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