Use your small voice

Writer Clare O'Driscoll suggests that in the time of this civil rights movement, we can all do something

“Well, they’re not social distancing!”

We’re watching news of the American riots. It’s quite telling that, while such pivotal events unfold, this is my first reaction.  My head’s still in lockdown-land, reeling with COVID-19 thoughts and wanting to keep everyone safe.  I’m not ready for another crisis just yet. Couldn’t we reschedule this for a more convenient time?

Well, no.

Recent racial struggles have left me stunned: watching, praying, signing petitions, writing letters and cheering on those working for equality. But mostly, overwhelmingly, I feel powerless, ill-equipped and a little useless with my small voice. I’m arriving late to the party, needing introvert time to mull things over while others are already out changing the world. It isn’t enough to simply not be racist, but what should I do?

Living in a multi-cultural town, I am always taken aback when I encounter archaic views of racial inequality. Some years ago, a friend of a friend apparently commented that she hates visiting my town. ‘It’s like playing ‘spot the white face’’ she laughed. On hearing this, after calming down, I responded ‘That’s what I love about it.’  I love my children growing up knowing diversity is normal.

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