As a black woman in this country, in the city that I love being looted and burned down, I feel I can't be silent and yet I genuinely don't know what to say.
I only like to share if what I say can provide some measure of hope, peace, inspiration, or understanding.
Every time I start to even think about writing something, I begin to cry. My eyes are puffy from it.
Sunday morning, I went to the grocery store. My original choice, Trader Joe's, had been looted and was closed. I went to Ralph's. The windows were all boarded up, and there was a huge police presence (it was a Ralph's right next to a police station).
I wanted to say something to the police officers: "I think the majority of you are good people and doing your best to serve and protect. Thank you for putting your life on the line, and working to restore order." Every time I started to open my mouth, I started to cry. I didn't want to break down in the middle of the store, so I kept quiet and got my groceries.
I had some challenging conversations with my children over the weekend. With Aliza, my mixed-race daughter, I've been discussing with her about police brutality. We talked about how what has happened to George Floyd (and others) is unquestionably wrong. I tried to impress upon her how important it is that she be respectful and kind to everyone (not just the police, but the homeless, teachers, family members, etc.); that she not judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few; and that she not think of herself as a victim or limited in any way by her race.
I don't want her to live a life of fear or self-imposed limitations. I also realized that if she's anything but respectful to a policeman, it could be a death sentence. She'd already been watching on Tik Tok videos on how to stay safe in a routine traffic stop. She's only 11.
It breaks my heart to have these conversations with her. It also strikes me that I never had to talk with my white step-children about how to stay safe during a routine traffic stop or any other interaction with the police. That is not a worry I have for them.
With Teo, my white step-son, we discussed how he can be an ally and an example. He's been deeply affected by what's happening and feels completely unsure about how best to help. I tried to impress upon him that the most important thing is that he speaks out when he sees things that are unjust and that he be the change he wishes to see in the world. He went out today to help clean up after the looting and rioting, and he donated to a bail defense fund for people who have been arrested. I wish I could say I inspired him, but that was all him.
I don't know how best to navigate these times. It's pretty exhausting. The best I know to do is pray and wait for guidance:
"God, thy will be done this day. Use me as a beacon of your love, light, and peace. Help me to be of service and inspire me with concrete actions as I seek to realize the ideals of life, liberty, and justice for all. Amen"
If you're wondering what you could do to help, here are some resources where you can learn more about being an ally and anti-racist.
Click here for Anti-Racist Resources
And here are just a few organizations where you can donate and support:
The Loveland Foundation
Community Bail Funds
Color of Change
Reclaim the Block
Last but not least, here's where you can go to make sure you're registered to vote: Register to vote.
Most of the change in this sector happens at the level of local government. It's important to you vote in every election (not just presidential elections).
Like many of you, I've been feeling all sorts of emotions -- hurt, scared, confused, frustrated, angry, and so, so sad. Ultimately, I'm hopeful. I trust in the ultimate goodness of people, and I trust in Higher Power.
Thank you for being here, and thank you for reading.
P.S. All that's going on in the world has helped me to recognize even more the importance of this mission to financially empower 1 million women and help them to be financially free. For me, that's not about the money. I do it because I believe that a financially empowered woman is one of the greatest forces for good in the world. When a woman has more money and time, she gives back -- to her family, her community, and the world. Now more than ever, we need empowered women to be able to give back and work together to help solve the enormous challenges we are facing as a society. It won't be easy, but I think together we can make the change we wish to see in this world.