Over here I’m all about food and this week, June 2020, was supposed to be just another recipe post. But this week is different.
The Black Lives Matter movement is crying out in the wake of the recent death of George Floyd. This week the world is reacting and asking everyone to come together to fight for what’s right.
It would have been easier to simply write another recipe post but my 20-year-old son is asking me hard questions. What are you going to do? You have followers, you have a voice. Are you going to act like this isn't happening?
So instead of sharing another recipe I will be brave and share some Food For Thought. Thoughts from an ordinary person. I don’t pretend to know all the facts and I certainly don’t have any answers. But I care about people and I’m open to learning.
What Do the Black Squares Mean
On Monday night as I began to see Instagram posts “Muted June 1-7” and black squares reading “Blackout Tuesday” I started reading to understand. I read and I read and I read. I could see people like me, trying to figure out what was going on and what action was needed. June 2, 2020 was declared Black Out Tuesday by the music industry.
As I understood, the black out was a pause. Many people have paused their usual message to join the music industry and take a stand against the “racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
The black squares were to be a pause, not a vacation. A pause to turn your attention away from business and educate yourself on this topic. A time to read, listen and learn.
Without fully understanding I posted my black square and I went to bed with a heavy heart.
There’s Always More To Learn
I often say about gluten free baking, “there’s always more to learn”. It’s true, there’s more to learn on every topic in the world.
“The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.”Albert Einstein
It has never been easier to learn than it is now. No matter what your social media of choice you can enter a hashtag, click on information or scroll to see what crosses your screen. If you’re open to learning it’s all there.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”Desmond Tutu
We’re busy, we’re all busy. We’ve created busy lives. This is not new and it’s not an excuse.
Like many of you I too am struggling to stay on top of my own personal situation in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. As well as the usual responsibilities my husband has had chemotherapy and surgery in recent months plus my mom’s dementia is increasingly apparent. My plate is full and some days I feel like I’m just hanging on. It’s hard yet I have many things to be thankful for.
I can breathe.
I Can’t Breathe
The chilling 8-minute video of George Floyd’s death has forever changed our world. It’s heartbreaking and the response in moving. It’s clear that we must add this topic to our already busy lives. Our busy lives with our own difficulties. We can’t keep looking away. Enough is enough.
Inspiration and Hope
Hope is sometimes the only thing that keeps us moving forward.
This week I’ve been learning and I will continue to learn. I’m inspired by the passion. I’m hopeful as I read what people are sharing and the creative ways to take action. Some posts stop you dead in your tracks and cause you to look inside. That’s what they’re supposed to do.
You don’t need to march in a protest. In 2020 you can sign a petition or donate in a few clicks. You can watch YouTube videos and the ad revenue supports the cause! You can learn by watching Netflix, lists of shows are posted everywhere.
Being a foodie I asked Google about black chefs. If you have a subscription to the New York Times I found an article titled Six Black Chefs (and 1 Inventor) Who Changed the History of Food. In ten minutes you can easily find some food for thought, it may even expand your thinking.
We Can Do Hard Things
I always say every kitchen needs a few tools. For these conversations the kitchen table is the place to start. Come to the table with an open heart. Bring some compassion and start a difficult conversation. Invite your family and friends to challenge their thinking. Remember, there are no dumb questions.
- What is white privilege?
- Are you antiracism or just not racist?
- Are we all racist?
- Why is it Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter?
As one of my colleagues often reminds me, “We can do hard things.” So let’s start talking.
Whatever conversations you have be sure to include old and young alike. I’d love to have known what my grandparents thought about racism. I’d be interested to hear what my parents understood about some significant moments in history. Now I will never get to ask those questions.
To the young people reading I ask you to be persistent but patient with us old folks. I might be slow sometimes, I might not quite get it but I’m trying. I’m open to learning.
As I’m about to hit SEND I’m reminded of Brene Brown and her book Daring Greatly. This is not what I intended to post this week but it comes straight from my heart with the best of intentions.
Final words of food for thought, "Keep an open heart and mind. Do the right thing."