Today, on Juneteenth, I’m publishing this letter that I recently sent to the members of my Date Like a Grownup community claiming my stand on the Black Lives Matter movement.
If you don’t have the time to read the full letter, the synopsis is this:
I stand 100% with the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Since sending, I’ve received countless replies. Almost all thanking me for taking a public stand (not necessary at all) and, most important, letting me know that they stand with me. So many amazing women also shared their personal stories, which I’m honored to be trusted with.
There were also the few telling me that I was destroying my business and they no longer wanted to be part of our community. Which is okay. In truth, I hope you stand with me because we need you. If not, I wish you only the best.
Here is the letter.
Dearest Grownup Dater,
I’m embarrassed that I haven’t written you yet to directly talk about what’s been happening in the US and around the world over the past few weeks.
I’ve been really scared.
I’m scared of saying too much and stepping on ignorance-induced landmines…
or not saying enough and seeming unfazed.
But I can’t stay silent…
because I think it’s important you know that I stand 100% with the black community and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I know how incredibly lucky I am to have been born to my white, Jewish, upper-middle-class family.
I have done nothing special to earn or deserve the privilege that has been afforded me from birth.
I also know that Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and thousands of other black people do NOT deserve the cruelty, dehumanization, and disrespect they tolerate every day of their lives…
solely by virtue of to whom they were born.
After 400+ years of institutionalized white supremacy, we are being asked to face our biases and systemic injustices.
It’s so uncomfortable as a white person to talk about.
This discomfort is good though.
It’s about damn time.
So I finally realized that I have to get over myself, because hey…I’m talking to you, my dear friend.
You are here because you know that
love is as important to our lives as the air we breathe and what is happening in the world in its most simplest form is about love.
Austin Channing Brown says this: The work of anti-racism is the work of becoming a better human to all humans.
Pretty. Damn. Simple.
And, actually, as part of this community, you have been doing that kind of work in your own way.
You’ve been unlearning and learning, and practicing kindness and compassion for men (who are so different from you!). You’ve been taking emotional risks, taking some uncomfortable hits, and opening your heart more and more each day.
I admire you for being here.
I know you are a strong, smart, and very special woman.
And I absolutely know you have a boatload of love in your heart.
I hope you will stand with me as I unlearn and learn about what it’s like to have black skin in this society.
If you want to become an ally (like I do!) you’ve probably already been watching, reading, and listening to people share their life experiences and depth of feelings.
I wanted to share some resources that have helped me start to understand things about the black experience that never entered my mind…b ecause they didn’t have to.
I’m hoping some of these are new to you and can add real value to your personal journey.
Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop helped me understand how good men and women can become so cruel and unjust.
A Black woman talks about our broken social contract and the significance of looting. This is extremely raw but taught me something so surprising and important.
Austin Channing Brown gives perspective on anti-racism, the dignity of “black womanhood” and shares many tools and actions.
And look, if you’re not interested, ready, or in alignment with my message, I get it. If you no longer feel that I am the best coach to help you find love, feel free to make a connection with someone you feel better matches with your perspective. I wish you well and hope you keep an open heart and open mind as this journey continues.
This is just the beginning for us, isn’t it?
As always, I’m sending this with my love and committed support. Be safe and well.