Overcoming White Apathy Toward the Struggles of Black America

Overcoming White Apathy Toward the Struggles of Black America

0Shares0 0 0 0 TweetPocketAm I an ally to the struggles of Black America or am I not? As easy as it seemed at first for me to answer this question, I realized that in the wake of the most recent police shootings, I needed to look deeper within to understand what it means to care about and be invested in a people’s reality. To find the pain, the fear, the absolute trauma, I had to take myself to uncomfortable but necessary places. Here’s the story of my last month in this journey to examine my own White apathy. Full confession, when Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the National Anthem, it brought up a lot of stuff for me. My national pride was offended. I called it unprofessional. I said it was absurd that someone making millions playing for an American sports team should refuse to acknowledge that being born in the U.S. is a privilege. That’s where my criticism ended. I didn’t dispute the realities he was protesting against; but merely the way that he did it. After all, I live in Chicago. I know the story, or so I thought I did. We...

Beginning the Journey to Heal from Humiliation

Beginning the Journey to Heal from Humiliation

0Shares0 0 0 0 TweetPocketHumiliation. Just seeing the word brings to mind intense decades-old memories that even now probably cause you to cringe. The nature of this particular emotion is that each time we experience it, it cuts deeply, precisely, in a way that others don’t. Humiliation, and more precisely the fear of it, exists deep within our brains, driving much of what we do without us realizing it. This doesn’t have to be true, though; and the hurts from our past don’t have to be guiding forces for our present day lives. To be clear, we can’t will memories from the brain. We can however substantially lessen the level of hurt that we experience when we recall them. To start down this path, I’m going to share with you a bit about how we experience and process humiliation. It’s important to name humiliation for what it is: emotional and psychological trauma. In general, trauma occurs when we experience something profoundly disturbing and disruptive to the way that our brain has ordered the world. If you’ve been in a bad car accident for example, the experiences of being in that accident are all clustered together in memory: the sensory...