Take a peek behind the scenes of Hello Little Home in my May 2020 Diary.
The Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch, Texas
May 2020 Diary
Welcome to my Diary. This monthly series gives you a peek behind the scenes of Hello Little Home. I’m sharing all the things I’ve been up to that don’t make it on the blog. Hopefully, we’ll get to know one another better in the process.
I've been trying to muster up some positivity lately, but the world truly feels upside down right now. Even more so than it has the past couple months ... which I didn't think was possible.
Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others before them ... enough is enough!
Things have been tense here in Dallas. I live downtown, and it sounded like a war zone over the weekend. I've watched from my apartment as police dressed in riot gear confronted the mostly peaceful protesters with tear gas (a chemical weapon which is illegal in actual wars), flash bangs, and foam bullets. All of which has only ratcheted up tensions between police and protesters.
I'm not sure how shows of police force are helpful when the protests are about police brutality. I don't think they are. Have businesses been vandalized and looted here? Yes, and I am heartbroken for them. But that doesn't compare to the loss of someone's life, and it shouldn't take away from the overall problem.
As someone who is white, I think it's more important than ever to focus on how I can be part of the solution. Clearly nothing is going to change if white people like me don't step up and take action.
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While I try my best to be an ally for friends and neighbors, there's always room for improvement and more action. I'm committed to doing better and being part of the change, and I hope you'll join me.
If you're wondering how you can help, here's a few ideas / resources that I've found helpful. I'm not an expert, and this isn't a complete list by any means. If you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments.
- Not sure where to begin? Start by listening to what Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color are saying.
- It's easy to get defensive when reading or hearing something critical. But responding with phrases like "all lives matter" or "not all (white people, cops, etc.)" or "I don't see color" is not helpful, it's actually part of the problem. (Read more about why You Should Stop Saying "All Lives Matter".) When I find myself getting defensive, I try to take a deep breath, then refocus on the actual problem ... Black people are being murdered for doing things you and I take for granted, such as wearing a hoodie, watching TV in their own living room, or going jogging.
- Actively work to expand your understanding of "the world". Seek out books (check out this reading list), media, and articles by authors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. Join local community groups. Follow people who look different than you on social media. Listen to different perspectives. Read things that make you uncomfortable.
- Instead of looking the other way or leaving the room when a relative or friend says something racist, say something. I know how hard it can be to confront people you care about, but we have to do it anyway. Here are some helpful tips for talking to them.
- If you're white, realize that you cannot be the judge of what makes something racist. Be open to listening, learning, and understanding.
- Try to understand white privilege. It doesn't mean you haven't had difficulties in your life, haven't had to work hard, or that you are racist. But it's important to understand the inherent benefits of having white skin and to learn how you can use that privilege to remove barriers and lift others up.
- Talk to your friends and family about racism. These conversations may be messy, but they're important.
- Let your Black friends know you see them, are trying to understand their pain, and that you support them.
- You'll probably make mistakes (I know I have). When you do, own up to it, learn from it, and commit to doing better in the future.
- Don't depend on People of Color to educate you. There's plenty of helpful information out there if you do the research.
- Donate to (and / or volunteer with) groups that are helping, like the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, or Black Lives Matter.
- It's not enough to be outraged, we actually need to act and take concrete steps to help eliminate racism. Check out these Anti-Racism Resources or this article about 75 things white people can do for racial justice to get started.
- Don't expect thanks. Do it simply because you know it's the right thing to do.
I hope it doesn't need to be said, but Hello Little Home is a space for everyone. If there's any way you think I can do better, please let me know.
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What Else Have I Been Up To
Honestly, everything else I've done this month feels pretty irrelevant. It's not all that exciting anyway ... I've mostly been continuing to stay home with the exception of a couple drives and walks.
One bright spot was visiting the Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch. My husband rented a car on Memorial Day so we could get out of our apartment while still socially isolating. As we were driving around, I randomly remembered reading about these gardens. The roses were gorgeous, and the gardens were uncrowded. If you live in the DFW area, I definitely recommend checking it out ... it would be the perfect place for a little quiet contemplation.
I hope you enjoyed reading my May Diary. Before you go, check out my April Diary to see what I was up to last month.