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Letter from Publisher - July 2020

Jul 01, 2020 04:02PM ● By Dave Korba

I see my reflection in the bathroom mirror every morning, and on some days I practice a mirror-work exercise of looking into my eyes and making self-affirming statements out loud as a way to reframe my self-doubt and boost my sense of confidence.

I was born, grew up and live today in a predominantly white culture. For a long time, I’ve denied any racial and cultural bias by believing that I am not a racist. I’ve avoided difficult discussions about race because the topic, and confrontation in general, makes me uncomfortable. I’ve briefly considered select parts of what has happened throughout history and determined that the past is the past and I can’t change it. I wasn’t around hundreds of years ago, so I’m not personally responsible to fix things now.

Besides, I’ve struggled through a lot of my own life—physically, emotionally and financially. I’ve learned to focus on working hard, doing the right thing, following the rules and being the best person I can be while minding my own business and avoiding discussions about race, religion and politics.

Today I looked in the mirror and asked myself what my life would be like if my reflection was that of a Black man. Would I really see and experience racial and cultural bias in a predominantly white culture? Would I consider the possibility that ‘unconscious’ racial bias does not make white people ‘real’ racists? Would I choose silence over uncomfortable conversations? Would those conversations be worth the risk, with such a high likelihood that people won’t change their beliefs anyway?

I mean, what would be the point? Would I take the time to learn about and understand the motivations for the decisions made and actions taken throughout early and recent American history that were based on oppression, greed, prejudice, hatred and bigotry that have led to systemic injustice today, against people who have a dark skin tone like me? Would I participate in efforts to change the institutionalized systems that continue to perpetuate inequality?

As I stare into the mirror, the images of two separate selves blend together and the questions remain for each of us, regardless of skin color. My self-reflection deepens. Many resources are available, and uncomfortable conversations are forthcoming with lots of listening as I seek to come to terms with how my blind spots and silence are complicit in perpetuating racism.

As we continue to educate and inform our readers about natural health and wellness, we pledge to see and serve everyone as equal and worthy on the journey to feeling good, living simply and laughing more.