Getting it Wrong to Get it Right

I didn’t get it right. I said racist things. I struggle talking about race and continually get it wrong. So, should I stop talking about race?

I struggle. I sometimes say racist things but I really want to get it right. Alex and I did a podcast the other day and I felt like I was fumbling over my words and saying things that were racist. I process through talking so I don’t always get it right the first time. I feel lucky to live in a community where my Black neighbors do forgive me when I say something wrong. I am grateful when Alex questions what I am saying or helps me rephrase as I process through thoughts.

I think it is clear that talking about race, because it is hard and uncomfortable, is proof we NEED to push through and have these hard conversations. We have lived in the innercity for 14 years and I still feel like I am at the beginning learning how to talk and think about race in the US. I am continually learning but I still have strong biases that aren’t right. I deal and think about race everyday but the fact that I am a white woman and was raised in a suburban home, I have many flawed biases that I am working to undo.

We need to be able to talk about these things and get it wrong. And we need to be OK with someone telling us we got it wrong and allowing ourselves to sit in that discomfort until we get it right. It is a hard process but it is worth it to get it right. The other option is to allow systemic racism to keep its foothold. I believe we can make positive changes if we talk about race and challenge one another and because of that I am willing to get things wrong in order to eventually get them right.