Conversations With Racists Like Me – Indoctrination

Recently, our local paper had an article detailing a letter some concerned community members sent to the school district. They don’t like a “Black Lives Matter” banner hanging on the tennis court in front of the high school. Under the words “Black Lives Matter,” the banner reads, “Vision: Every student is a lifelong learner who…

Conversations With Racists Like Me – Teaching Our Children

If I could go back in time, as a preschool teacher, in addition to talking about kindness, I would also talk about advantages. What they look like, what kinds there are and how we can use them to be helpers. In addition to talking about listening, I would also talk about and notice differences. We would talk about where ideas come from and how to know if an idea is worth keeping. I would spend less time reading books about naughty cats or curious dogs and more time reading books about children and families which broaden our window into the world

Conversations With Racists Like Me – Beginnings

“Conversations with Racists Like Me,” is a writing idea I have been actively trying to ignore for nearly four years.  The thought creeps into my brain when my guard is down in the wee hours of the night.  It whispers when my anxious busyness cannot distract me.  Much energy has been spent in avoidance. At…

Bridge

TERESA’S THOUGHTS: Instead of sharing about the book writing process, I want to share why I am writing this book at all.  A book which is an autopsy of my own racism.  Where I learned it.  How I stayed blind to it.  And where I might go from here. This dissection is painful and messy…

Schedules and Social Distancing

TERESA’S THOUGHTS:   I live in Washington state which apparently is the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States.  I have gone from believing I could carry on life as usual, to hunkering down at home for the foreseeable future. The common threat of this virus makes our world seems smaller and more intimate…

Writing With Others

TERESA’S THOUGHTS:   On Monday I attended a writing group which meets in a conference room at our local library. This is not a critique group where writers share their work in progress.  Instead, this group meets to write. Most bring laptops we plug into a shared outlet at the center of the room. A few…

Steps

 TERESA’S THOUGHTS:   Writing is a series of steps. The first step is getting the idea from my brain onto my laptop. My brain can’t be too tired or distracted. Often my fingers are unable to type fast enough for the floodgate of words spilling out. It feels like my brain is vomiting. My only goal…

Annie

TERESA’S THOUGHTS:    Annie is the dog I thought I would never have. It seemed disloyal to love again after losing my sweet boy, Chocolate.  Time softened my heartache and eventually Annie and I found our way to each other. Annie is not a perfect dog but she is perfectly mine and I am perfectly…

The Gift of Time

TERESA’S THOUGHTS: After years of feeling the pull to write more, I have finally rearranged my life in such a way to devote more hours to writing. This rearranging involved downsizing and rebelling against consumerism which demands I spend money to keep up and impress others. Oprah Winfrey starts her podcast, “Super Soul Conversations,” with…

Microaggressions at the Market

Some may say, “Don’t worry about it. You were merely being friendly.” But the truth is I felt the need to protect him with my whiteness. It is uncomfortable to accept the harm my whiteness has done. I want to shirk my guilt by saying I shouldn’t be blamed for something I didn’t ask for. I mean really the tentacles of systemic racism were here long before I was born. I didn’t ask for the entitlements I’ve benefited from and I certainly haven’t been racist. Have I?

My White Skin

  Each day I walk around in white skin enjoying the safety and privilege that entails. I did nothing to earn this, but I have benefited from it from the moment I was born. Those I love the deepest, my husband and daughters, are the most beautiful of black.   One day my grandchildren will…

Waiting for the Grown Ups

I rarely question the value of teaching.  It’s something I have devoted my life to.  Teaching hasn’t made me rich, because our society values money over kindness and power over people.  I know this.  I had merely forgotten.  I guess I should be thankful I have been reminded. If you are happy with this past…