Makibaka - South King County Activism
One of the folks who was there was a principal at a local high school who didn't feel safe talking to the parents of his school about their own biases, their own racism. It was striking to me that as a principal he didn't feel like he was the right person or had the right tools to have that conversation with parents in his school. It concerned me that he didn't feel safe. He is African American. The other parents are usually white, according to him.
I think this principal was very brave for admitting his challenges to a group he barely knew. I think this man needs to be supported because if he feels this way, then I am sure there are other less aware principals who are also feeling this way but may not say so. He's probably not ALONE.
One of the things I have learned to do as an ally is how to be supportive without rushing to judgment or even to try to attempt to solve the problem, so to speak. Do i know what it's like to be in his place? No? Do I know exactly what i would do if I were in his situation? No?
My hope would be is that someone would be there for me. In my place of employment, someone needs to be there who is going to help me and support me in a respectful way as a leader, I don't care if it's the superintendent herself coming to my school to help me talk to parents about race. It can't be nothing. It can't be "you're on your own."
Having worked in higher education for almost 30 years, I know that things won't change unless we change it. I want to say that it's ok not to know what to do, but i do encourage you to do something to get out of the cycle of not addressing things AS THEY ARE happening. When we let it go, we implicitly say it's ok and it's not. Change is incremental, and yes it is slow, but change is change and it all adds up in the end to one big thing if we all keep pushing and keep going.
As for me, I will continue to support those who want to do better in the conversation which is why I volunteered to do something on this part of the workshop. I honestly feel we could all do something to end racism but it won't end if we don't speak up and make noise when hate and prejudice rear its ugly head in the places we work, live, play and learn.
Makibaka - huwag matakot! Join the struggle - do not be afraid!
2017, here we go!