While the numbers reported in Part 1 of the survey results provided some understanding of the Issues of Racism, today, we examine some of the voluntary statements from our respondents.
On the question “Which statement best fits your current thinking on racism?” many offered additional comments, which give depth to better understanding how many of us are thinking and an opportunity to reflect on what others think. Here are a few unedited comments.
“It appears Covid -19 has caused white Americans to stay in place long enough to see what has been happening for decades. The history of America needs to be accurately taught and portrayed in the news/media.”
“Racism isn’t new. It’s just being filmed.”
“As a woman of color, I am well aware of racial issues. However, I have begun reading White Fragility and am now learning about how white people are socialized. This new information has opened my eyes to a different perspective.”
“Through a book I’m reading, I’m learning about the subtle ways in which most white people actually enjoy white privilege more than they even realize.”
“My parents were both Holocaust Survivors and did slave labor for the Nazis. I have always believed in giving back, am Jewish, and a ten year Rotarian. A lot of anti-Semitism is jumping on the back of anti-racism, and it is so wrong too.”
“Until governments (National, State, local) make a change, until we remove the hate citizen upon citizens, we cannot let this rest.”
“While aware of all of the issues facing us and supportive of the changes, I’ve become more consciously aware and even more vigilant of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions to support ending racial disparities and injustices.”
“My opinion has not changed since George Floyd was murdered. I think racism is as bad as I’ve always thought it to be, which is extreme, horrible, and systemic in our country.”
The next question was “Thinking of the last few months, what have you learned about your attitude regarding other races?” This question elicited some thought-provoking comments.
“I have not been aware enough of how badly some races have been treated. I find myself wanting to be more friendly to people who are different than me in appearance.”
“I need to think through the impact of things more closely.”
“That I’m not a racist and don’t like being pegged as one simply because I’m white.”
“I have learned that people around me say racist things, and I have ignored them in the past. I now find myself better equipped to speak up for POC as I learn and listen more.”
“I have learned that I cannot dismiss other people’s feelings. There are racists (not just about skin color, but gender identity, religion, you name it) out there — a lot of them — trying to figure out the best way to get them to listen and become more tolerant. It is a long road, but if we don’t try to do it now more than ever, it will revert back to what we are working to erase. We need this all to be remembered, taught in school, talked about with friends, family, the media. If we don’t it has a good chance of disappearing, and those that are marginalized in our community will continue to feel the hate and fear every day of their lives.”
“I have taken The Episcopal Church’s anti-racism training, Seeing the Face of God in Each Other, more than once. I’ve said I’m going to keep taking it until I get it. I can now say I’ve experienced white privilege and have my whole life. If anything has changed is my support for reparations has gotten stronger and my total support for a Truth and Reconciliation process in the USA so we can overcome the long shadows of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans.”
These comments most certainly demonstrate some of the feelings and self-awareness of this most critical issue. Helping each other learn, understand, and heal is something we all can do.
As a final part of this effort, we will post comments readers submit in an effort top continue the dialog. What can you add?
…that’s 30 for today.