As a U.S. History teacher, I wanted my students to understand that we live in a flawed country, that our government has flaws, that we as humans have flaws and that with all of that, if we can view and accept multiple perspectives, we should be able to live together in some sort of harmony.
In the classroom, I’ve facilitated eye opening discussions about race and privilege. And I encouraged my students to sit in their discomfort to really reflect. I’ve done this before. I should know what to say now. But I really don’t.
After George Floyd’s horrific death, I wondered how am I going to talk about this? I believed I was open minded and unbiased. I should be able to talk about the systemic racism so deeply rooted in our country. Yet, each time I create a thought, I find it seems wrong, small, and potentially, insulting.
I can’t seem to grasp it yet. I don’t understand the pain and anger that sit constantly in a person if their skin is not white. I don’t understand how opportunity can be taken away when a person’s skin is not white. I don’t live in this disappointment every day. I don’t have to carry that weight on my shoulders. It’s not right. And I won’t ever truly understand it.
But I can continue to try, to live in my discomfort, to listen, and to be honest.
I’m Elsa Glover and that’s my perspective.