I have, too. But I read more than one Medium piece by people of color asking us not to do that recently. Their argument was that they would really kind of appreciate it if we white people who are not racist could keep trying to influence our racist relatives and acquaintances. So they do not have to do all of the work of trying to chip away at the thinking of these folks. I could see this point.

In November, I lost the person who meant the most to making my life turn out. At her memorials, as people spoke of her strength, her storytelling abilities, her sheer power to move mountains in the lives of thousands of youth, I recognized a pattern to the stories. She was always fighting the system for people. As a black woman, she died younger than she should have of heart disease which I know is at least partially stress-related. She was boldly confronting racism and classism for thirty-five years, and when it was her turn to retire and get a PhD, her life is cut short.

As a mental health researcher, a lot of what I focused on was the intersection of trauma and stress and hormonal damage to the body via cortisol, adrenaline, and inflammation. The same mechanisms that damage brain tissue damage heart tissue. Knowing the stress confronting racism puts on black people, I figure I will take those racist people back into my life and do as suggested: try and try again.

Chances are I have a migraine. My spirit guides are Voltaire & Bierce. Considering making SJW into a religion. Genealogist

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