Racism, implicit or unconscious bias, are hot topics, for good reasons. One of the projects that I do training and write issue briefs for has asked us to include how culture and race impact the choices that people make. It causes me to stop and think, and rethink.
I am trying to plan a little get away this summer. We will both be fully vaccinated, as safe as we can be - but I don't want to risk infecting someone else. So I emailed a couple of people recently to ask if they had been vaccinated, if they were up to a visit. One didn't bother replying, I won't bother visiting, another person replied with concerns about the vaccine saying, "I don't want to die from the China Virus, and I don't want to die from an allergic reaction to the vaccine." It is someone I love, I have found myself unable to respond to the inherent racism of the statement. As violence against persons of Asian ancestry rises in the country, this is simply unacceptable, cross one more person off the list of people I won't go out of my way to visit.
I catch myself from time to time. Recently I struck up a conversation about the birds along the swamp trail with an unfamiliar person. I asked "if he lived nearby" and then stood there thinking to myself, that could easily be interpreted as "you don't look like you belong around here." Not what I meant, but it could easily make someone feel unwelcome.
I will keep working on being a better person. Raising the unconscious to the conscious is a critical first step.
Three months, into the year, an update on goals.
I am reading books at twice the pace I expected, I am getting my daily walks in and keeping a journal of my walks, I am blogging daily, I am adding lots of photos to the archive, learning a few new birds, I need to be more active reaching out to people, I need to write more stories. For work I have done a couple of interviews for YouTube, kinda fun.
My work calendar for April and May are a zoo, lots of work, lots of interesting things going on.