It’s Time to Get Uncomfortable and Show Up for People of Color

It’s Time to Get Uncomfortable and Show Up for People of Color

Last month, I read an article by Tiphani Moorer, called, “Dear White People, Why now?

It made me uncomfortable. It made me realize that I am watching and sitting on the sidelines with what is socially unjust. Reducing people to hashtags and statistics. Using the language of “us” versus “them.” It distances me from the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I realize that it’s time to stand together in solidarity. It’s not a matter of using the rhetoric of “us versus them.” It’s “we.”

We see you. We support you. I see you. I support you. It’s time to be part of the solution. It’s time to show up for people of color. Let’s help end racism.

As Tiphani poses the question,

“Do you want to be a part of the problem or part of the solution? Because we are TIRED and YOU can help!”

It’s time to get uncomfortable

It’s time for us to stand up and get comfortable with the uncomfortable. As I sit here and write these words, I think about how my message will be received. I am uncomfortable. For me, one of the things that I’ve found myself experiencing the past several months is the desire to help, but being afraid to step in and offer that help.

It’s kind of like being in elementary school all over again and seeing kids fighting on the playground and watching from the distance. Knowing you have the power to stop it but being afraid of what others will think. Being a bystander.

To those who feel like they’ve been marginalized, I’m here for you. I want to support you. I’m holding myself accountable to taking action that will help end racism and violence against people of color.

Anyone else feeling uncomfortable reading these words right now? I’m scared to share these feelings and thoughts. But…I know if we don’t start talking about what scares us and makes us uncomfortable, there will be no change. Having open conversations and being vulnerable, is a place to start. We can be part of the solution and not the problem.

It’s time to show up for people of color.

Ways to Show Up for People of Color

From my research, I know that there are several things that we can do to support others, to help end racism, and end violence against people of color.

  • Vow to speak up and use my voice when I see someone saying something or doing something that harms others.
  • Advocate for and engage in discussions about race and privilege. My life has been impacted by white privilege. It feels dirty to say, white privilege, but it’s true. Because of the color of my skin, different opportunities have been afforded to me.
  • Teach and reinforce others who are bringing about change in the public arena.
  • Be proactive in our parenting approaches and model the inclusivity and diversity with our children.
  • Advocate for public policy that addresses these inequities that those have been marginalized.
  • Read books to our children about race and diversity. Here’s one of my go-to places for children’s books.
  • Choose to do one of the things listed here today to take a stand against racial injustice. 75 things white people can do for racial justice

This is the Start of the Conversation

By no means is this the end of the conversation, I hope, this is a step in the right direction.

To my fellow moms who are reading this right now, especially the white moms, I hope this makes you uncomfortable. I hope this stirred some sort of emotion in you. I hope that we can join together in our support of others.

To those who have experienced racism, thank you for being brave enough to voice your feelings and not be silenced.

I’m not standing off in the corner on the playground anymore. Even if it makes me feel scared and uncomfortable, I’m coming to stand with you and support you.

We see you. It’s time for us all to be part of the solution and show up.

Tiphani, thank you for asking this question.

Amy Patenaude
Amy is a Licensed School Psychologist and Parent Coach. As a Tampa native, Amy loves the sunshine and being outdoors. Amy works at a publishing company and sees families in her private practice. Amy married her college sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two children who are 5 and 2. A self-proclaimed bookworm, Amy loves to read research articles to better understand child development, the parent-child relationship, and how we can foster success in youth. Amy believes that ALL parents love their children. Amy’s goal is to be a cheerleader to all parents on their parenting journey. By making small changes with our parenting practices, we can have a big impact on our children. https://psyched2parent.com/

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