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Dear Dr. Cherrye,

Our nation is facing such division right now. The death of George Floyd has brought lots of civil unrest highlighting racism, division, pain and agony. Regardless of race, creed, or color, people are hurting, even if tensions have identified which ‘side of the fence’ people have chosen. Floyd’s death has stirred-up hatred, bullying, disregard for humanity and decency. But on the other hand, there are some who are feeling a different kind of pain. This pain is sort of an awakening of personal self coupled with growth, and a need to change old ways of thinking, habits and privilege. As citizens of this country, how can we begin to talk about these subjects, help mend hearts and bruise feelings as we massage love and unity one to another?  Something has to give!

Dear Something has to give,

Change can be difficult for people already set in their ways. You’ll often hear, or read where Dr. Cherrye shares with parents that whatever we want our children to learn, do or be taught begins at the cradle. Yes, I realize that this advice is only good for new parents, but we must start somewhere, and this is a great place. For those who are already beyond rearing from the cradle stage, we can still teach and/or redirect. We must teach and embed a sense of love, respect, and compassion for others. There is no other way to have the kind of change that our society so desperately needs. But you might ask, “How do we teach love to those who already have heartened hearts?” Well, that might seem very difficult to do, but it can be done.

Don’t Be Turned Off by “Love” – Read the Entire Message Until the End

When I think about love, I have to pull in what the bible tells us about love, but I must warn you that there are those who do not believe in God, or his word. Since I do, I must help in sharing what I feel God has placed on my heart. And, for those inside your circle who are in opposition to God’s word, we must continually pray for their change – God’s intervention in their lives, and how what we can do, or say, may show them the way toward God. This may be trying and ever changing for us as well, but we can and must show love in our daily walk. Now, I’ll share a few scriptures straight from God’s word.

Biblical Scriptures

I Corinthians 16:14

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

I Corinthians 13: 4-7

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

I John 4:20 

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Remember, these scriptures are not from Dr. Cherrye, but from God’s word. As we live our lives, we can also use our wisdom and education to weave in other principles which can assist us with loving and respecting our fellow brethren.

Culturally Responsive Interventions

God has given us the wisdom of knowledge as we perform our daily tasks, and he wants us to use our talents to help mend burdens and troubled hearts. To help with the racism plaguing our nation, we can use our effective discourse and dialogue to just talk and share what’s on our minds. We don’t have to always agree, but we can certainly agree to disagree with love and respect. By doing so, we may actually learn something new about one another. What would it look like if we took the time to really listen and understand the background and culture of our neighbors, students, or co-workers? If we can attempt to know and/or learn people from a cultural perspective or frame of mind, we might begin to recognize how important it is not to appoint privileges.

Crucial Conversations

We can’t all think alike. We come from different backgrounds and our environments have certainly shaped our points of references. But it’s okay! What’s more important is two-way conversations, especially when we’re conversing about ‘marginal’ uncomfortable topics that some dare to invoke. When we differ on opinions, however, this is when it’s most important to maintain our composure and dignity. We can learn to identify points where we might agree, and talk through those issues that we may never agree when our emotions are flowing from everywhere and our bodies are tense-up. Whenever we begin to feel this way, we will want to choose our words carefully – no fighting words. Keep our words professional, and to the point – stay on the topic without pointing the finger or demeaning others, and be honest.

The Awakening

There are a number of people who were just simply raised to hate. Hate was in the aura of their home environments, and backgrounds, and as children they cannot be blamed. But there is a point of adult accountability.  We must remember, too, that there are those who may have been reared to hate, but thirst for change. We mustn’t continue to punish those who really see the errors in their ways (or the ways of their parents) – They are reaching, and truly desire reform. If we don’t like racism, division and the harsh, brutal battering from those who have are/have hated, we mustn’t give it back. Why would we?

Leadership

Our children not only need parental guidance, we need to share sound-minded, great leaders in our communities with them. These leaders can be presented in the forms of ministers, educators, community activists, and/or business leaders. Our children can see for themselves what healthy leading can and should look like. We mustn’t invoke a sense of fear within our children as we teach them awareness, and the tools needed to survive. As parents, we should also role-model how our children should respect authority and the laws of our land. Albeit, we realize racism and hatred exits. We’ve certainly seen lots of ‘bad apples’ mixed within the bunches out there, but teaching our children how they are also responsible to submission of rules and regulations could be paramount in getting back home safely to their families. Our children can assist in deescalating perceived tension and trouble.

Time to Weed Out

Finally, our government and systems are called upon to weed out the ‘bad apples’ serving our communities. Public service employment is not for those who hate groups of people based solely on the color of their skin. I believe in my heart-of-hearts, if we can start here, we may be able to move in the right direction with needed paradigm shifts toward racial reform. We can actually teach love, compassion, and cultural understanding.

Helpful Tools to Help with Race Relations and Change

  1. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition
  2. Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools 
  3. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  4. Teach Your Dragon Empathy: Help Your Dragon Understand Empathy. A Cute Children Story To Teach Kids Empathy, Compassion and Kindness. (My Dragon Books)
  5. Erase The Hate Shirt Grassroots Protest T-Shirt
  6. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race
  7. Understanding Race and Ethnic Relations (5th Edition)

IMPORTANT

I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way. Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email be at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly.

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Use my free resources, Self-Identity Worksheet: Sharing My Goals & Positive Attributes and The Bully Band: Parents in Rhythm as tools to help you help your child with bullying, and to help build your child’s self-esteem.

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Race Relations and Change

  1. I love this piece, and will share. My comments: 1 John 4:8 = “…God is Love”
    I also recommend the lyrics from Rodgers and Hammerstein “South Pacific” in 1958:
    (I have always shared this with my children and grandchildren…They need to know how prejudice is spread…)

    “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear
    You’ve got to be taught from year to year
    It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people who’s eyes are oddly made
    And people who’s skin is a different shade
    You’ve got to be carefuly taught

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before you are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    You’ve got to be carefully taught”

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      Wow, sister! It appears that what you’re saying is true, and it’s a very sad reality.

      Perhaps someone will learn from your words on what not to do, and how POC feel as we sit and watch what’s going on around us.

      I am praying and hoping that God will intervene. He is a mighty fine miracle worker.

      Thank you for adding your input. It has been much appreciated.

    2. Dr. Cherrye says:

      Thank you for stopping by to read my blog, Sherrill. I appreciate that you’ve shared and commented.

      Thank you, too, for sharing the lyrics from
      Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1958 “South Pacific”. You have given us something to vividly conceptualize, and contemplate – if only we would.

      Parents have so much influence and power in their hands. They can massage, mold and knead greatness into the minds and hearts of their children. Let us hope for renewed generations and an uproar of change.

    3. Shirin says:

      That’s wonderful! Thank you

      1. Dr. Cherrye says:

        Yes! With a little guidance on how to effectively protest and boycott, this generation will make the mark. This is history in the making, and I couldn’t be more proud.

        Take care,
        Dr. Cherrye

    4. Linda Hales says:

      Dr. Cherrye! After reading the contributions and interaction on this thread, it is paramount that we approach this problem from a variety of directions. I say ‘we’ because we are all in this together which is a good position to start from. A lot of critical thought is evident in these replies and I see a beautiful beginning to a penetrating discussion on race issues…the back and forth of it being so thoughtful and informational.

      It is indeed, a multi-dimensional problem that didn’t evolve overnight, and has been so ingrained into various dynamics of our culture that many do not even realize that they too, have subscribed to stereotypes their/our entire lives. It’s far easier to detect it from the outfield looking in as being in the infield is often too close and elusive.

      The Zoomer generation brings new and imaginative perspective to solving many issues including racism. They are stll young enough to see encouraging possibilities and yet old enough to observe negative events and draw their own conclusions as to right and wrong. They have the energy and the desire to express their views and want to bring about positive change. They have seen the pain in the media, some in their homes, and elsewhere and they are not willing to settle for it. We can direct and do our part in the home and our kids will carry the ball, but let’s have hope that those who are taught hate in the home will also see the light. They can and they are and are willing to do the hard work to make it happen. They will not stop and will continue marching peaceably and will continue to achieve results. This is not a day or two protest but a non-stop one and any politician or local authority can see the writing on the wall. There will be change or they will not waiver in their demand for it. I say they have the energy and the goodwill and with our continued support, they will make their mark in history because they have managed to get the powers that be to listen and to effect change for the better. I doubt very much there will be any backsliding by these zoomer warriors so while white supremacy may be trying to assert itself in the ugliest of ways, our kids know that it is the laws that need to be strengthened to promote tolderance and to punish hate crimes. It’ll be slow but it will be deliberate. It is time!

      1. Dr. Cherrye says:

        Hello Linda,

        Yes, I love all of the input and contributions within this post stemming from a variety of perspectives. We must talk about this subject while gaining ideas of what we may do ridding ourselves of divisive rhetoric and actions that isn’t becoming to us as citizens. I can’t tell you how hopeful I felt viewing the protestors of various races, creeds and colors marching for the overdue rights and equality for ALL people. These zoomers will not go away quietly as they fully intend to be heard.
        Those who are taught hate in their upbringings will one day be few and in-between. They will be outnumbered and shamed, I hope. White Supremacist will be angered because that toxic seed has been planted. When that occurs, it’s a disease that’s hard to heal. But at least their ugly, hateful ways will be shown to many. Shame on them!

        It’s time for massive shifts in minds and hearts. There’s no room for racism. All men should be treated equally!

  2. Cande Calhoun says:

    Dr. Cherrye,
    Although this is a good read with some good information, I don’t think it’ll help any of us reading it.
    You see, we, your readers all feel the same way you feel. We practice love, acceptance and inclusion.
    The racist individuals who need this will never see it, read it or hear it.
    Racism is here to stay, never to dissipate from the hearts of those infected by hatred.
    Changes may occur systematically but not personally. Just as you’ve been taught the love of God, self and others. Haters have been taught to HATE and that’s all they see and comprehend; even when they have to pretend for professional, political or financial agendas.
    Unfortunately, hate begets hate so I don’t ever see a great change in the wickedness of racism.
    It’s the very foundation of our country, 🇺🇸 the United States of America’s!

    1. But that’s why we need to try harder… Kids today are much more sensitive and accept inclusion, thanks to many fine educators (not to mention parents) who stress acceptance and not judging by color of skin or shape of eyes… I’m 80 and the above lyrics from South Pacific occurred the year I graduated from high school. My school had already started to integrate then – they initiated it in the 3rd grade first, and all those classes grew up with mixed race classes. (One of those graduates happens to be Susan Rice!!) The main problem now is that this administration has lifted the lid on past banned activities, and openly encouraged the “very fine people” white supremacists lurking in the shadows. This needs to stop!!! And I am sure the majority of us are angered and appalled…and will do everything we can to reclaim our “United” states. Please keep fighting with us. Black lives DO matter!!!

      1. Dr. Cherrye says:

        I must say that the youngsters of today aren’t feeling racism. I’m sure many people viewing the protests were shocked seeing the inclusion of all races joining in the march for equality. The haters were likely shocked the greatest of all. It’s a new day!

      2. Shirin says:

        I agree. I love how this generation is standing against hate, banding together to create more unity, and calling out what is wrong. Let’s give them our support. We can see them making change! May they keep going in their fearlessness because they are motivated by what is right and just. Amen to that. Unity for Equality

  3. Kathy Keenan says:

    I agree with all that you have said here. But there is another dimension to positive change. That’s the inflection point at which people are willing to go out and change that which cannot be endured. We have seen enormous, rapid changes in the time since George Floyd was murdered and BLM hit the streets. This after decades of inaction. I applaud the restraint of the protesters, especially in the face of white supremacists and the police inciting bloody violence. How does love enter into this? It is love that sends us into the streets. It is love that refuses to be caught up in the violence. Was this turmoil necessary? I think so, yes. Even after the current regime is gone, those that fostered it will remain. We are all going to have a very hard time turning the other cheek. I will have to retrain myself to listen instead of speak. Ask questions instead of accuse. Hold my tongue when I know I can’t make a difference. That’s going to be very hard for me!

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      Kathy,

      It is a very sad, uphill battle realizing that there are those who viewed the repeated video of the officer stuffing the life out of George Floyd, but still cannot sense the terrible pain. I mean, if this episode didn’t grab your heart strings, what could?

      Seeing the massive protests gave me a sense of hope. I’m listening to all the great ideas of police reform, only to learn that the one we see as the greatest threat – chokeholds – will be optional per departments. Now, how is that reform? When I hear this, I feel like the system is toying with our emotions and intelligence. I feel as though we’re back at ‘square one’ and especially learning of the 4 lynchings possibly disguised as suicide.

      I agree with you, it will very difficult to speak up, so I’ll need to develop clever ways in which to share my thoughts.

      With God’s intervention anything is indeed possible, so I cannot give up.

      Thank you so much for adding this very important dimension to this conversation. I truly appreciate your insight.

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