As I have begun to dedicate my platform and voice to the Black Lives Matter movement this past week, I have also started to confront my internal experience with race as a white person in America. I am sharing this mental unraveling here on the podcast in an effort to encourage others to do the same.
Think back on all the moments in your past where race came into play. Follow those threads back to the root. Re-examine them. What did you learn in those moments about race? Are you still carrying those learnings with you today? It is our job as white people right now to understand the role we’ve all had in the oppression of black Americans. The inherited, learned racism runs so deep. It has been taught for generations. And, as you’ll hear in this episode, it has been taught and passed down systematically and subtly.
In this episode, you’ll hear about my experience as a white kid growing up in Miami. Miami hip-hop culture serving as the backdrop of my adolescence. Identifying as Cuban, but presenting as white. Since recording, some other examples of my experience with race have come to mind. Times I’ve been pulled over for doing something illegal and being let go. Certain roads I was told not to drive down in Miami. Being told not to go near the beach during Urban Beach Weekend. Malls or clubs I was told I can’t go to because they were in “bad” neighborhoods.
Taught fear. Learned fear.
I recorded this in an effort to lead by example and give you permission to reexamine your relationship with race. Don’t let feeling guilt or embarrassment keep you for using your voice. Along with using our privileged voices to further this movement externally, we need to self reflect internally and unravel all the inherited racism we’ve collected over the years. Silence is no longer an option. Ignorance is no longer an option. It is up to all of us right now. We can be the change.
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