Some tips from Resmaa Menakem on how we can cause trauma today in the lives of black friends if we are not careful:
— Not listening or paying attention to someone, or outright ignoring them, as if Black bodies were invisible.
— Interrupting or talking over Black people.
— Giving a brief, perfunctory, minimalist, or noncommittal response (such as: “Fine — whatever you say” or “Yes, I care. I need to go now.”)
— Refusing to acknowledge someone’s lived experience, either by denying I happened or by fleeing into statistics or legalisms. (This one I personally witness over and over in social media.)
— Speaking words of care of concern, but without empathy or sincerity.
(My Grandmother’s Hands, p. 76)
Let us listen first. Let us hear. Let us be silent. Let us examine our own lives and hearts without being so quick to speak.