Having Coffee First Is My White Privilege, And I Know That

Yesterday, I was elbow deep in motherhood, home school, and my own personal work. I wasn’t just busy, but my heart was feeling wounded, my mind was overwhelmed and my spirit felt crushed. Roger was taking another job on top of his already busy full-time position. Medical bills are piling up and people keep calling to ask if perhaps we would like to pay them today. I worry about if the kids are happy and if I’m good enough to do all of this on my own…

I blogged about how it was a good Monday, though, didn’t I? And it was, considering.

When I had a a moment to peruse my phone, I noticed my husband had tweeted something that led me to believe yet another black man had been murdered by police.

I turned my phone off. I didn’t want to to read. I didn’t want to investigate and see what was happening.

There was too much. My own life had too much going on. The world was just this painful, heavy boulder that wanted to rest on my shoulders too, and I wasn’t having any of it.

My heart was already so overwhelmed and hurting and broken…

And I closed my eyes. I would wait until the next morning when I’d had some sleep.

This, friends, is privilege.

Though I might advocate and stand with person’s of color, people of non-Christian faith, and the LGBQT community, I know that I can stand and shout and fight for them—with them—on my own time. I have the privilege of sleeping first. Having coffee first. Finishing school with my kids first.
Is my life easy?

Hell no.

But it is still drenched in privilege compared to my disenfranchised counterparts.

This morning, I came out swinging and ready to stand with and defend my friends of color. Admittedly, I don’t even have very many friends of color to stand with, but I’m working on that. I don’t have many Muslim friends to fight for, but I am working on that, too. I don’t have many gay and lesbian friends or family, but that’s also something I am working on.

There are some important keys to becoming “woke” as a white person in America. I’m certainly not an expert, but these are the keys I discovered on my own journey and I will gladly let you borrow them:

1. Realize you’ve been asleep and open your damn eyes.
2. Understand that despite your own personal struggles, you still have privilege.
3.  Start having real life conversations with real life friends and family about these stories.
4. Use whatever meager platform you have to voice your outrage.
5. Take a knee. No, I’m not just talking about the anthem. I’m speaking about honoring the grieving and the wounded and oppressed. Take a knee for them. Then rise up, take their hand, and fight beside them.

Is it ever okay to turn off the phone and crawl under the blankets sometimes?

Yeah. Yeah, I think it is. Because if you go crazy and lose your mind and wreck your heart, you’re no good for anybody. Self care is important too. But understand that it’s a privilege you have and some people do not. I’m not telling you to feel guilty about it, I am just asking that you recognize it.

In the meantime, tease out that lion’s mane. It’s time to jump into the fray. 

*image is from eatdrinkbetter.com*


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