May 31 2020

Don’t Burn Down Your Own House

Dave Mayer pointed me at this video today. After struggling with how I was feeling all morning, during my run, and while I read the Sunday New York Times, this finally helped me put a framework around my feelings.

I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m appalled. I’m scared. I’m upset. And this is completely independent (and on top of) of all the challenges around the Covid crisis.

Seth wrote a great post on Wednesday titled Uncertainty.

Uncertainty provokes a kind of “fight or flight” response in the human brain. As we try to escape the idea of uncertainty, we analyze a situation in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. In other words, we worry in order to eliminate uncertainty and reassure ourselves. Frequent worry can lead to anxiety or depression and some individuals are more susceptible to it than others. 

The amount of uncertainty, on all dimensions of our lives in America right now, are at an extreme high. And, then, on top of that, another white cop murders another black man, and our president once against behaves in a way that divides rather than unites.

I woke up to Gotham Gal’s post This Picture Says It All.

I’m lucky – I’m a middle-aged white guy with lots of resources. I’m stretched on a lot of dimensions on ways I’m trying to be helpful to others, but systemic racism is another category that I can’t, and don’t want to, be passive engaged with anymore.

As with my efforts on eliminating sexism and gender discrimination, I realize that I need to learn and participate as an advocate, rather than show up as “hi, I’m a white guy here to solve the problem.” So, I’m starting right now to understand systemic racism in America better and try to get involved in a constructive way to help eliminate it.

The punchline to Joanne Wilson’s post is “When this pandemic is over, we need to find a new path to leadership and a country that cares about all of us. We are a democracy, not a regime.”

I only have one minor modification – we can’t wait for the pandemic to be over.