October 10, 2020 by Molly Patrick
Let's take a step back
I am a white woman married to a non-white immigrant woman.
The thing about being a white woman, especially a feminine white woman, is that when I step out of my house and into society, I am white first and foremost. I would have to go out of my way to communicate my sexual orientation and marital status before I was discriminated against because of it.
There have been plenty of times when I have withheld this information because it’s easier to have people assume I’m a straight white chick. And that, my friend, is white privilege, because I can choose to have a discrimination-free day.
My wife can’t pretend she’s white in order to automatically enjoy better treatment by certain individuals.
Black people can’t withhold the color of their skin to avoid often deadly implicit bias when being pulled over or approached by the police.
Brown people can’t erase their melanin in order to blend in with white folx and skip the hurtful step of being stereotyped.
Indigenous people can’t magically take on my complexion and features and experience being part of the privileged majority instead of the underrepresented minority.
Nor should they have to.
Different colors and shades of skin, different backgrounds, different languages, different features, different accents, different ethnicities, different cuisines, different religions, different body shapes and sizes, different traditions, different ages, different beliefs, different world views, different struggles, different gender identities, different perspectives, different sexual orientations, different diets: this is the good, juicy stuff that makes for a diverse and culturally rich place to live.
This is how we expand our worldview and learn from each other. This is how we get out of our bubble so we can look at things from a different angle. This is how we expand. This is how we develop and foster empathy and compassion. This is how we become less afraid and more curious.
A country should represent, respect, support, celebrate and uplift all of the beautiful and imperfect individuals who make up that country. Comfort, stability, and acceptance should not be reserved for some and not for others. There is room for everyone at the table.
This is why it is so important to use your voice and vote. Not just in the presidential election, but in your congressional, state, and local elections as well. Senators, representatives, governors, mayors, judges, and local officials all play a part in what laws and policies get created and passed which directly affects whether we stand to honor diversity in all its forms, or continue supporting a system of economic and racial injustice.
I know that politics are really heated right now, but let’s try not to get too sucked into the daily, hourly, sometimes minute-to-minute narrative of division, polarization, blaming, and arguing.
Let’s take a step back, and decide what is important. And then do some research and figure out which candidates on your ballot best represent you and the vision you have for your country.
My wish is for everyone in this country to feel as safe as I do when I walk out of my house and into society. I would also like to see an easier, more accepting and welcoming pathway for people who want to immigrate to this country. And my votes will go to people who can help move us in that direction.
We’re all in this together, now let’s go out and make our voices heard.
Over on the blog today we have another awesome piece by Veronica Chavez. She talks about how she has maneuvered the unfortunate expectation of perfectionism throughout her vegan journey. I’m also giving you a Simple Miso Soup recipe to make when you need to soothe your tummy and your soul.
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