A Note on Why I Need You to Show Up

By Allison Hudson

I am hurting and my heart is broken. My emotions range from sadness to outrage. I have not been able to escape the hurt, not just this past week but, for a long time. I worry about my family and friends who are also hurting and have been hurting for a long time. I worry for our children and what to tell them about navigating a world that doesn’t value them. I’ve been watching Black people be killed and hurt for a long time.

I am angry that these issues have been going on my entire life and some White Americans have only just begun to open their eyes, only to just go back to sleep once they’ve tired of my nightmare. I can’t go back to sleep. I can’t switch on the White American dream because it causes pain for so many.

I am scared. Scared to take a walk, scared to drive home from work and scared to leave my home at times. I’m scared to watch, read and hear what is going to be said next. Will those things hurt too?

I, and so many others, already carry the emotional burden of racism. This unawareness and cultural incompetence is unacceptable to me. I know that many White Americans are sad, angry and outraged too. When you educate yourself about racism, talk to your children about racism, and believe us when we tell you how we feel, you can be of real help to us. When you say “I didn’t mean to,” “that wasn’t my intention,” or “I’m a good person,” that is hurtful and only adds to our pain.

To my Black and Brown colleagues, we know this time feels different. We know there is no excuse for people to say that racism doesn’t exist. Today hurts more than it ever has, but  we will persevere just like we always have.

Those that have come before us, and those that we have lost, are guiding us every step of the way.