True Justice & Liberty For All
As we celebrated our country’s 244th birthday this last week, I faced a bit of a situation with the American flag in this picture. It was given to me by my boyfriend’s mom with the intention of it being a thoughtful gift to decorate for the holiday. However, as soon as she handed it to me I was overwhelmed with anxiety. I didn’t want to disappoint her by not hanging it up, but I also felt very uncomfortable putting it on display with all the sadness that is happening in our country.
I recognize that I am an absolute infant in my understanding of racism, oppression, and injustice as I’ve grown up with white privilege...blind to how it has provided me opportunities that blacks are not afforded.
I cannot possibly fathom the deep pain and suffering black Americans have faced for so long. But I CAN have empathy and I CAN choose to educate myself. I will never be able to walk in the shoes of a black woman, man, or child and that is even more the reason why I’m making it a priority to learn by listening. Below I’ve listed some of the resources I’ve been engaging with and wanted to share with you. The more all of us can educate ourselves, the more steps we take to reaching our country's real potential.
What I’m Reading:
How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
Food Fix by Mark Hyman (an interesting one to include on this list, but it is shocking how much we oppress minorities with our US food system)
What I’m Watching:
How We Can Win by Kimberly Jones
Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea. by Chelsea Handler
What I’m Listening To:
The History and Meaning of Juneteenth - The Daily Podcast
Why They Are Protesting - The Daily Podcast
I humbly admit I have a LONG way to grow in this arena. I’m sure some of you are thinking “I can’t believe she is writing this,” but my heart tells me being silent or looking away is justifying my white privilege and that will do nothing but more harm. The more we can lean in, educate ourselves, listen, talk about it, have more compassion...the more we can begin to create a society that a person of any color would want to be born into.
Because only when black lives matter as much as white, can we wave our flag proudly and truly stand for liberty and justice for all.
So what did I do about the flag situation? I decided to use it as a positive motivator for change. I hung it up, took a photo with it, and blasted the powerful caption below on all my social media channels.
I’m looking at you America 🇺🇸
For me today is not a celebration about who we are but a celebration about who we can become.
I take the pledge to stand up for those who are marginalized and to educate myself on ways to help fix the problems that have been induced by white privilege.
Who’s with me?
About The Author:
Ally Wettengel is the owner of The Spirit Bird Life, a yoga & life coaching business located in Encinitas, California. Prior to this Ally worked in marketing & sales across the CPG industry for Kashi, Kelloggs, Kimberly-Clark, & 3M.