Shaun, thank you for all you are doing. This story resonates deeply with me.
For over 20 years, I have always been an advocate for public education. When the Black Lives Matter movement started I became more vocal in supporting educational equity for Black students and families in my children’s public school system. Living in a “progressive” city like San Francisco, I was completely unprepared for the backlash attacks I immediately received. I have been harassed via email, on my blog and via Twitter attacking my personal credibility and my expertise.
This experience has made it painfully clear to me that white supremacy has NOT diminished over time as I had once believed, but has just gone underground. In some ways, I realized how I had been complicit in keeping white supremacy in place by avoiding topics of race in order to be “palatable” to a wider audience.
Throughout this experience, I realized I had a choice: I could stop being vocal and thus avoid some of the negativity that has come into my life because of my activism and advocacy. Or, I could accept it as an unfortunate yet integral part of the change process.
I have chosen to accept it and in doing so I am now learning to be conscious about things I can do to protect myself and my family. This includes creating time for self-care and social support so I am not fighting alone.
In that vein, I have been following you and other racial justice advocates for quite a while on Twitter. Your work and presence are very important to folks like me who lack your visibility, yet are working in our own ways to affect social justice in our schools, neighborhoods and communities.
That said, in a small way, you have become a part of my social support system. I imagine your mere presence is a support for hundreds and possibly thousands of other folks who share our vision for a just and peaceful world. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your voice. Thank you.