“By searching for our roots we come closer together as a human family.” -Orrin Hatch
Family History is a gift that connects us. Not only to our ancestors but to our living family and ALL people – our brothers and sisters in our human family.
Today I am sharing some thoughts and resources in my stories on biases, racism and how I am working to confront my own shortcomings to do better and be better. I know the word ‘racism’ is scary and typically accompanies a lot of negative emotion – it is not something that is easy for me to talk about. I feel really ill-equipped to have these conversations, but we all need to start somewhere and the conversations need to be had. So here I am sharing what I am learning and how I am trying to be better. I hope you’ll hear me out and share your thoughts as well.
Whether we realize it or not, we all have biases and we have all been socialized in a society that has a negative social construct when it comes to differences. While it is not our fault that we were raised in this type of world, we do have the responsibility to take ownership of our thoughts and actions, notice where we can improve and humbly make efforts to do so.
I have stories from my family history in which my ancestors treated indigenous people wrongly. These stories make me sad, angry and uncomfortable. But I feel I have the responsibility and the opportunity to use these stories to be better. I get to be the new ancestor and change my family story when it comes to race and make sure I am increasing my racial literacy, stand firmly as anti-racist and that I am teaching my children those things as well. It’s hard and uncomfortable work, but I know it is needed and worth it to grow.
Here are some of the resources I have found helpful in my journey of confronting my own biases and increasing my racial literacy. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but is a great starting point for increasing awareness and gaining perspective and tools to have these conversations with our peers and our children.