Wednesday, June 10, 2020

How can I help?

        Just like Todd Winn, I also want to silence my privileged voice.  I may not be as privileged as White, able-bodied, middle-class, heterosexual, Christian men (Goodman, 2001). You see me.  You see my gender.  You see my brownness.  You hear my accent and my broken English at times (Take the mis-spelling in my picture as an example.  Someone pointed it out to me. It was not intentional).  I stick out like a sore thumb when I walk into a room; and I know, that whether I like it or not, there may be some people there who are uncomfortable by my mere presence.  They will feel better if I "went back to where I came from", or quit "taking jobs away form hard working Americans".  Well, as a highly educated, employed, brown, middle class, English-speaking, green-card holder, protestant, I recognize my privilege and thank the good Lord for it.  

    I also see this troubled times are not about women, and not about brown people, and not about immigrants.  Right now is about our Black brothers and sisters, many of whom are my students and fellow professors and staff members.  They are suffering deep in their soul with a pain I pray I may never understand.  It is about standing with them, or kneeling, or taping our mouths, as the case may be.  It is about listening.  It is about stepping back and putting our wants aside for their sake, and the sake of this great country.  A wise, wise book reads: "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand" (Mark 3:24).  So how about we unite?  If we can't show support without compromising our values,  maybe we need to reevaluate them.  Here is one gamers perspective on it. 

    As a non-black, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in social media is not enough.  So tell me how I can help you make my classroom and my office environments where you can thrive and feel safe in these trying times, Black students and White students alike.  Black students, how can I help you feel heard and supported?  White students, how can I help you hear you Black peers without hurting you or putting you on the defensive? Help me answer the question "How can I help?" 

Goodman, D. J. (2001). About privileged groups. In Winter Roundtable Series: Promoting diversity and social justice: Educating people from privileged groups (pp. 13-36). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781452220468.n2 SAGE Books - About Privileged Groups

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