You know, in every field I've worked in, from research, to education, to environmental activism, to editing, and small business ownership, I have faced a continual low-level racism. I have seen very Asian or darker skinned women in leadership roles or those of authority.
I have been rejected and seen my own parents rejected from bonuses, raises, and promotions. I once spent an entire month putting together lesson plans for an advanced Biology class only to be pushed aside by the football coach/black teacher with 1 more year seniority, to claim these classes and for me to be sent packing to work with the 'stupid' kids of low economic background and many learning and other disabilities, and low English proficiency. While that gave me an opportunity to really do good work with marginalized students and give them the tools to rise above their programming, it was demoralizing and no one, not one member of staff stood beside me. I was criticized for openly crying. Showing for ONCE, that I'm not a 'strong' woman.
In fact, my own brother told me I only got the job as a teacher, not because of my passion, education and talent, but because of the color of my skin and the box ticking exercise for diversity by the school district. What a slap in the face! As a veteran in the classroom, 8 years at various levels, and years of tutoring and helping out fellow classmates, that was such a vicious attack. Where can I run, when those come from the colleagues at work and within my own family?
Did I not deserve a chance? Or just because I'm darker skinned, and the daughter of immigrants, I should be denied? Or because I'm a woman, I should be in a less than position?
Yet instead of complaining, I took to teaching my marginalized and ignored students and treated them with RESPECT. I listened. I made interesting lessons. I got them to realize their power. I got them to speak up, to teach, to tap into their own genius. They, for the first time, had a teacher telling them they were not stupid, but in fact, they lived in an unfair system. That I cared about them. That they could succeed.
No matter what field I have gone into, that passion of mine, for integrity and equality and kindness has remained. I try, to remain optimistic, yet seek truth. I have courageously got out of bed and faced the world, where I am not seen as a whole person. In a world, where minorities are considered less than, 'other', and a person to be ignored and attacked.
I have even, like many minorities and marginalized, faced that mistreatment even within the safe spaces, or within the communities of color or ethnicities.
Even, or especially, in the world of personal development and small business ownership, I am marginalized, silenced, ignored, looked over and talked over routinely. When I ask, if it's because of race, I am denied or ignored.
I have watched my husband being attacked and ignored because of his disability, even by his so-called family and colleagues.
I have watched close friends (you know who you are) face ridicule because of health concerns and conditions at their work place and even ignored and denied by healthcare workers.
I have seen my gay friends undergoing a constant barrage of attacks and microaggressions to the point they feel unsafe and unloved.
I have seen women, treated as unfairly, even in their own homes.
I have seen kids undergoing severe abuse, neglect and manipulation by those meant to protect them.
I have seen the poor and disadvantaged barely keeping it together, wondering where they will get money to continue.
I have seen white women, holding minority women and transwomen at a distance while further their own causes. It frankly makes me sick. Where's the solidarity?
THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE! I have had enough and I'm doing something about it.
When we don't speak of this, we create shame and silence and secrets. When we shine a light on these areas, we have a chance to recover ourselves, stand in our power, release the shame and rewrite our scripts and our lives. When we have these discussions that are difficult, it brings us together not further apart.
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