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Is There Something I Can Do?

[caption id="attachment_1781" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP[/caption] Is there something I can do about the recent senseless acts of violence against black men and against the police? I ask myself: is there something I can do? Is there something you can do? Frankly, I’m not sure. I pray, I sign petitions calling for comprehensive and sensible gun control. I like Facebook pages that express solidarity. But really, can I do anything? Can you? I hope so. I want to understand more deeply my own complacency in the rampant racism that continues to tear us apart as a nation. As a woman who is white, privileged, highly educated and admittedly quite isolated from the poverty of our world, I’m looking for a way to break out of my own ivory tower. It’s not easy and I am not sure I want to. It’s so comfortable in here, safe and without fear. Shall I read a book to learn more about the experience and pain of Black people? I can do that. Can I notice more the person who is so different than me, look them in the eye, and say hello? I can do that. Can I listen more to the way another person talks about their experiences, so different from mine, and think of them as normal too? Can I feel the pain of another person, so different from me, who grew up afraid of my white neighborhood and stayed in their own? Can I hear the frustration of people different from me who look on me as aloof and deaf to their real struggles? I can do that. President Obama spoke powerfully at the Memorial in Dallas, TX over the death of five police officers. He said, "Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other? Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us?" I think I can do that. Can you?

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