A Call to Unity, Part 2
I am responding to each point written by blogger Colleen Mitchell in her post titled, “Why I Don’t Want to be Your White Ally.” This is the second part of a blog series I started in December. I hope you will join me on this journey of exploration.
“I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong”
“I’m afraid I’ll be more offensive than I am helpful”
I’m Afraid I’ll Do It Wrong
Well, of course you will! You must remember you are learning a new skill; new skills start from a position of awkwardness; fits and starts; frustration and failures.
In learning any new skill, we go through four stages:
It is only practice in a supportive environment that will develop this skill and alter anxiety; be willing to be uncomfortable as you grow. In the words of my conducting mentor, “it’s difficult, so you practice.”
I’m Afraid I’ll Be More Offensive Than I Am Helpful
People are not fragile china. Many have endured harsh situations from people who intended them harm. For most people the genuine interest and true desire to know and learn is welcomed; an affirmation that there still are good people in our society.
Let the person with who you are engaging guide you and help you avoid the land mines of potentially negative language; inquire how best to be helpful. When we remain silent out of fear, we aid those who deliberately give offense.
The British Philosopher, Edmund Burke, said it so poignantly: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”