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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Listen.

To state the obvious, I am a white woman who was born and raised in this country, and up until about a month ago, had a very theoretical knowledge and understanding of the white privilege I was born into and the toxic air of racism I have breathed since birth. Like many of us with white skin, my life has not always been easy—but it has never been made more difficult—nor have I ever feared being mistreated, misunderstood, judged, beaten or even killed simply because of the color of my skin. Yet this is the painful reality for millions of black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in this country on a daily basis—and the fact that I am just now noticing how truly toxic the air is feels pitiful and inexcusable.

So, what I have to say about what is happening right now in our country as a result of hundreds of years of oppression, discrimination, brutality, mistreatment, racism and overall disregard for human life, is woefully insufficient. What anyone who has had the experience of being white in this country has to say right now is woefully insufficient.

Listen to Black Women. Listen to Black Men. Listen to BIPOC Voices.

Instead of continuing to take up space with my own ill-informed voice, it is time to check my ego, privilege and complacency at the door and listen. Not only listen but follow and receive education from experts who have had the lived experience of racism for generations and have dedicated their lives to studying and stopping it. People like Rachel Cargle, Catrice M. Jackson, Mary Frances Berry, Austin Channing Brown, Angela Y. Davis, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Kiese Laymon, Layla F. Saad, Wesley Lowery, Ibram X. Kendi, Ijeoma Oluo, the list goes on… And locally, by subscribing to the Black Lens, donating or becoming an active member of the Spokane Community Against Racism (SCAR), Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS), the Spokane NAACP, the list goes on…

I found a quote by Austin Channing Brown, who is an activist, author, producer and woman of faith, that struck me. She says, “Our only chance at dismantling racial injustice is being more curious about its origins than we are worried about our comfort. It’s not a comfortable conversation for any of us. It is risky and messy. It is haunting work to recall the sins of our past. But is this not the work we have been called to anyway? Is this not the work of the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth and inspire transformation? It’s haunting. But it’s also holy.”

So, I say yes to facing discomfort, and to the holy work that we are all being ushered toward in our own unique way. I say yes to getting re-educated and to following black voices and being an ally and helping dismantle racial injustice through authentic transformation and true action. And finally, I say yes to Spirit opening my heart and guiding me to the holy work that is mine to do. I hope you say yes too.

With love,

Amber

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