We did it. We made it. 2020 is behind us. Sort of....
2020 got a bad rap for being itself. But the truth is 2020 didn't create new inequities that we didn't know how to deal with. 2020 amplified the inequities we had been ignoring and misnaming, until it got up in our faces and screamed:
In typical universe fashion, the world reminded us last week that the racism and white supremacy that were shouting at us did not go away simply because the ball dropped in Time Square. Terrorists were given permission to siege the US Capitol building because they were white supremacists. I somehow managed to be both genuinely shooketh and unsurprised. Well...
It's scary to think about the way last Wednesday served as a loud ass dog whistle for racism and white supremacy. Whose ears did it land on? What will it provoke? What is this teaching white people about what they are allowed to do? And what about the fact that 55% of white women voted for Trump (up from 2016!)? White women also make up almost 80% of all teachers. The overlap is serious. How many of our Black babies are being taught by people who felt seen and represented by last week's display of disrespect, violence, and terrorism? When these babies make mistakes as they learn, will their teachers see it as feedback on their teaching practices? Or are they more likely to use that data as proof that these kids 'can't handle it' and make everything easier so they can feel 'successful'?
Heavy questions, with heavy thoughts. Yes, it is another day as Black queer womxn in this country. And I know it's another day of heavy questions, with heavy thoughts for you, too. So please, protect your energy.
Protect. Your. Energy.
Say no to the (unpaid) emotional labor it takes to educate white people about themselves. They have google.
Say yes to reclaiming your time for tasks related to your job description. Which leads to more time for yourself, your loved ones, your sanity.
Say no to performative grief, anger, fear, anything. You do not have to cater to the willful amnesia that dominates this country and seeps into your everyday life. Especially when the most forgetful and shocked people also seem to be the ones that are allergic to the sound of your voice when you do speak up about the inequities that are in their locus of control. Just do it. Say no.
Say yes to living your life, processing however you need to process, and giving yourself permission to disconnect. It can be with RHOA. Or 90 Day Fiancé. Or anything by Octavia Butler. Or Blue Apron. Or takeout. Or that one thing you've been meaning to do for no other reason than you want it. Because your desires are enough. Your needs are enough. Neither require explanation or approval from anyone other than you!
Black children don't need us to be burned out, tired, run down, or mentally depleted. When we get like that we leave because the rainbow was not enuf. That's not what Black children need from us.
Black children need people like you and people like me to be well so that we can stay to slay another day. Cause we got this. And when we own, take, and create our seat at the table things change. And the only way to stay engaged in the work of dismantling and reconstructing an education system capable of producing equitable outcomes for Black children is to....
Protect. Your. Energy.
You're gonna need some boundaries.
You might have some hard conversations.
"No" will have to become a complete sentence.
And. The world will keep spinning. Except now, you will have peace and the power to carve sanity into your life. Which is what Black children need- adults who see and believe their ordinary brilliance to who have the capacity to show up and take action that does create access for them. Because if what happened at the US Capitol made you dread zoom meetings last week so much that you wanted to hide under your covers or dream up of an illness and call out sick (I've been there, too.), I promise you, you are not in a space that allows you to thrive and create the equity dreamed of when you chose education.
So go ahead and do it. Protect. Your. Energy. Think of one thing you can do tomorrow morning to protect your energy. Visualize it. Say it out loud. Make it real and call a friend, text a work bae, or declare it to the world and drop a comment here. Let them know what you plan on doing so they can ask you about it at the end of the day.
Stop carrying the weight of it all and protect your energy!