WORK/LIFE BALANCE FROM A MOM AND NURSE PRACTITIONER

We have a problem

7/8/16
It would be an understatement to say I am saddened by the recent police shootings of unarmed Black men yet again, and the subsequent shooting of police officers in Dallas.  Although our law enforcement clearly needs reform on this issue, I think at large there is a lot of continued racist undertones in our society that perpetuate racial biases and violence. I can personally say that being married to a Black man and having a mixed-race child has made me much more sensitive to these seemingly innocent things our society does to further reinforce racial biases. I have been guilty of saying things that are not racially sensitive, and made assumptions based on race as well, but just looking at the big picture makes me cringe at the times I have said or thought these things. For one, some people assume because there is no overt racism, there is not a problem. People think today because I am White and married to a Black man, that we are a progressive society and that everything is fine. What they overlook is the fact that I still hear racist comments all the time about Black people when they don't realize I am married to a Black man. Even people who know me well will still say things that about race that make me uncomfortable, and think nothing of it. The other major problem I see with the conversation about race is that our society is still insisting we define how Black people dress, act, and speak. I blame people from all sides for this. I think some well-meaning comedians reinforce these stereotypes and because we've all gotten sick of being PC we like to joke about the stereotypes, but at the end of the day this is only worsening the problem. My husband his whole life has had to deal with people telling him he's not "Black" because he doesn't talk in Ebonics, has light skin or likes to swim. The fact that we deny someone their identity because they don't fit into the stereotype shows that there is still a huge problem with how we see people of color. Yes, it's easy to point fingers at racist cops, Trump, and White supremacy, but let's look at our own views of race. What are we saying behind closed doors? It's not only overt  racism that is only the problem. It's the people who don't speak up. It's the people who think it's not their problem. It's the people who think there is no problem. It's people who refuse to believe people are anything more than a stereotype. I worry about these issues not only for my son and my husband, but because it angers me that nothing has changed from when I was watching the Rodney King riots 20 years ago in elementary school. Having the conversation at home that we have a problem with race is a step in the right direction. Self-reflection is a step in the right direction. Silence is not. How many more lives have to be lost before it becomes "our" problem?
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ~ Edmund Burke
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