To say the nation has lost its moral compass is inaccurate. It implies that at one time we operated under principles of morality, but somehow just misplaced that darn compass and started down the wrong track. And, since a compass is fairly worthless without a map, it also implies that we had a fairly good map of the moral landscape in the first place.
No, with the technology we have available today, it’s about time we upgraded to a moral GPS. The kind that talks to you in your head and says,
“That Black man in the elevator is not going to steal your purse.”
“All Asians don’t look alike and you shouldn’t ask her where she’s from just because you can’t tell the difference.”
“This land where your house is doesn’t really belong to you.”
“A life taken does not give a life back”
You know, stuff like that. In the voice of Morgan Freeman.
“Is your comfort more important than someone else’s pain?” -Author Unknown
I went to a training on Generational Diversity recently. It was interesting, but I realized after the 3 hours session that there was not a single point at which I’d had to look at myself or the world in a new way that made me uncomfortable. That’s my measure of whether or not deep change work is happening. Simply talking about differences in cultural styles will not change institutionalized privilege.Read More
Another norm for engaging in courageous conversations and anti-racist activism is No Fixing. I’ve found this easiest to explain with a metaphorical story.
A few months ago I was riding my bike home from work when I was hit by a car. I was going straight and I saw the driver at an upcoming intersection look left, directly past me, then pull out into the intersection to make a right hand turn. Luckily she was moving slowly, as I was right in front of her (in the bike lane, btw) when she drove into the intersection. She knocked me over, causing a bit of damage to the bike, but mostly just scaring both of us.Read More
I wrote and presented the following at an Episcopal Women’s Gathering recently:
I’m going to give a brief overview of our approach to anti-racism work by explaining the norms we operate under. One of the first steps in dismantling racism is self-awareness. For me, as a White person, this means the on-going process of interrogating the dominant cultural norms I’ve taken for granted as “just the way people are” or “just how things are done”. In contrast, the norms of People of Color are often referred to as “cultural”. In redefining norms, we seek to make conversations and actions more explicitly equitable. The following are adapted from the work of Glenn Singleton’s Courageous Conversations.Read More