Letter from Publisher - July 2020Jul 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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