I spoke to Tired this morning and she answered in the same language as when air feels heavy right before a deep slow rain. We spent some time there talking about what is this Tired? And she replied, “It is more than being sleep deprived. It is more than a nap will fix. It is the lack of deeper connections. It’s where the soul weeps. Tired is tired of the clichéd. The glossing over, the petty advice, the assumptions and intellectualizing. Tired is tired of the repetitive worldly abuses. Tired is a cross-funnel of empathy overload. Tired is sadness at the heavy demands.
She continued, “I don’t have the ‘right’ words for this moment but let me sing to you.” And so, she did. It was a love song for hearts to mend when ready, pain to be seen, unfairness to be heard, strife to be witnessed, the poor to be fed, history to teach, agedness respected, differences acknowledged, hate crimes ended. Her song is still going with my heart pressed against her hand.
Racism is an evil injustice perpetuated by the banality of white superiority’s fear and hatred of diversity. Racism, much like sexism and other ‘isms’ purposefully decimates, demeans and diminishes a person’s emotions, intelligence, and opinions through a circular type of ‘logic’ leaving the marginalized group or person angered, stunned, afraid, confused, and oftentimes questioning their own sound intuition and judgement. There’s no ground left to stand on when every stone of self and community has been removed.
The iniquitousness is so palatable it sends shockwaves through one’s psyche leaving little reality, promoting self-doubt, stripping the marginalized group/person to their marrow. This to me is what racism has been doing for centuries. I ‘see’ it as a societal infection where the white blood cells overreact and attack an unknown entity (people of color, women, religions, LGQBTI). The inflammation is real, but the entire system is so corrupt it continues to attack out of an insidious habit to remain superior.
As a white female, therapist, teacher, writer, sensitive creature, daughter and mother– I must and will continue to speak against racism and sexism’s infectious and systemic violence as part of my life’s calling and contributing antidote.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."