborhood, and probably not all that surprising, my family is quite diverse as well.  We are multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-generational, multi-political, feminists, gay and lesbian… you name it, we’ve multi’d it!  We share a common public service theme, i.e., teachers, healthcare workers, therapists, social workers, cops, and firefighters.  We love our music — all types, and I can’t think of one of us that won’t cut a rug when a tune plays whether anyone else thinks we look good doing it or not.  Essentially, we have a smattering of just about every socioeconomic group you might think of… just about.  I think that makes us special, and I know it is a blessing.

Today, however, I’m not wanting to talk about how special we are or why.  To be straightforward, we buried my mother-in-law yesterday, and I’m feeling drawn inward by the whole experience. Today I want to express why being special in this way and having this blessing is really two other things: an opportunity and an obligation.  Depending on the day, I may feel stronger about one or the other, but my mind will never change about the importance of either.  People don’t often like the word “obligation,” and I’ll bet a lot of people tuned out when they read that one.  It’s not a bad word — just something to live into, not always up to.  This is the case with a family like mine.  This is where people are missing the boat, so to speak.  My family is special, but we are not unique, and we are becoming less and less unique as time flies by.  That’s why this feels so important to me. My own family’s demographics are much like the rest of our country’s, just on a smaller, easier to view scale — a microcosm.

The opportunity in a family like ours is a rich one, not unlike our total human family. But the opportunity doesn’t exist at all if we refuse to listen to each other. This is true of the human existence overall — no different than my own special family.  If we refuse (I won’t use the word “can’t” here, because it really is a refusal.) to validate each other’s individual life experiences we are truly doomed.  Our family is doomed.  This country is doomed, and you can follow the trail from there.  Because we don’t look the same; because we don’t worship the same; because we have lived in different parts of the country; all these things have given us different experiences — ones that we don’t all share. For some reason those of us who don’t share them feel that those experiences somehow don’t exist or lack validity.  We pick and choose simple arguments to prove our points, rather than just simply listening to our loved one’s experiences.  Isn’t that crazy? I personally find it near insane and completely unloving that we’d rather pick a random article, written by a random unknown person to prove our preconceived notion than to lend our loved ones our ear, much less grant them some validation, or better yet, give them some credence and climb on board.

I posted this the other day after watching some family and some friends do and say some very destructive things, and also out of worry for another whom I think could be selling herself short:

Don’t limit yourself by listening only to those who you know are already in agreement with you, and be mindful of surrounding yourself with limited thinkers.  Growth and learning don’t happen in the dark.  Open your heart and soul to the light of others.

Then in response:

I used to think it was common sense, but not anymore.  I really think it’s a learned skill, and a heart condition that is WILLING to hear another’s experience and validate it, even in the possibility of learning that we might need to admit we need to change our own thinking.  Most people just can’t align with this.  We’d rather stand in our rightness and righteousness than to admit we might be wrong or not understand something fully.  It’s sad.

I realize there is a lot of obligation wrapped up in this post, but I hope that the readers can recognize how much opportunity there is as well, and that they actually go hand-in-hand. There is ALWAYS obligation if you want opportunity.  However, often when we associate obligation with family and close friends it may feel like opening the door to be trampled upon, or like extra work.  That is not at all what I’m suggesting, nor am I suggesting that you do the trampling.  But if you can’t own up to the obligation of who you are in your family, and even bigger, the world, you absolutely will miss out on the opportunity to love and be loved for who you are as well.  You absolutely will miss out on blessings that will undoubtedly enrich your life.  If you can see the differences only as something to immediately dismiss and/or disagree with, you are ultimately selling yourself short, though you may at first be selling the other short.  You will be the one who loses out in the end.  At any time and any place in life when you deny someone their right to just “be” in their existence, to allow them the space to have an expression of how life occurs for them, you are also shutting the door on yourself.  Imagine that it would be like an opportunity to step through a door that takes you on a trip through a place you’ve never seen, but choosing to just shut the door instead.

It’s real comfortable to go through life only with people that already agree with you.  It’s easy to read only things that you already know, or things that sound like what you already say.  It’s even easier to spread posts and articles without drilling down and researching what is being put out there simply because we like what it says.  How does this enrich your life?  Where is the learning?  Where is the discovery?  Where is the growth in this kind of behavior and thinking?  This is actually inaction at its finest, and it’s also sadly the stuff that is not worth hurting people we care about over, yet it happens daily.  We are quick to be indifferent to or minimize someone’s experience when it is something we don’t know, and adamant about standing in our own opinion even in the face of losing someone, even in the face of limiting our own experiences.  We humans will do all this, risk all this, avoid all this —  because we would rather be right than to just listen.

We could change the world, but we refuse to even change our minds.  A smattering is more than you think.  We can only change the world one mind at a time, but we forget we must start with our own.  Give yourself the opportunity of living into something more than what you already know.

A Smattering of My Beloveds

On this Women’s Equality Day….


Dear Facebook,

Thank you for the congratulatory message personalized just for me.  HOWEVER, I’m just curious why your picture shows women of all colors in the picture.  PLEASE, for once, do the RIGHT thing and correct yourself.  This picture needs to be as white as me if you want to be accurate.

Don’t get me wrong, I am for sure THANKFUL for this right, and do realize the sacrifices that were made!  But I am very clear in my heart and soul that I am thankful because ALL women now have the right to vote!  The first women’s suffrage movement purposely excluded black women in many instances.

“Women gained the right to vote in 1920, but Jim Crow racial segregation and disenfranchisement — which was enforced by extreme violence — curtailed Black women’s suffrage.”

It is interesting (not surprising) that if you look up women’s suffrage or women’s right to vote, you will very rarely find that it states anything about black women not receiving that right at the same time. You have to actually specify black women in the search to get the whole story.

And if you are really interested, there is tons of information you can find and learn from!  

https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t39.3138-6/p280x280/11891368_386668031543868_1583414589_n.png

It was the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s (Civil Rights Act of 1964) that removed the roadblocks for all blacks to vote. The 19th amendment was supposed to include all, but there was so much vigilantism (and worse) and state laws that were passed to prohibit it that it was illegal, not enforced and/or even ignored.

The Sole Problem of the Soul Problem Is a Heart Condition

I am angry today.  Actually, I am pissed!  Admittedly, it is not just today, though.  It has been many days for much of my life about the same issue.  But lately, and especially this week, I am angry to my core.  It is sad to say that it speaks of my very essence in this moment.  I know this, am clear about it, and am working on it.  I am told I am a green chakra, the heart chakra. Perhaps this is why I feel so deeply about what has been going on with race relations in this country.  I am sure it is why I feel deeply .

I agree that guns are not THE problem. Bottom line is that an absence of love is the “soul” root of it. However, guns and gun attitudes are a contributor to the problem. How to solve this, the conundrum. On a related note, I do think if you have actual amorous feelings for your lethal weapon of choice, and/or you think it is actually an ANSWER to what is going on, then there is something wrong in your head. If you read that last statement to mean that I am against guns for self-protection, I suggest you get out of the head I was speaking of and re-read it. Do not bother arguing with me on this because I am not wrong, and there is no way to prove otherwise, so do not send me your manipulated stats or stories to prove something to me. The only thing that will prove is that you are still missing the point.

Oh, and by the way, just because someone chooses not to own a gun does not make them a “pussy,” as a few of you have so eloquently put it! If a person is not comfortable with a lethal weapon, then they should not have one. Shut the hell up with that, seriously. Guns are NOT for everyone… as evidenced by every other day on the news! Here is another thing on that note to shut the hell up about:  it being a liberal agenda.

If you are sick and tired of me being on my soapbox about the gun issue, or about the way people of color are seen and treated, whether friend or family, say goodbye to me now, because I will not sit down and be quiet.

If red-headed, freckled, or blonde and blue-eyed, or people that look like me (white, brunette with brown eyes) were being marginalized — or worse  — were being TARGETED for slaughter (YES, SLAUGHTER!), would you still be sitting quietly? Would you still be rolling your eyes at me if these people being assassinated, murdered, looked like your very own children???  This is the world I have had to bring my children up in, and that my children will have to bring their children up in. I had hoped for so much more! And if you still cannot seem to align your conscience with this, consider that it is the same world you are bringing your white children up in. Hello!  The huge difference is that some of these people have targets on them. Would you feel differently then?  What if it was YOUR sweet little seven year old blonde daughter… your 87 year old grandfather… your favorite red-headed Irish pastor… your young up-and-coming cousin…  the single mom next door…?  See?  THAT difference of reaction is an ABSENCE of love at its core! And I CANNOT tolerate it and neither should you! I’m so SICK of the apathy.  As I stated in a previous post:

Your disinterest in what I have to say, your scoffing at my personhood and my knowledge and feelings, your racial brush-off to me translates that you think that somehow my children are less important to me than your children are to you.  

And I will add to that to be even more clear:   Not only is there a disconnect in that some do not comprehend in real-time how important my children are to me, but the really scary part is that my children’s value is MADE less because they do not look like them, because they are black.  Their lives are not as valued.  (And, yes, literally my children are biracial. No need to attempt to make a point with that here.  Truth is, when my children walk out my door, the world sees a black person.  And even if they were able to see a biracial or multiracial person, they would still marginalize them because of it. Because… not white.

My oldest (“Sweet”) shortly before he got promoted to big brother in 1989.  Then, I had hopef thst the world would be a kinder, more fair place for him.  Still hoping.


The very same people who were up in arms over Sandy Hook or the Colorado movie theater slaughter (rightfully so) are now silent about the Charleston 9 terrorist attack, and it is noticeable. So I do not think it is only the terrorists in these incidents whose heads need to be examined. Further, it is not just a problem in the head, it is a heart condition, a sick soul condition in mankind. I cannot say “in humanity ” because sometimes I feel I can barely sense its existence.

So if you now find yourself annoyed with me over this, I label you as having also a listening problem and incapable of examining yourself and how your very own attitude actually plays a role in this soul sickness.  Another label.  No one likes them.

Yeah, I am BEYOND angry. Fed up. In fact, for once, I cannot even find that single adjective to describe my feelings. What I recognize is I am struggling with anger and do not like it, and that I will no longer participate with others in stifling myself.

I have some work to do.  I hope you recognize what there is for you to do.

Outside Inside My White Skin

An Invitation and a Challenge

Yep, here I go again!  Buckle up!

Yes, the timeout is first!

Before I continue and dig into what I am really here to say today, let me take a timeout and acknowledge the elephants of the day in the room — first, the horrific terrorist mass murder in Charleston, SC a few days ago.  Here is my simple statement on that and all the blind rhetoric flying around: Every act of violence is NOT a mental illness. Crazy… likely. But a TRUE mental ILLNESS, no! Face it, some people are just blinded and ruled by hate. Hate (fear in an ugly, dangerous form) will make us do crazy things! Stop making excuses for scum because it makes you feel better.  I am proud of the people that are willing to forgive, and I wish for the day when I can also feel that way.  I am working on it.  Currently, I hope that little murdering flea and his ilk rot in Hell… s l o w l y.

Next, is Rachel Dolezal, the woman who was a local President of an NAACP chapter who is a white woman that attempted to be black… or as one of my sons said, acting in blackface. For the sake of space and time to read, let me just say that she has unfortunately made herself and her just causes a non-issue.  I can’t know what her deep, true motivations are that caused her to perpetrate this lie, so I won’t even touch it.  I feel sad.  I feel sad that she did some good things under a lie, and she did some other things that are contradictory to what she says her cause is.  Someone in an article postulated that she probably did it out of being tired of not being heard because of her white skin.  I actually totally get that – in real time!  However, I am white and I can sympathize, use my brain and heart to see and feel, to reason, and even to empathize in some ways.  But at the end of the day, well the beginning, too… I am white and I don’t and won’t attempt to pretend otherwise. I hope she comes to one day.  As for her family, they are suspect in my eyes.  WHAT family throws their daughter under the bus as they did, regardless of what she’s done? What a bunch of losers.

The Confederate Flag needs to be taken down and put into the annals of “things that are just wrong in our history and other losers.”  If you think it should remain up because “it’s a piece of our history,” you are lying and I am calling you out on that.  I won’t even get into how streets, buildings, and other public and government properties are named after Confederate figures.  Yes, it’s a piece of our history, but so is murdering innocent indigenous peoples, no seatbelts, banning Filipinos from entering the country, women and blacks being prohibited from voting, segregation, etc., etc., etc!  You get my point.  And if you are one of those that wishes those days back, then YOU need to leave this country, not me.  Next!

Now, here’s the meat for today.

In my experience in my skin, rarely does anyone want to hear this white woman’s thoughts about the struggle for and by black people in this country.  There are white people that roll their eyes or check out when I talk about my thoughts, and there are black people that think I don’t have a clue and think that my thoughts on the subject are meaningless.  Waaaaaaay back when I was a school kid, there were others that thought I wanted to be black (As if!), and they gave me a terrible time about it.  What these idiots didn’t realize was that they were only assisting me in my ideals that there was something wrong.  Thanks!  I hope some of you have become more enlightened since then.  And no, I haven’t forgotten who you are.

I have more than a simple vested interest in the treatment of black people in this country.  A large part of my family is not white, and a very large portion of that is black.  I am a part of this multicultural, multiracial family, and they will always be a part of me, who I am, and how I think.  I love my family and am proud of it, just as I am sure you love yours and are likewise proud.  Your disinterest in what I have to say, your scoffing at my personhood and my knowledge and feelings, your racial brush-off to me translates that you think that somehow my children are less important to me than your children are to you.  Read that last sentence again; I suspect a few of you digested it incorrectly the first time.  It also means that somehow I have lived on this Earth for 50+ years and have spent it with my head in the sand, and my heart in my sequestered white ego.  First, let me bulldoze that pile and let you know that nothing is further from the truth. Next let me save you the personal time of denying it.  You haven’t realized that is what your dismissal means, but that is what it means whether you admit it or not, whether you want to examine it or not.  I learned a very long time ago that my kids and I are on a particular island that not many really care to visit.  Whatever color your own skin, if you think this is solely a “black” issue, then you are not only a part of the problem, you are ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTING to the problem.

As for the next person that says “Slavery ended 150 years ago; get over it!”, well you can go crawl in your teeny tiny dark corner and just rot away, because you are a waste of precious oxygen on this planet.  Are you really that NARROW MINDED, that BLIND, that UNAWARE that you think unfair treatment and practices (and much worse) ended with slavery?  WAKE UP!  If you want to know why black people hate, distrust, or are afraid of the police and other people in power, just research OUR AMERICAN HISTORY!  Someone said to me the other day, “But why do they run when they are stopped by the police?”  Now this is not a dumb question.  If you have not had the experience of a black person, have not been exposed to the experiences of a black person, AND you don’t have family that can tell you stories handed down of decades of abuse in an effort to warn you about these abuses, then I expect you really do not know.  However, what I would hope is that we can ALL have a listening ear and heart when someone (anyone!) is speaking on their experiences.  By the way, thank you to that person who heard what I said about that question.

My reasons for anything and everything worthwhile.  9/2011

My personal rainbow. And this is only part of my family and wonderful people
I choose to surround myself!  🙂   9/2011

Those that cannot or refuse to admit how things really are in this country are just afraid to.  You are afraid to admit it because you think it will mean something personal about you, your actual person, your family.  You may be right if that is the way you feel, if you take it that personally.  Do you want to know the best way to stop feeling like that?  Step OUT of your tired skin and make a difference for your fellow human beings.  You would do it for your own family!  Have you forgotten that we are ALL of the human RACE?

The human race is the ONE and ONLY true RACE, by the way.  Race, as a category, is a man-made concept.  Yep!  Go research it.  I am not going to hold your hand on this one.  WE MADE THIS SHIT UP!  There is no biological, scientific backing for separating us into color categories.  NONE.  It serves only to separate us.  That is it!  Well done, wouldn’t you say?

With that said, I am here to tell you that it is, however, important that we do recognize each other’s race at this time in our history.  It speaks to the essence of who we are individually, where we have been, our probable life experiences, AND it does NOT define us in totality.  Confused yet?  Color blindness does not serve anyone, and is a myth anyway.  It is a way of pretending that “I don’t see who you are and it doesn’t matter.”  The melting pot is just something we throw people into that tries to melt others into what “we” want them to be, to assimilate into our own ideas.  I would rather have a salad chock full of all the flavors that you can see and taste individually that are wonderful each on their own, and are just as wonderful when thrown in together.  Yes, I’m laughing at my corny self right now, but that is really how I feel.

If you are feeling injury right about now and are making this monologue mean that I don’t like white people, that I’m abandoning my own (Yes, I’ve heard all this before.), that I’m prejudiced or racist against white people, that I don’t care about the bad things that happen to whites… well, you have missed the point entirely then, and/or you still aren’t listening.  I give you one last chance at this juncture to hop down off your high horse and experience more of life, a life that has nothing to do with your individual skin.  I invite you to try on some new ideas and ideals today.  I invite you to stop being afraid.  I challenge you to step out of the masses and the cog thinking.

I suspect that there are still some that are wondering just what my deal is.  If I sound angry, I am.  Besides what I think should be the obvious reasons for having humanity in my heart, there are people that want to kill and do other horrible things to people that look JUST LIKE MY CHILDREN.  NOW DO YOU GET IT? If you still don’t, then all I can say is I hope you get help for your blindness and willful stupidity.

Complicated?  Confusing?  Yes!  And I say, “So what!”  Wake up and stand up, or please just shut up!  White privilege is a real thing.  Mistreatment of people of color is a thing – to put it all lightly.  I will no longer be sporadic with my voice on this.  So either be prepared to deal with me, get on with me, or exit from my life.  I have ushered others out before you.  Consider that your experience is not the template for others, and consider that other experiences contrary to your own are actually real.  We don’t have to agree, but I insist on respect.  Try on acceptance vs. tolerance.