In case you didn’t already know, I’m a planner. My team and I plan out each week’s episode months in advance, and this week I was going to be all about the pruning and weeding the things from your life that are damaged, diseased or dying, since June 13 is National Weed Your Garden Day.
Then George Floyd died in Minneapolis.
Then I saw the video of Amy Cooper calling the police on Chris Cooper, the black man who simply asked her to leash her dog in Central Park.
And I decided to shift this idea of pruning and weeding so it’s not only about cutting back what isn’t serving you in this season, but it’s also about pulling out the weeds of racism that run so deep in this country.
That said, this episode is going to be a little different than what you’re used to. In the past, I’ve never used my platform to address racism, but one of the weeds I’m pulling up for National Weed Your Garden Day is the idea that as a well-educated, productive, good Black woman I have to bury my pain to make people who are more privileged than me – simply because of color – comfortable. No more.
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I’ve faced racism from blatant racists and I’ve faced racism from non-racists who refused to become anti-racists. – Patrice Washington
White friends, many of you have older people in your family who are weeds to the cause of social justice. Speak up and say something. – Patrice Washington
There’s no way for Black people to have intellectual conversations with people who believe they are lower than animals – no way. – Patrice Washington
The excessive, unwanted weed of racism is so deep in this country that it will take all of our collective voices to say enough is enough. – Patrice Washington
Take a stance and become a real ally, not a silent bystander. – Patrice Washington
To say “I never know what to say” is not enough. You don’t get to have a pass on this. – Patrice Washington
Silence makes you complacent. Silence is you saying, “Well, as long as it’s not me, I’m going to mind my own business. They’ll figure it out.” – Patrice Washington
It’s not enough to not be racist. You have to make a decision to be anti-racist. – Patrice Washington
Change is always uncomfortable, especially when it’s involuntary. – Patrice Washington
It’s crucial that every one of us take note of the weeds growing around us, and that we do what’s needed to pull them as soon as we see them. Otherwise, they will not only continue to kill us but eventually, they will destroy this nation.
So, I ask, who are the “weeds” that need plucked? Who are the people you’ve let slide with their racist comments and remarks? Who are the people you’ve seen racially profile someone? And what are you going to do about them?