I am the worst at walking on metaphorical eggshells. Even when given an urgent look from across the room, accompanied by the zipping-of-the-lips mime routine, the subtle hints just don't land. I usually respond with a loud What? or an eyeroll that says Oh please. When we were younger, my sister would make me do the heavy lifting when it came to asking the adults in our lives for information that was just out of her reach; topics living firmly embedded in the eggshell zone. I would unknowingly, or better yet naively crunch all the way to the adult, my sister cheering me on from the sidelines. Sometimes I would get the answer to her seemingly innocent question and sometimes I wouldn't but everyone involved knew I had ventured into the we don't talk about this area; everyone except for me. I would leave those exchanges never understanding what the big deal was. My sister would say I was brave when I delivered the goods. I didn't feel brave. I mostly felt confused that I was asked to do something that I thought she was perfectly capable of doing.
I have come to learn racism is a walk-on-eggshells topic, even in my own diverse family. The feelings of fear, sadness, confusion, pride, shame, and anger that is swirling about our county is encouraging some to take actions that will move this conversation to a platform more accessible to all those who want to participate and others to retreat into the comfort of business as usual. Racism is so utterly pervasive, most of us can’t see that it exists - especially in ourselves. When we’re willing to see it, it’s uncomfortable. It’s disorienting, really. Just like when I was a kid, I was recently called brave in response for asking honest questions and telling the truth about me. Writing about my experience as a person of color in America is not brave, it is necessary. It is necessary for me to acknowledge my own experience because without my knowing it, the reality of racism has become a shrug of my shoulders, an external problem that doesn't live in my house. And of course it does! Without my permission, the evils of racism have come into my home through the news, through social media, through responses to my writing, through the innocence of a friend's text. This is not about who is or isn't racist. At least that is not the conversation I am interested in participating in. This is about me changing the conversation from what happened to what's next; from what hasn't been to what could be. I believe change happens when we stand together as humans dedicated to the betterment of each other, taking responsibility individually and collectively. I am committed to walking on the metaphorical eggshells in hopes that one day we are simply walking; walking to get to the next conversation.
Michele Lee Flocken
6/15/2020 10:39:04 am
I love your interesting and informative writing style. A video runs in my mind as I read your essays and your message becomes personal for me. I can’t think as clearly when I’m being screamed at ... in person, on paper, on TV, or on social media. I look forward to more of your help in my never ending journey to grow. Thank you 😊 Michele
6/17/2020 08:07:13 pm
Whether you understand it or not, you are BRAVE to me. Of course we are all capable of speaking up but sometimes we all don’t choose to. I hear your encouragement to those like me to,.....do it afraid. Speak up. Be heard. Join the conversation. I agree with you little sis that it is no longer an option to retreat to business as usual. I trust that I will find my way. I really DO want to be shoulder to shoulder with you on this journey. xo
11/15/2022 09:06:09 pm
Nice think first other. Guess ago whole fear management.
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Lori Ann Dinkins
One blog at a time, I write the truth about my life as it is, as I hope it will be, as I wish it would have been. Business insights and personal triumphs. Thank you for joining me.