Sometimes cookies make me sad. This happens when I write something on Facebook, or say something in a meeting, and a Person of Color expresses to me how much it means to them that I spoke up. First I feel like blushing for five years and then I just feel so sad that my Facebook post or statement I made at work is apparently so out of the ordinary for my friends to witness. I don’t deserve a cookie for trying to draw attention to the suffering of others, I don’t deserve a cookie for sharing a different perspective, I don’t deserve a cookie for reminding others to be inclusive – and if there were more people doing these things, cookies would be unnecessary because the behaviors would be unremarkable, right?
If more people were doing these things, eventually we’d have fewer problems with racism because changed people change their environments. If more people were doing these things, my friends wouldn’t need to tell me how much something I said meant to them because they’d have more people in their lives who are standing up for them, standing alongside them. That any of my friends – that anyone, anywhere – has cause to express such gratitude because they have been so hurt and let down by others . . . that breaks my heart. It does not make me feel like I’m an awesome person. It makes me feel like a whole lot of other people are not awesome. I would gladly give up all the cookies in the world in exchange for all or even most White people being willing to speak out against racism.
Do you know how meaningful it will be to some of your loved ones who are People of Color for you to become informed about race and to speak up, publicly, in solidarity with them?
You could ask them and find out.