“Can I tell you a story about my boys? Over a year ago, we were at a play place with our friends. I needed to step away to go to the restroom, and my friend Audra agreed to keep an eye on my boys Eli and Ezra.
They were wrestling each other in a ball pit when an older white lady felt inclined to inform Audra that the ‘little black boy was being aggressive’ to her son (Ezra).
Now, Audra, being the woman she is, informed this lady that they are brothers and they were fine.
Anyone who knows these two, knows Ezra is my little aggressor. Eli is sensitive and, while he can be mean, is truly a gentle kid. But because he is ‘a little black boy’ he was assumed to be harming the little white boy.
You see, racism doesn’t start with the unjust murdering of people of color. Racism is built on these little assumptions and small biases that make people of color out to be ‘aggressive’ or ‘suspicious.’
And these little things become the big things.
How do we make changes? We reflect on ourselves, our feelings, our assumptions. We call out our friends and family when they say things that are ‘a little racist.’ We ask our brown and black friends about their experiences.
Why? Because when we understand racism at it’s smallest, we start to connect the dots between racial bias and blatant disregard of black and brown lives.
Because these ‘little’ racist things are at the root of the ‘big’ racist things.”
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