I live in Minneapolis Minnesota. In the last two months, my hometown became the epicenter of international attention on the Black Lives Matter movement. When I say this movement hit close to home, I mean literally. My friend, his wife and two sons went to bed to the smell of tear gas in their apartment. Our community has been rocked with protests. Been showered with random acts of kindness. 111 people shot and 7 people murdered since May 25. Beautiful murals painted. A mixture of kindness and outrage!
Our city is boiling. Moving.
Fed up with my own apathy, I reached out to 5 friends. People of Color. Black.
I asked them what we can do as allies to fight for racial equality and justice.
Their answers were respectful and direct. One said she considered not responding to me just so I could feel better about myself. Pause.
Yes, that truth hurt.
In one form or another, each of them expressed the need for action. One of my friends sent a whole list of reference materials of what it means to be a White Ally.
So what is an Ally?
First, I don't think I get to call myself an Ally. I have to earn it.
By creating my own ground swell movement: Patrick Mosher's Black Lives Matter Movement
Instead of staring at a huge seemingly unsolvable problem, I'm making my BLM movement personal. I will continue to engage my friends, family and community about what we can do to fight for racial equality and justice.
One friend cashed in all her chips on our friendship and asked me to take one simple step.
"About what?" I asked.
"That's up to you. Just speak up."
"Your silence about what you know is wrong is what's killing me."
Oh, my dear friend. Let me stop killing you with my silence!
She also gave me a warning! A serious warning that stopped me in my tracks.
"Prepare for Sustained Discomfort"
My journey begins. One step leads to another. I will make mis-steps. I'm terrified of inadvertently offending people along the way due to my unconscious biases.
Silence does not serve. Silence does not solve.
I hope and pray my friends stick with me as I begin my journey of Sustained Discomfort. I hope they know I will learn and adjust along the way.
AND I will continue to take steps of healing.
I'm making three resolutions in my Patrick Mosher's Black Lives Matter Movement:
I thank my friends for turning up the heat. They engaged in loving ways. Now it is my turn to join them on this walk of Sustained Discomfort in the fight for racial equality and justice.
This Wisdom 4 Humanity blog post is one step towards earning being called, Ally. My friends gave me over 95 White Ally reference materials to review! Lots of conversations to engage. Lots of learning to do.
When climbing any mountain, I look up to the top. Take a deep breath. Then look down to my first step.
Please join me on this journey. Call a few people. Read some articles. Watch some videos. Take one step.
Emmanuel Acho has an inspiring Instagram series called Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. https://www.instagram.com/emmanuelacho/ You are just one click away from joining the movement!
A movement is about MOVEMENT.
George Floyd was immobilized. And yet his life and 8 minutes of suffering moved our world!
What would happen if every person on the planet took just one step to eradicate Racial Inequality?
Yea, I dream big.