hands in the air during protest

We Are Being Called To Do Better

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I’ll start out by saying that this post is something that I have been carefully trying to compose in my mind throughout the past week, as I’ve observed, educated myself, listened to black voices, and while having conversations with my those near me. I’ve purposefully stayed away from the mainstream news regarding the dishonest points of view regarding the protests that have sprung around the world as a result of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

But this isn’t about me, or my blog, or what I usually talk about. This also isn’t something that will be forgotten when the next news story comes through our phones and television screens, as long as we keep this momentum going.

Black Lives Matter is a human rights issue that will continue to take up the space it needs and deserves, as black voices and other POC continue to amplify, and as allies continue helping to do the groundwork necessary for change, in everyday life situations. Especially as our society and world shifts into a changed state that it has desperately been calling out towards.

The new “normal”

I know I’m not the only one who has heard and felt on occasion the urge to “go back to normal” during the wake of the virus and the disappointments that we experienced as a nation to see innocent lives once again be taken by pure hate that still lives.

But the reality is that there’s just no such thing as normal. Normal doesn’t exist. Normal never existed. It was a type of ignorance that people lived in, to a certain extent that allowed life to be lived peacefully or uninterrupted by the real problems at hand, while others battled a silent war that has been going on for more than 400 years.

The recent world events have literally shaken us, reduced certain freedoms and luxuries, and maintained us confined within our own space both mental and physical. It’s been a time of challenge, confrontations, conflict, and surrendering to what we were currently dealing with, for an indefinite amount of time. And it’s for something.

The heartbreaking and enraging news of the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, came at a time that became the last straw for change to finally be felt.

As the world starts to re-open now, and we start hearing noises of life being lived outside of our homes, we are stepping out not only with a new or rekindled sense of awareness and empathy of the importance of being there for one another but also with the knowledge, compassion, understanding, with our own privilege to do something about it.

And that realization and decision begins with us.

Credit: Lizzie Jacklyn

Being called to do better

As a person of color myself (Mexican-American), I have felt strongly within the past week to pause the usual content and share my platforms to spread awareness and find ways to help by signing petitions, finding organizations that need support, and everything in between.

Having conversations with those around me, finding my own biases come to light and working on them, and listening to and watching from those who have experienced it, is the first step of a long journey. It’s uncomfortable, it’s growth for the better, and it’s necessary. And that in itself is a privilege; to feel discomfort rather than the actual atrocities that black people have endured.

And with this, another concluding thought I have had here is that discomfort is necessary (and normal) when speaking and confronting injustices specific to black lives. I am not black, I don’t know their specific experience, which differs in a few ways from mine being Mexican-American. But we are part of the minority that has to worry about being stared at inside a store, dealing with assumptions about our culture, and being chased after our traditions and music/style, but not for us as people. But this is will change, I know it will if we keep doing better than yesterday.

Being POC, I have had my own experiences of being reminded of certain limitations established by a society that is not built to encourage and support everyone equally. And if my fellow Latino friends and family get upset for not feeling supported or recognized right now as another minority group that has been treated unfairly (because that does exist, yes), it should be reminded that one of the reasons why we should be with Black Lives Matter is that we owe the brave African Americans, their struggle, their voice, and bravery, the changes that have come from them that have impacted us as Latinos, as the Civil Rights Act of 1965 opened the way for the US Immigration Act of 1965, allowing our families to immigrate to the US.

For extended information on this, click here and click on the credit below the image to be taken to the Instagram caption that also talks about the connection between black people, their fight for the Civil Rights Movement and Act, and us Latinos and other immigrants.

black and white picture of a girl with curly black hair
Credit: Dominican Abroad

What now?

I don’t have the answer as to what is the next step going forward. There are no clear paths, no clear directions other than the one of being aware, looking at information with discernment, and treating everyone with kindness – leading with love.

Continuing to support the Black Lives Movement, which comes in a variety of forms. Starting with ourselves by continuing and maintaining the education of what we don’t understand, continuing to put pressure on local governments and perform our civic duties to make the changes happen, read to understand the black experience in America or your corner of the world, educating ourselves on what we can do each in our own privilege, and listening to understand (and not just to respond). Holding conversations with family members, friends, and other social platforms, and keeping this movement actually in motion as a collective.

As Dr. Joe Dispenza says…

“The best way to predict your future is to create it not from the known, but from the unknown. When you get uncomfortable in the place of the unknown – that’s where the magic happens.” Joe Dispenza.

Dr. Joe Dispenza

So going into the world as it re-opens, it’s not going to be about going “back to normal” for a lot of us. Rather, it’s going to be creating a better today and tomorrow for all of us.

Credit: Leslie Dwight

Concluding thoughts…for now

The heartless murders of black people throughout history is, unfortunately, something very embedded in American history (and many other countries around the world) but right now, the U.S. is going through a major shift that has started to jolt and force people to look at racism problems in their own countries all around the world. People are waking up, speaking up, and showing up. We are doing better, and there’s more to go.

I realize that things are starting to shape this way and that this word transformation means awakening to all who were asleep in deep ignorant slumber (conscious or not) of privilege in one way or another. And that now is the time to start moving to where we are needed. We are indeed being called to do better. Let’s keep listening.

On the blog, I will continue to talk about topics relating to the travel experience from the perspective of POC, as well as finding ways to further amplify the black voices and other POC experiences that have gone silent and ignored for too long.

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.

Herbert Spencer

I know we keep hearing it, but it’s extremely clear to me that we must band together, and act on the knowledge that we know, and are continuing to accumulate. Let’s keep going.

To many more transformative moments for all,

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