Or perhaps more accurately, It Is Monday.
My original plan for today’s post was a training log, a stream of consciousness on each day of my training plan last week. But that does not feel useful or authentic right now.
Before, during, and after my runs, my thoughts lately are about a different kind of race.
I am, you may have noticed, a white woman. And like many white women, I get pretty darn uncomfortable when speaking about race.
But that does not, cannot, and should not mean I don’t talk about it.
It has been one of many privileges of my life that I’ve had the option to say things like “I don’t talk about race.”
It is only because I am white that I have the option to forget about what my whiteness means.
I considered writing a post reflecting on times I have noticed my white privilege, or about what I have done and am going to do to educate myself on how to be a better ally. But honestly, I don’t think we need an echo chamber of white people writing about how they feel bad and want to be better.
Yeah, we should be better. We have to be better.
And that starts with listening to and working with and for the affected community–in this case, the Black community.
Every time some horrible injustice breaks through to our national consciousness (let us not forget there are undeniably a number of injustices that do not), I am uncomfortable watching the onslaught of social media posts expressing support. Too easily, I think, these posts become a guilt-assuaging performance of allyship that drown out the voices of the actual people who are suffering and trying to be heard. A simple hashtag or profile frame or selfie from a protest, and we can let ourselves think we’ve done it. We’ve been an Ally.
Doing the work means doing the work. It means shutting up and listening to what the affected community is telling you they need and then doing it. Not for the selfie or the likes, but for the sheer fact that it is the right and the just and the decent thing to do.
But enough from me on this.
I’ve been consciously trying to listen more, and talk less.
This week instead of forging ahead with my usual content, I will instead suggest that you read any (or all) of the following:
Recent Online Articles
This Runner’s World article in which Emilia Benton speaks with runners who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color about their experience in the running community.
This New York Times article from Roxane Gay addressing recent events.
Dana Brownlee’s Forbes article about how white folks can be better allies.
You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Jessamyn Explains it All: Navigating White-Centric Spaces as a Person of Color
Forever 35: Talking about Race with Ijeoma Oleu
This is a small, tiny, minuscule fraction of the great writing and content about race and about the Black experience in America that exists out there in the world. Please feel free to comment with additional suggestions.
Most importantly, be a conscious consumer of content and start paying attention to who’s making the content you consume and where you can be reading, scrolling, listening, watching more diversely to gain a better sense of perspective on the variety of human experiences in the world.