“I can’t believe I’m still . . . “

[Jean Lafitte National Park, Lafitte, Louisiana]

That arc of history may be long and slowly bending towards justice—but it’s not exactly cruisin’ down I-95, is it! Sometimes that arc moves so slowly its movement is almost imperceptible. Sometimes it pauses, curves back on itself. Sometimes, like a twisty, bendy strangler fig vine, that arc moves backwards. And it feels as though we’re living in one of those retrograde times right now.

But here’s what privilege looks like: For most of my life I’ve expected linear. I’ve expected that arc to move steadily forward. So have been mystified and pissed that, jeez, here we are again? Like so many others, “I can’t believe I’m still . . . “  I mean, didn’t we already do this? Didn’t we settle all these trenchant issues once and for all? It’s so unfair!

So, yeah, I’ve been inwardly whining. Like a three-year-old. And need to take a good, hard look at my expectations surrounding social justice.  To admit that some of my stuff is ego, plain and simple and deadly. (I protested. I marched = I fixed it! Riiiight.) Some of this is about my belief that I have a “right to comfort.” On a really bad day, my resistance to accepting that, yup, Things Suck, Get Crackin’ is about not being twenty-two, anymore. I wonder if  I actually have the strength and energy and fortitude to show up, resist, interrupt. But, mostly, this is about, at the deepest, most profoundly fundamental level, my cluelessness. Again.  Why wouldn’t I, white and privileged, expect that arc to inch forward bit by bit. Slowly, yes. And not a crystal stair, certainly; I was never that clueless. (But close.)

So it is with both humility and fervent hope that I say: I still believe that arc moves toward justice. But it’s going to be much harder and take way longer than I ever before understood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on ““I can’t believe I’m still . . . “

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hi, there, Patricia and greetings and salutations to you and to you and for you For Always my absolutely awesome and special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! WOW, what a beautiful, absolutely beautiful, brilliantly composed with such creativity and clarity blog post article here by absolutely AWESOME YOU in which you share so openly in a lovingly caring and sensitively heartfelt manner and with such honestly keen insight, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!!! YAY!!!!! I so enjoyed reading your deeply reflective and introspective sharing here, my so, so very dear sister and friend of mine, Patricia!!!!! Wow, the title of this masterpiece you have composed is just perfect here, absolutely perfect, and I so love the great link with the very powerful poster with these words on the poster and as to how you very aptly used the words from the poster for your very applicable title, my so, so very dearest and darling friend. In fact, I so, so very much love, enjoy, like and appreciate all of the marvelous links which you have very graciously and generously featured and included with this very progressive blog post article of yours here, sister! The picture which you have used here very graciously and generously including and featuring with your very fine and excellent blog post article is just absolutely perfect here, just picture perfect here, and soothingly draws me into the picture with the sheer beauty of the scenic and picturesque surroundings of it, sisterfriend! It makes me want to walk in the woods and out in nature which would be kind of hard to navigate with my very many physical disabilities but if I had someone with me it would sure be worth a try, my absolutely fantastic friend. I might not be able to walk that far or that long but it would for sure be worth a try. Figuring out how to navigate on the uneven ground with my walker wheel rollator would be hard, though, and kind of unsafe. I sure wish that I could, though, and if only this could be possible, my awesome friend. Wow, I thank-YOU for the other great link when the amazing woman reads the very deep poem by our late great Langston Hughes, and what a joy and blessing to listen to him read his own very speaking such volumes to truth to power poem as well, sister!!!!!!

    Patricia, you are such a wise woman, sister, such a woman of faith, and a woman of God, sisterfriend!!!! You are just so right on here when you reiterate with such sagacity that the arc of history may be long and slowly bending toward justice albeit not in a very fast manner. Wow, all of your great words here are just very powerful, right on, and relevant, sister. It DOES seem like we’re living in retrograde times for certain, sisterfriend of mine, Patricia. WOW, you’re so right here, Patricia!

    Sister, I just so, so very much love, like, enjoy, and appreciate your great and wonderfully honest sharing here on white privilege in general and as to how you see your own white privilege in all of this, my dear, dearest precious sisterfriend, Patricia!!!! WOW, I thank-YOU, thank-YOU, thank-YOU so, so very much, so, so very kindly, dearly, deeply, and profusely, Patricia, for your very in-depth and honest reflections and sharing here helping to give me as a black woman even greater insight and understanding in what it is like for you as a so, so very dear white woman, and what it can be like for other marvelous white persons with all of your processes along your very understandably imperfect and gradual lifetime’s paths and journeys. WOW, I so appreciate how you share very deeply on how most of your life you’ve expected the linear. WOW, just reading these tremendous words of yours here helps me to understand much better what it can be like for superb white persons being more acclimated due to white conditioning and enculturation, and white privilege, and how linear thinking keys into all of your very lives as such so cool in spirit white persons and very much as your share and declare here with all of your very heart and spirit, with all that you have with all of your very being indicating your deep frustration with dealing with the same issues over and over again like with taking one step forward and then two steps back as the issues keep cropping up again like history is repeating itself. Sisterfriend, I love how you connect to the very empowering words on the poster in the link which you have also used for the title of your outstanding article here. Sister, I so, so very much love, like, enjoy, and appreciate your great sharing on how with your white privilege you have had an expectancy of your right to comfort. WOW, I’m just so, so very thrilled, overjoyed, and happy that you are sharing on this, my astounding friend and sister of mine, Patricia! I think that it makes a whole lot of sense that when white people are born and raised as white people in this society imbued with racism and white privilege that each of you as such magnificent white persons would naturally become accustomed to a certain high standard with a sense that it is only natural that all of you have a particular degree of comfort. Very frequently I just so, so very much love to when I pray and meditate in my mind’s eye to imagine what would it be like to be a white woman, and what would I be thinking about and doing. I so, so very much love and cherish each and every one of you as such superb white persons as my sisters and brothers and Our So, So Very Dearest and Darling God’s children, and I want so just longing for and yearning for wanting to know what it is like for you all as white people, and to understand each of you better as white people, to be there for all of you as marvelous white people, and to have your backs with all of you being able to count on me for sure. We’re all for sure together in this very process of co-creating together a better society, county, and world with more equity, fairness, and justice. Very often, I imagine what it would be like for YOU, dear, dearest Patricia, and for other so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful white women, and what your sides of things would be, so, so very much loving and cherishing very, very especially YOU, Patricia, and other super white women with each of you being my very, very heart, and my very favorite people among white people and also my very favorite people among all people in general!!!!!! 🙂 Sister, I deeply appreciate YOU and all of your strenuous efforts to show up to resist, to interrupt, to persist, I deeply appreciate each and every one of you as so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful white women very many of you who try so, so very hard in doing your absolutely very best, and I know that life ain’t no crystal stair for white women despite the annoying and egregiously unfair stereotype. White women and white girls have your very cross to bear, and very often deal with in facing, enduring, and experiencing sexual abuse and sexual assault in a whole host of ways, sexual harassment, and sexual terrorism, and definitely enduring very perniciously pervasive sexism and misogyny. We all as women of all races and ethniciites deal with these issues and I know that black women and other women of color deal with racism but I feel very strongly with all that I have with all of my very being with all of my very, very heart, and very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit that it is vitally urgent, necessary, and important to keep in mind how white women and white girls are very grievously oppressed as well even having white privilege. The very plight of white women and white girls needs to be taken very much more into consideration. You are just so, so very right on, sister, that the arc moves toward justice and you have hit the very stroke of genius when you have composed in such masterful composition in the written words how you view this process through the lens of your white privilege as a white person, sister!!!! WOW, what a brilliantly astounding blog post article here, sister!!!!!

    Sister, for me as a black woman oppressed by racism I feel like i have kind of a second sight or an alternative sense, or a second or alternative awareness which are always with me just barely beneath the surface in which I have become acclimated to and developed a kind of armor to cope with that racism. It’s like underneath the surface I’m always aware of my black skin and of my very being and essence as I make my way through my day and through the world. Somehow, with the agonizingly gradual pace that the arc is bending and has been always bending toward justice because I’m so used to having it hard due to racism it almost seems like my ordeal with racism has given me an undying patience to wait things out and to cope with all of this in finding a way out of no way with the very painstakingly gradual bend the arc is taking toward justice. It is sort of like a feeling like I can survive anything and wait for anything since the racism is always there so I can definitely cope with the very gradual pace of the arc’s bend toward justice, and to deal with oppressive governmental and political leaders because I have survived before with all of these negative factors and I know somehow that I will survive again. Sister, WOW, your stupendous writing here has me percolating and percolating!!!!! WOW, what a great writing here which is a sheer work of genius, sisterfriend!!!!! WOW!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!

    Sister, I so, so very much love and cherish each and every one of you as such super white people as my sisters and brothers and our So, So Very Sweet God’s children, very, very especially loving and cherishing YOU, Patricia, and other so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful white women just thinking so, so very highly of each of you very many of you being so, so very loving, kind, friendly, caring, good natured, kindhearted and openhearted, sweet, sensitive, and thoughtful to me and others!!!!!!! 🙂 Sister, I have all of the very time and all of the very patience in the world to work with you, Patricia, and with each and every one of you as such awesome white people, very, very especially YOU, sisterfriend, and other super white women, having such complete love for and confidence in, faith, hope, trust, and belief in each and every one of you and all of your great and abundant potential for such great and actual bountiful good. You all can for sure count on me to be there for you and to have your backs, and I know that I can definitely count on very many of you as we work to guide the arc bending toward justice, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!! Sister, I feel even better and brighter with even more great cheer being even more re-energized, renewed, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated from this very inspirational blog post article emboldening me to never ever give up, never ever lose heart, never ever lose spirit in never ever losing Spirit, and in keeping my very faith and hope alive with such a positive optimism with undeniable and undaunted courage!!!!! Wow, sister, you are just so, so very good for me and for my very walk with Spirit!!!!! I thank Spirit continually for YOU, Patricia, and for your very presence in my life!!!!!! YAY for YOU, Patricia!!!!! YAY for this very empowering blog post article, all of your other engaging blog post articles, other insightful writings and books!!!!! YAY for all you do in such a very diligently conscientious manner, sisterfriend!!!!! YAY for our very sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!!! Please have a totally terrific and a very thrilling Tuesday, a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend ahead, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed!!!!!! Spirit so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU, Patricia, and so do I so, so very absolutely a WHOLE BUNCH, Patricia!!!!!! YOU are such an eternal blessing, sister!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always awesomely precious and dearly special soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with My and God’s Peace and Love For You For Always, sister of mine, and with Such Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings For You For Always, friend of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend Christian black woman and For Always in the very great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

  2. Nice blog post, Patricia. Good thoughts. Blessings to you, Martha

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