White Anti-Racism Requires Discomfort

Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about race, but during this time of great momentum in the wake of the most recent round of Black deaths — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks — I have struggled to put pen to paper.

I’m a pragmatist, but I have a streak of optimistic empathy for people that is near militant. For years, I’ve been tossing out anti-racist life lines to white audiences with the conviction that one day they’ll take the line, one of these times they’ll see. They’ll get it; we just have to keep…

Practical Tips from a Work-From-Home Mom

I have worked from home for about six years now, beginning in the summer between my daughter’s first and second grade years. So, when I made the transition to working from home, not only did I have no idea what I was doing or how to find my new normal, school was out.

As more organizations and school systems move quickly to remote working and learning, my experiences — and lessons learned along the way — seem particularly relevant to pass along to my fellow parents.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no right answer…

Understanding the symptoms and implications of a diabetes diagnosis

March 19. It was a Tuesday.

I can’t decide if this date will be emblazoned in my memory or if it will blur into the background of time. I can’t decide if I should mark it, commemorate it, celebrate the day she began to get better, or if doing so falsely creates a Before and an After that only exists in our minds and that doesn’t seem particularly useful.

I do know that before we left the parking lot at the pediatrician’s office that day to drive to the hospital, still weepy, my daughter asked, “What is today?”

I didn’t…

Reconciling the complicated tendrils of my grandfather’s identity

My grandfather’s 92nd birthday was dissonant. It felt routine but had, also, a nagging urgency.

If it had been a song, the bass line would have a subtle, resonant pulse, like something ancient tugging you into its rhythm. But its melody mundane.

Mundane in a comforting sort of way — the way a pop song from your high school years is pleasant if only for its unsurprising familiarity. And the carefree feeling of when the simplicity of that was always enough.

There were no big surprises, no elaborate planning effort. It was simply a group of proximal people doing their…

Why the notion of ‘reverse’ racism is nonsense

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

“But why can black people say that Black Lives Matter? Isn’t that racist? I mean, if I were to say that White Lives Matter, I would definitely be called racist. Why is that? Isn’t that reverse racism?”

The short answer? No.

I was wearing a Black Lives Matter bracelet and an elderly man said to me, “Brown, yellow, black, white, red, green, or purple! They all matter.” I responded politely, “No one is saying that they don’t.”

See, affirming that Black Lives Matter is not the same as saying White Lives Don’t Matter or that Black Lives Are The Only…

Sincere Advice, Not Sarcasm

Photo by Chip Somodevilla via The Denver Channel

Freedom belongs to each of us. It seems like it ought to be self-evident, but black Americans are Americans, so an attack on Black America is an attack on America.

A racially motivated act of domestic terrorism is an act of terrorism that undercuts our collective civil rights. Because civil rights aren’t just for minority groups; civil rights are for us all. That’s what makes them rights.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not about race.

For example, just because an attack on Black America is an attack on America does not diminish the fact that it was an attack on…

Things to remember to stay productive and sane

The day of my first business anniversary passed quietly without any fanfare or gala or glossy newsletter to mark it, just a standard day’s worth of work to do. But I have been reflecting a bit about what I’ve learned.

Here are some of the lessons that were important in my first year of business, in no particular order:

Not all the seeds I plant will bloom.

Ideas aren’t enough. Sometimes, a great idea just isn’t right for this time or this context or for my skillset. Sometimes, an idea I thought was great isn’t really all that great. …

The hurt that has been caused in America under the banner of liberty can never be undone. There is nothing we can do to change or reverse the damage we’ve done, but doing nothing to repair the brokenness feels so empty and unacceptable. Reparations have been promised; reconciliation, too. And yet those promises lie on the cutting floor like a mosaic of pain, along with all the broken ladder rungs of opportunity, broken families, and broken hopes strewn together by historic indignities and evolving policies designed to oppress and imprison.

How do we recover?

“Sorry” could never be enough. “That…

There are no laws or rules that constrain our government into being a fail-safe democracy. Each of us — from citizens to lawmakers, judges to presidents — must actively choose to adhere to democratic norms and values. Each of us must hold the freedoms of others in as high a regard as we do our own.

We must each protect the rights of others to say things we consider wrong, practice a religion we think strange, or choose a lifestyle we don’t understand or even disagree with.

We must each reject oppression, even when it doesn’t affect us. (Even when…

Brittany A. Stone

Still tinkering. Linguist & pop culture enthusiast seeking to empower democracy and overcome “impossible.” Charlottean. Green & Gold 49er.

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