Steps towards anti-racism, loving my kids differently, and what I've been reading around the web

Journeying from ‘I’m not a racist’ to ‘I’m an anti-racist’

Like most people, I like to think that I’m not a racist. I like to think I don’t treat people differently because of the colour of their skin. But also like many of us right now, I’m reevaluating everything. The fallout from George Floyd’s death and the resulting global awakening to the black lives matter movement, has opened my eyes more than ever. Reading I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown has deeply convicted me of my biases and blinkers. I’m also challenged by the truth that it is not enough to be able to say, ‘I’m not a racist.’ I have to go further than that. Not being a racist is a passive stance that, yes, is better than being a racist, but doesn’t go nearly far enough. I have to become an anti-racist; playing my part in pro-actively making sure that black lives do matter. What does that look like? For me, for now, my first steps have been to use my voice to push my employer and the leaders of the programme I’m involved with to act; to let them know I want to see change in our organisation. Encouragingly, my voice is being joined by others, and we’re already starting to see some change. Early days and small steps – but it’s a start.

Should you love your children the same?

I’ve just started reading The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I’m only into the second chapter so don’t have much to say about the book yet. However, there was this one line that grabbed me early in chapter two. The mother of the main characters, reflecting on her twin daughters, observes that, ‘You could never love two people the exact same way.’ I’ve often thought that as a father to two daughters, I should love them the same. How could you love your own flesh and blood differently? And yet this makes perfect sense. We probably should aspire to love our kids the same amount – if such a thing could ever be quantifiable. But we shouldn’t love them the same way. Each of my daughters is unique. And my relationship to each of them is unique. This line also reminded me of the five love languages. We have to learn the love language of our kids and love them in the language they speak. Inevitably, at different moments in their lives, our kids will interpret our not loving each child in the same way as favouritism. Or loving their sibling more. But I feel like we need to not let those moments distract us from sticking to loving our kids uniquely.

🔗 What I’ve been reading around the web

Thanks for reading,