by The Land Connection Staff
Here are some musings on life in isolation as we continue to persevere that best we can while mostly working from home.
For an entire hour and a half I have typed, deleted, and retyped a “snapshot of my week”. I love sharing relatable, silly stories of my family of 6 (9 if you count our furry members), but this week I am not able to do that. THIS WEEK has been emotional, difficult, saddening, and then hopeful. This week my family and I marched alongside others that believe in racial equality. This week my family had tough conversations and talked through possible outcomes. This week my family mourned another black man that unjustly lost his life to police brutality. This week as I watched my black husband be a father and leader I was overcome with gratitude that we still have him. This week I stood with the black community and wept, expressed outrage, and fought against the unjust systems that hold us in a cycle that desperately needs to be remedied. This week I was amazed by the support of communities of all colors that came together in unity and lifted up the voices that need it most. This week, after all of the hard things, we finally have hope for real systemic change. My snapshot is difficult to look at, but important to see because it is only possible to harbor real change when we CHOOSE to face these issues with intention and endurance.
I can’t decide if my stay at home narrative is a pep talk for me, the new team, or the partners that live with us. Working from home is an adjustment and this week I am challenging myself to think about those who live with us and how they have adapted. There is no doubt the day to day pandemic worry is putting strain on all relationships and living situations. I found a list called the “4 C’s” that resounded in me about the relationships and the choices we make to validate those that support us. My husband, Jim, is wonderful at leaving hand-written notes on post-it notes. I have been more engaged with responding to those notes and appreciate his ability to adapt and attempt to encourage me and of course, we both need to remember to respect our routines and personal space. It is truly important to have grace for each other as we continually adapt. (The 4 C’s: Commit, Connect, Communicate and Care)
How can we as a nation continue to allow the senseless killing of our black and brown neighbors at the hands of those who are meant to serve and protect us? We cannot. I know that this is difficult and uncomfortable for our polite Midwestern sensibilities, but white silence in service to politeness is complicity.
I am white. I was raised in Downs, IL, when the population sign said 500 and there was almost no non-white person around. I saw rebel flags on my walk to school and laughed at racist jokes told in the back of the classroom. I have been working hard to recognize, reflect on, and rectify the racist and hateful language and behavior that is somehow acceptable in many white communities and that I can see in my own actions. This is not enough. I know that I must do so much more.
If you are also white and trying to figure out how to stand up for racial justice, visit whiteaccomplices.org. And, if you have thoughts or suggestions for how The Land Connection can better integrate racial justice into our Farmer Training work, please feel welcome to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past week has been difficult and emotional and I have spent my time listening and in self-reflection. It is unacceptable that so many black people are killed in senseless acts of violence by the exact individuals that are supposed to be protecting our communities. As a white person, I will never understand what it feels like to be scared to leave my house or go for a run or wander a convenience store or any number of other acts that I get the privilege to do without fear each and every day of my life. Both personally and professionally, I commit to listen and continue to educate myself on systemic racism and how I can actively work to be anti-racist; I commit to prioritizing humanity; I commit to support black-owned businesses and causes; and I commit to keep going no matter how uncomfortable conversations and actions become.
I know that even as I commit to doing better personally and at The Land Connection, there is still more that I can do. If you have feedback, critiques, or want to engage in our equity work, please email me, email@example.com.
When staring into the abyss, nothing stares back. You feel alone; powerless. The growing sense of impotence within you is what it feeds off of and what draws you towards its depths. The darkness can be all-consuming.
That imagery has been plaguing me for the last couple of weeks. I have been wrestling with my role in all of this as society seems to stand on a precipice, weighed down by its history. What can I do to help the maligned and oppressed black communities around me? What lasting impact can I have? What use or skills can I bring to the table in the battle for equity and sovereignty?
I don’t know the answers yet, but I’m working on it. I’m always here…firstname.lastname@example.org