My goal with this project is to make real life questions, fears, anxieties, experiences – no matter how uncomfortable it may be. I will need participation for this to work. That means I want to hear from YOU all. This will also need to be shared to gain a broader and more diverse audience. You have the option to give your name and demographics or remain anonymous. If there is one thing I have learned in my life thus far it is that if you keep things hidden all it does is hurt people. Each post should be a discussion. I will moderate, all I ask is you join us with an open mind and remain respectful. Throughout our journey I will also share information. My hopes is to turn this into a well read book to reach an even wider audience. If you would like to participate please copy and paste the questions below into the contact form or email me at email@example.com .
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At this time I would like to share an experience that has stuck with me.
I grew up in St. Louis, Mo and now live in Seattle, WA. I was raised in North County St. Louis, Overland area. Growing up I would have never considered myself racist or privileged. My parents always taught me to be color blind and that everyone was created equal. I now understand that being color blind is not the answer and that a better answer is to celebrate our differences. I will post more on this because this topic deserves its own blog. There is a story that has always stuck with me and I would love to share that with you all now.
I was in the 8th grade and I am not sure the class, it might have been French or another elective and we were engaging in a discussion about privilege. There were a lot of opinions. I remember raising my hand and feeling like I really had an answer that would contribute to the discussion. I stood up and I don’t remember my exact words but I remember basically comparing class privilege and racial privilege. A boy, Monty stood up in response. And I remember feeling so attacked and I took it so personally. This is an incident that has always stuck with me because of just how personally I took his response. I thought on it for days. Looking at my little 800 sq ft. House with a make shift bedroom and I thought what do I have that makes me privileged?
It took time and maturity to really see outside of my self and understand white privilege as a whole and how it systematically affects people of color. It is actually one of the things I regret most. I wish I would have known then what I know now and I wish I could express my apology to him. We really only get a fracture of what people are going through. You don’t know a person’s life just because you have a perception of it.
I am truly sorry for how closed minded I was and how much I disregarded and tried to disregard you that day. Really the class probably learned more from you that day than they did the teacher. I now absolutely understand that you can be poor and still be privileged because of your skin color. Thanks to you, I will have 3 woke kids.