small bites, where hypocrisy runs fast and deep

It’s been almost four months since I’ve written a small bites post. Life stuff partly derailed the blog – unexpectedly putting the house on the market, negotiations, repairs, packing and moving and all that jazz – but some of it’s me. I’ve been frozen in place, bogged down by a suddenly inescapable sense I’m taking up space that doesn’t belong to me.

There’s such a thin line between being an ally and assuming an authority that will never be mine.

An ally uses her privilege to amplify the voices of people who are disadvantaged by the system. I need to advocate for people of color in a way that supports their point of view, not superimposes my own. I’m angered by the injustice I see around me – and the more I learn, the more I see – but it’s not my rage to own. There’s a common thread here: support, amplify, educate, but above all do not appropriate injustices that have been suffered for generations. I’m trying to find the space where using my privilege draws attention without centering myself.

I’ve read back through my previous small bites posts and feel good about most of it, but sometimes there’s a whiff of petulant white girl stamping her foot at how unfair the world is – that’s my white privilege showing. That’s me sitting at my kitchen table, drinking a coffee, thinking my way through pain that people of color are experiencing every minute of every day. I’m still learning about being a good ally, and this is one of the areas I’ll work on.

Someone asked why I chose to address race issues on the blog. I’d say the answer is fairly simple: I’m watching my kids navigate this world in brown skin and it’s hard for them, and that sentence right there is privilege personified. I didn’t really sit up and pay attention until it affected me personally. Lots of white folks don’t have a person of color just drop into their families. I’m hoping I can help it be real to you, too, through the small bites posts.

I hope you come into the Small Bites space with an open mind and heart. I know now what I didn’t know in my twenties and thirties, but I don’t yet know what I don’t yet know. Thank you to everyone who’s been willing to share their own thoughts in the comments.

You can find other entries by selecting small bites in the drop down menu under “series posts.”