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In my 44 years of existence, I've said and done racist, sexist, ageist things. I expose that to say, current events, regarding the Me Too movement, protests against police brutality and racial inequality, allow us to be better human beings.
I'm Latino. My parents are from the Dominican Republic. I was born and raised in New York City(Washington Heights and the South Bronx). I currently live in North Jersey. Being bred in the hood, still living there, stories of savagery by law enforcement and racism are not uncommon. In 1992 my family and I lived through riots, looting, and the burning of businesses over a police shooting. Being randomly stopped and frisked by officers during my youth wasn't a surprise.
I've been mugged, robbed, jumped, by black and Hispanic folks growing up in these neighborhoods. In contrast, I've also received love, empathy, lifelong friendships from the same.
When friends protested after the passing of George Floyd, I did not join in. I even stayed off social media. Daily news upsets me. It's not something I consume regularly. When hearing the story of this man's cruel death, I was indifferent. 'More of the same,' I thought.
I wanted to escape the headlines by entertaining myself with my favorite podcasts on video gaming and pro wrestling. But they too were talking about these issues at length. I listened intently as the hosts of these shows interviewed friends and colleagues who've dealt with sexism and bigotry. My self-reflection began as I started to realize the tipping point at which society had arrived.
I have family and peers that may occasionally look to me for guidance. I want to be the example I wish to see in the world. A man who empathizes and loves others as they are. Who sheds old, learned ignorance. Who supports black entrepreneurs and businesses that promote my interests with my dollars.
I've committed to educating myself on the topics of racism and sexism with books I intend to read. Books such as White Fragility, How to be Antiracist, Invisible Women, Inferior and more.
With all the outcry and pain happening in the world today, I have a positive outlook. These historic times we are living are tough, but I think it will make us better as we march into the future.
Books on sexism I intend to read(affiliate links):
Inferior by Angela Siani https://amzn.to/39yC7Ji
Invisible Women by Caroline Perez https://amzn.to/3049Tmx
Marie Forleo's podcast on education about racism
Thoughts? Comments? Do so on below.
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