This can be such an emotional time, where some couples feel divided because of the racial elements involved in these shootings. If you’re black, you may feel pain, anger and a sense of powerlessness. If you’re white, you might feel guilty or defensive. So how are you working through your thoughts and feelings during this time?
Feel free to let loose, but here’s a few tips you might want to consider before having a heavy conversation:
- What’s going on in the world right now isn’t about the two of you and your relationship. No one needs to pick a team. You both need to be on ‘TEAM TOGETHER.’
- Both of you shut up and listen. Yes–really listen to what the other person is saying and feeling, and fight the urge to over talk one another. It’s important that both parties feel like they are really being heard.
- If you’re white, please fight the urge to let your displaced guilt come out as defensiveness. You are not the avatar for all white people–no one is personally blaming you. However, you can’t be “colorblind.” There’s simply no such thing.
- If you’re black, fight the urge to make your non-black partner the whipping boy for the evils that others have done.
- Both of you have to accept the fact that you might have very separate experiences growing up and may have different impressions about the racial dynamics in this country. Just because you never saw anybody call a black person the n-word doesn’t mean it never happens anymore. And just because you grew up in a place where people wore Confederate flag regalia doesn’t mean the whole white world wants to hang you from a tree.
- If you’re black, you might be under the impression that blacks are singularly targeted by racist cops, but that’s simply not the case. Police brutality, poor training, and psychologically unstable officers put us all in danger. This is ALL our problem to address.
- However, a study by the Washington Post said a disproportionate amount of shootings occurred more often when black and Hispanics were displaying non-threatening behavior. Race is a factor. To deny this despite evidence to the contrary would be incredibly hurtful for your partner if their racial ancestry is from these groups. Compassion and empathy are the order of the day.
- Finally, do something together that will make you feel less powerless that could lead, in some small way, to our country’s healing. What you two decide will be up to you, but make it a joint effort.
Okay your turn!