Updated: Jun 5, 2020
This has been a weird week. Sorry, 2 months. Sorry, year. Almost 6 months into 2020 and we are sort of in an ongoing cycle of “seriously?!”
Over the past week, for me, doubly so. I debated writing this, but ultimately this is a platform we’re building to be about you (and me!) currently. And we can’t argue that currently, it’s kind of a shitshow. So here we go.
June is about prioritizing good things. Investing in your home, health, things that make you happy, the habits you built in May, and so much more. I love this theme. I love how we well we can apply it to every area of our lives.
And over the past week, for me, prioritizing good things took on a new meaning.
You see, the stories of racism, bigotry, implicit bias and violence in the news really got to me this week. Which goes to show you how good I have it. Because to the moms, families, and communities of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Christian Cooper, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and alllll the way back in history really, this is not a luxury that can just hit you.
So for me, prioritizing good things will mean listening, learning, and prioritizing the values I want my family to live by. The values my children need to have engrained in their little minds and hearts.
And it begins with acknowledging the insane amount of privilege I have, and pass on to my children. Furthermore, how to balance that privilege with the responsibility to speak out and act.
Even when it's hard. Even when it's uncomfortable. Even when it's seemingly inconvenient.
Here’s the deal. I grew up in a fairly homogenous community. Sure, we were all Hispanic but we all were pretty the same, when you really look at it. And Hispanics know, it's a culture that is very steeped in racial tension to say the very least. In this sameness we grew up in, new dresses for formal, going to college, getting a job in a cushy field where I could be ~~ creative~~ and my next meal were all a given.
That is called privilege. It doesn’t negate my parents and their parents and their parents hard work, nor the real challenges my dad specifically faced on moving to the states—but we can openly agree his were NOT the same as a migrant worker’s or a Cuban or Haitian rafter....or generations of systematic oppression right here in the good ol' USA. It CANNOT be denied.
So as a privileged Hispanic woman, it means looking at my two sons–half Cuban-Salvadoran (me) and half Irish-Italian (my husband), all-American and 100% blonde and blue-eyed baby beefcakes.
They, too, are privileged.
It means they probably will not get stopped by a cop as easily.
They will not likely experience harsh realities like hunger and stray bullets and lack of resources to complete homework assignments and discrimination from jobs and shopgirls and side eye glances from law enforcement or if someone feels “threatened” in broad daylight. While other children do. Read it again. I have, 400x.
That. is. privilege.
Point being: From little things, like the luxury of having a safe, clean, warm bed at night to the big, these guys have an upper hand that is undeniable. Which is why, we have to work to unpack it. It's why they need to know we can and will talk about race. It's why we need to figure out how we can be part of leveling of the playing field. Because it's not fair. And it's been too long that it's been unfair.
So here are a few things that I am thinking on right now. And I don't know that they're all the right ones. Like I said, I also have a lot to learn.
It means exposing and introducing our children to new and different things and people. And not for show or on vacation, but as part of their daily lives.
It's making sure we give our children all the tools to make good choices, knowing they won't always. And knowing that there will be repercussions when they F up.
It means being on the same page with my husband about what is and isn’t okay.
It means telling them, starting now, that not all kids have an endless amount of trucks and t-shirts and sunshine and rainbows. And that they are not above them for it.
It means being crystal clear about what behaviors, language and habits will and will not be tolerated.
It means treating people, especially disenfranchised people, with respect—and not because of people they know and love, but because it’s what is right.
It means admitting that the system has held people down. And being willing to speak up, work at it and give of ourselves to make it right.
It means making it clear that they have a responsibility to stand up against injustices because, sadly, and for all the wrong reasons, people listen when they speak.
It means teaching them respect for authority and education, but not blindly. Question what feels wrong and unethical and unfair.
It means encouraging them to get out of their bubble and help others get out of theirs.
It means teaching them to be good and kind to people, through their actions. Because they’re too blessed not to be.
And it means listening. Because it's not about us.
It's not my intent or that of this platform to impose on you what your values should be. But #mecurrently, is hoping that we can talk openly about what's on our mind, and while we prioritize our health, our families, our careers and our self-love, that we also prioritize being real about the the values we stand for. And the clock starts now.
Love and all of the respect,