So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: A Discussion

I just finished reading “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo and as soon as I finished it a review was not something I felt comfortable writing. So I decided on a discussion instead.

For reference I am a white 21 year old woman who was adopted into a Hispanic family. Yet, just a product of my whiteness I realized that loving and appreciating people of color all my life doesn’t stop some of the places where I’ve said or done something that is racist. That the way I was brought up in school still gave me ideas that are racist and the only way to dismantle those is to look them straight in the eye and start to unlearn them.

I loaned this book off of Libby and I knew I was going to feel uncomfortable reading it, but I was surprised by how much. I am very much similar to the kind of white person Ijeoma is talking about. I think of myself as mostly good. I believe in justice and equality for all, but beyond talking about it I haven’t done much. This election will be the first I’ve participated in. I have a plan to start being more active and supportive of candidates that make dismantling this enormous system of oppression important. My plan is to do better.

Honestly, I still have a lot of this books ideas to think about on my own. Research to do. Things I still need to learn. The work is never done. I want to do it, because it’s the right thing to do. In a lot of ways I feel off writing this cause as much as the book is aimed at white people wanting to help start dismantling this system.. it feels uncomfortable. Which is entirely the point.

All I can think is people of color are hurting. They are hurting cause the system that has been built has pushed them down for far too long. There has never been true equality in the United States. That’s a future I want to help work towards. Reading this book to further educate myself has been a start. I know I’m going to fail. I know I’m going to say the wrong thing. But, I want to try. That’s the only thing I know to do.

I don’t just want to talk about race. I want to take action. Thanks to this book I’m starting to see a path to how. Racism isn’t just the big stuff. It’s also the minor transgressions you don’t even think about. The automatic reactions that have been formed through education and upbringing. It’s been time for change well before I was born. We all need to be fighting in this. Working for a better more inclusive future.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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I’m Ok With Being Uncomfortable

I have learned so much in the past few days about myself, about racism, about what it means to be Anti-racist and what it means to be white and have that kind of privilege in America. Black lives matter. That’s a truth that no one can argue. They matter. They deserve so much more then this country has ever been able to give them and justice needs to be served.

I had made a statement on a twitter thread that received backlash. I was discussing wanting peace and did not understand the privilege I had in saying that. Didn’t understand the negative impact I had saying that under a thread full of hurting and oppressed Black people that are tired of people like me saying they should be peaceful. Getting back lash of that kind is something I’ve never experienced. Yet, thinking on it I realized I was wrong and started to look around and understand the reasons why and what I should be doing and who I should be telling to be peaceful. To tell white people to stop inciting violence by killing Black people for being Black. To tell police officers to stop using excessive force. To tell our government that the way this whole system is built is a knee on Black people’s necks every single day.

Realizing that I have biases and ideals that are part of the problem were eye opening to me. At the end of the day I believe in equality. I believe everyone should have equal opportunity. Seeing the protests and the actions of police and hearing the presidents awful rhetoric opened my eyes to see that this system isn’t going to get better by being complacent. There needs to be change and to start I needed to face a hard truth. That as much as I desire and want to be good and to have everyone have the right to live good and joyful lives with equal opportunity that I needed to take a closer look at my biases and the places where I am part of the problem. To continue to look and learn and educate myself, because my complacency that has helped no one. I need to do the work. To be uncomfortable. To embrace the discomfort and change.

In the past few days I’ve consumed so much information from Black people on twitter and looking at resources to start my journey to help dismantle racism. Starting with me. Starting with the miscro-transgressions I commit without even realizing it. I am ok with being uncomfortable. This is something I could easily turn away from and forget all about and nothing would change, but it’s damn time for change. Black people deserve better. They deserve better from our government. They deserve better from police. They deserve better from white people whose whole society was built on Black peoples backs. They deserve better from me.

I am angry. I am angry at the police who are using mace on children and kicking pregnant women’s bellies and purposefully inciting violence and not listening to the cries for peace. I am angry that every single day there’s another Black man killed by police officer when they’re compliant and unarmed and even if they weren’t completely compliant cause god damn having an officer in your face is terrifying.

I am demanding better from myself. Demanding that I stop pretending that I am free from racist ideals. I am not. But, I will make damn sure that I do better. Because the injustice is too much. The injustice can never be righted, but I want to be part of that amazing group of people that works to make it better for future generations.

That means that I am going to do the wrong thing sometimes and I have to face that. I have to listen when someone from the Black person tells me that there’s something wrong with the way I’m expressing my advocacy and ideas. Enough is enough.

Fuck racism!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

It’s time for change. Injustice has been perpetuated for far too long.

Thank you all for reading!

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