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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

Enough is Enough.

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

I hesitated to post this, as I'm scared that my words will be wrong, I'm scared that I will inadvertently offend by speaking up, but most of all I'm scared that things won't change.

My heart has broken for the black community in the last few months. But the part that breaks my heart? The fact that I am only beginning to just slightly understand what they have had to live in and be surrounded by their whole lifetime.

💔My heart has been broken because while I have emphasized with them for the last 30+ years of my life, I didn't fully grasp what they have to live with and in on a daily basis.

💔My heart has been broken because I realize that I will never understand.

💔My heart has been broken because I have been blinded by that reality.

Yes, of course, I knew racism exists. As a brown person myself (although I've been born and raised with American mother which causes all sorts of strange identity issues for me), I have experienced it, but not at the level it exists for the black community. To not be able to go for a run for fear of being killed? To not be able to take a walk in the park? To literally call out for your life and still lose it?

I was deeply touched by a video that Sterling K Brown hesitated on posting after completing his #runwithMaud when everything began to finally hit home for me. I would encourage you to watch it because for me it allowed me to see the world for a moment through his eyes. The title he had for this was "Did this live, didn't think I was going to post it but a friend convinced me otherwise." I'm so glad he was brave enough to share his heart because mine has been forever changed from it.

It's devastatingly heartbreaking. And we (I) have been blind to it, which has been even more heartbreaking.

So how do we change it? How do we make it better? Here is what seems to be rising up within me:

  1. We acknowledge it - We can't pretend it doesn't exist, it isn't real. It is, and it's f*cked.

  2. We own our own stereotypes/biases - everybody has them. This could be as simple as the need to want to clutch our purse if we pass a black man on the street, just be aware of the subtle nuances that exist within you, being aware of them and owning them within yourself is the only way to start to affect change.

  3. We stop pretending that everything is OK. It's not OK. As Sterling K Brown says we have taken away their humanity

  4. We ask what we can do to help.

That's what's resonating really deeply for me right now. I don't understand. I'm incredibly sorry and I know how deeply not OK all of this is, and how heartbroken I am that society has functioned this way for so long, so what can I do to make it better?

How can I help?

I don't have the answers, but I do have the genuine heartfelt desire to affect change.

So, my question is... how?


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Maria Vandenburg
Maria Vandenburg
May 28, 2020

Thank you for this @Charles Carr <3


Charles Carr
Charles Carr
May 28, 2020

Dear Maria,

What you did here is a great start. Acknowledging our plight, our struggle, our suffering...

Although I refuse to live my life in fear, it does weigh heavily on me that at any moment, at any time day or night, my life could be taken away for something as simple as jogging through a neighborhood or getting pulled over for a traffic violation. I watched a video earlier today about a couple who moved to Japan for work for a few years, and after coming back to the states for awhile, decided to move back to Japan because they felt safer there... Let that sink in a min, this African American couple felt safer in a foreign country…


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