They are Us and We are Them

On Tuesday Joyce Echaquan’s an indigenous woman died in a place where she should have been safe, taken care of, instead she died with racist hate in her ears. Joyce in her last minutes of life recorded what was happening knowing the violent systems she dwelled within. This is it, this is systematic racism reflected deep in the belly of us, white folk’s, our minds, bodies, and hearts.Those nurses are us and we are them.

Dear white-bodied friends and family If we are not actively doing the work of making the unconscious conscious, unlearning the violent culture of white body supremacy that we were born into then how can we possibly know ourselves and what kinda implicit explicit violence will come spilling out of us. Please this is not good vs evil, lets change that narrative… this is all of us born into collective traumatic systems, bored into our bodies/minds/hearts. We have to be actively engaged in seeing, naming and changing ourselves and the systems we are intricately a part of.

We were also born good, inherently good, brave; with dignity and love. We can do this painful work with open hearts and strong backs. This is liberation work even if it’s hard and painful. May we build our capacity to hold pain and discomfort in order to take radical responsibility for the unconscious/conscious hate dwelling in us/in our brothers and sisters.

This I believe is why we do the work, white folk’s work of awakening to our whiteness and embodying radical responsibility because the nurses in the hospital, in Joyce’s room are our responsibility! How do we find the courage and the strength to disrupt racial conditioning and biases that live in all of us. None of us are free until all of us are free!

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