A White female psychotherapist’s early morning musings and a Black female psychotherapist’s tea-time thoughts on racial equity.
What happens when you get to voice thoughts you were afraid to share?
What happens when you can offer response that doesn’t need to be tidy?
In our experience it creates hope for a new day.
It’s a way of being
It’s not about making sure I am PC (politically correct)
It’s not a task
Something to achieve
Rather it is about becoming
It’s about being present
I am intrigued by your thoughts.
What does it mean to you to be anti-racist?
Being anti-racist is …
Not a prescribed checklist, from which I simply tick off the boxes
Not a technique to use at will or not
It is about seeing you because your life matters
In this moment
My life has always mattered to me
What makes it matter to you?
I seek to know you
In a full sense of the word
It is a way of being
Not of who is better
Or who is more right
It isn’t something I carelessly decide whether to put on in the morning
My skin is not something I decide to put on in the morning
The Lord wrapped me in this skin
And sometimes, I am judged because of it
It is being reciprocal
It is about being equitable
It is about hearing
Learning your story
And knowing my story
And knowing when to share
And whose story to privilege
Privilege is an interesting word:
What do we need to hear to know the whole story?
What would it take to lay down the boundaries of
And seek what is ours
Knowing when to listen
And to know your story
And have our stories intersect
In meaningful ways
In meaningful ways
Meaning that you will listen
Meaning that you will learn
Meaning that you will be interested in what life looks like
For someone else
And learn how our stories intersect
And in the parting and joining
Create new stories
That bring spaciousness
And we leave
Carrying part of
My story is more nuanced
Than the colour of my skin
Assumption and ignorance
Shut out grace
We have to learn how to carry the full story
Bodies are broken by the oppressor
Spirits are crushed by those
who claim to have no neighbour.
What is required of us?
To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
The pursuit of justice, mercy and humility is not one act
It lives in ongoing acts of love
Acts of obedience
Acts of remembrance
Recognizing our neighbour doesn’t come from
a course and it certainly isn’t a checklist.
I feel a Psalm coming on.
I hear it in the lyrics of U2’s “40”
and imagine the Lord inclining to hear my cry.
The plaintive wail of the oppressed,
“How long?” rings in my ears.
Learning about the lived experience of others
and how that experience impacts living
Together, we can see the hope
Conversation between Sharon Ramsay, Interim Clinical Director and Betty Brouwer, Director of Attachment Services.
Image from Creative Commons, Unknown Author.