I feel like I’ve been uncomfortable for years now, since leaving Southern California. I’m just not really good at being in Arizona, it doesn’t suit me. But in the title when I say uncomfortable I don’t just mean in this sense, but to go deeper into uncomfortable. I’m almost talking about instigating the awkwardness. Not in a malicious way but in a way that keeps one true to themselves. In the wake of some serious tragedies in the African American community, Native American community and LGBTQIA this year it’s important that we understand the gravity of what it means to make people uncomfortable in hopes for social change.
When those horrible murders of black men in America happened one after the other after the other I began to feel like I needed to be doing something. Obviously I can’t go and change the world alone, but I can do my part to change my sphere of influence in hopes of that change going viral one day. It isn’t the responsibility of people of color to teach us white people about how to understand them, it’s the responsibility of awake white people to teach each other. Which is where being uncomfortable comes in, because most white people don’t believe that they’re being racist when calling Native Americans “Indians” or rooting for the Washington Redskins. They don’t understand that responding to a black man being murdered in cold blood by a police officer with a video about “How to Properly Deal With Police Officers” is racist. The only way for them to learn is if us awake folk rise up and say something.
I want you to know that I’m not brave enough to speak up most times, but I’m writing this in hopes that I will be eventually. The reason that I don’t want to mention anything when I hear a phrase that just makes me cringe to my bones is because I don’t want to be uncomfortable by their uncomfortableness. Perhaps that’s my white privilege, because I’m pretty sure we deserve to be uncomfortable until social change is made. So go out there awkward tribe, and stir up the racist stew until we begin to teach each other. I think that it’s the only way.