Being a good storyteller is all about timing.
When Erin posted her story about racism she was scared she would alienate people. That people might not understand where she, a Southern privileged white woman, came from. But in the end her conscious weighed too heavy on her mind and she had no choice but to share her story.
And share she did.
She shared with us the many ways in which racism is still very much alive. How America’s first black first lady was insulted for her colour of skin. How people online made racist jokes like it was the most normal thing in the world and how this his sickened her on a personal level. She told us how blacks are still to this day rejected as ‘the other’, as people who we do want sitting at our table. Worse still, blacks are in fact admonished when they disrupt ceremony to speak out against injustice, as if attacking the status quo could even be done in a peaceful manner. Erin rightly pointed out that nobody seems to remember Martin Luther King was arrested 13 times for peacefully protesting.
After weaving a rich tapestry of observations she concludes from them that although it might seem strange, it is not the white supremacist who does the greatest damage to the black people’s freedom. No, like Martin Luther King said, it is the white moderate who through his daily naiveté and ingrained privilege continues to uphold the status quo that keeps the Negro down. Erin so ends her story with a spine chilling conclusion: racism lurks in all of us.
No wonder she was scared to tell her story.
It can only be attributed to the miraculous awakening of white consciousness that Erin’s story was received with so much love: more than 10.000 shares on facebook, over 350 likes from bloggers such as yours truly and almost 400 comments, most of them a variation of ‘Thank you! I wish I wrote this!’
This story, at least, has a happy ending.