Newsletter Excerpt

Excerpted from Newsletter 6.1.20
I wanted to be black, but now my whiteness (and yours!) is needed to help . . .

Growing up in an all white, upscale suburb in Columbus, OH there was one black family in our high school. Their last name was White. David and Amos White were the best dancers at our school. I wanted to be just like them. I would invite David over to my house after dances, begging him to teach me his moves.  Later at The University of Michigan I studied West African Dance where I was harshly critiqued by my Congolese Master Teacher. After making me cry, he later told me that the reason for his ruthless discipline was because I was the best student in class and he wanted to make me better. He would not however allow me to perform in his troupe, because I was white.  For the longest time I desperately wanted to be a black, gay, male dancer. They were the buffest, fiercest, most rhythmically superior flowers on the floor during my club-going nights; their bodies pumped, glistening, and boundless in the beat. 

I am now married for fourteen years to an African American man and we have two sons ages twelve and thirteen. My husband has been inflamed over racism for as long as I’ve known him, having suffered micro-aggressions his entire life. He’s quit many high-paying corporate jobs due to discrimination and ignorance. They’ve all begged him back. Auspiciously – due to the blatant racist act of having been overlooked once again for a much-deserved promotion and raise – which were instead given to white people less qualified (who were so ashamed they called to apologize for having received what was rightly his) – he quit his last prestigious position with a multi-national Fortune Global 500 company one month before the pandemic hit. They’ve begged him back. He’ll never return. 

Even though he’s told me for years that people need to be out in the streets protesting the atrocious mental illness of racism that infects white people in the US, even though I’ve seen white women at Whole Foods grab their purse when he approaches – unaware that he probably pays more in income tax annually than they earn in a year – I haven’t believed him, until now . . .

One week ago today George Floyd was mercilessly murdered by a white police officer in broad daylight, last heard pleading for his mother as he was slowly asphyxiated. Subsequently our nation has finally awoken to the sleeping giant of racism that systematically infects every one of our hearts, minds, and institutions, robbing us all of love and freedom.

 An opportunity for healing is erupting.People of color need us as white people to stand with them right now.

Please ask yourself how you can help: what can you do right now in service to justice, reparations and the healing of our very sick country? We are all being called upon right now to help in whatever ways we specifically can.

Please utilize your whiteness in service to liberation for all 

What is done to one is done to all. Please do what you can right now to help end the tyranny of racism. We are needed now more than ever to wake up & help. How? By becoming conscious of what’s unconscious that is causing the chaos. Our Tribe will continue working together to awaken and dance our way with & through this.

Because racism hurts and kills people of color 24/7, SKD is doing its part to promote racial justice by devoting our book study to read White Fragility – Why It’s so hard for White People to talk about racism by Dr. Robin Di Angelo. 

Time for us to be uncomfortable my fellow white liberals