I like to be positive. This blog has generally reflected that. And I’m pretty sure most of us are more attracted to positive people and positive statements than negative ones.
Gloria has her kidney! She can, God willing, live a full and long life. She’s coming over tonight for dinner and ping pong (I will let you know who wins).
My complete recovery from kidney transplant surgery took just two months. I got great support from my friendship community, husband Thor and African son Sura. Thank you!
I recommend kidney donation! It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. I will support and mentor you or anyone you know who wants to do it.
All true statements. But if I want to be an ally to people of color and an anti-racist, my cherished habit of positivity can be a trap. I’m reading “Caste” by Isabelle Wilkerson, on the recommendation of my friend Kelly. It f—ing hurts me in my gut to face the following not-positive facts.
- The leaders of Nazi Germany studied the American color-based caste system to develop their rationale for white supremacy and their mass murder of minorities.
- Black women’s wombs were an American profit center for 250 years, which is longer than they haven’t been.
- Our country’s wealth is based on land stolen from Native Americans and on labor stolen from African Americans.
- Our American ancestors used genocide to accomplish the first of those, and elaborate systems of torture and terror to accomplish the second.
- Germany has paid reparations for its mass murders and erected monuments to its World War II atrocities, in repentance.
- America has paid no reparations for its stolen land or stolen labor (slavery), and instead erected hundreds of monuments to men such as Robert E. Lee who fought to maintain slavery.
It was harder for me to write the second half of this post than the first, positive part. I imagine it was harder to read, too.
It was hard to donate my kidney. Having done it, though, I am the most fulfilled I have ever been. I think that overcoming the positivity trap and learning to be an actively anti-racist white ally will be fulfilling, too. I’m interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this!