Thank you for assigning us to Read Just Mercy. Among many things, I took from this book that many are treated differently because of their race. This is infuriating. Since reading the book, my eyes have been opened – because they were not to the unethical ways we tend to treat people who are ‘different’ than our self. My world has been very privileged, and this privilege has led me to ignore some of the other races and ways they are impacted by our daily behaviors. Simple stuff… not complex or hateful but simple discussions – like… I was sure to call someone in my group “black” or “African-American” when I was describing her. As in, Jamie is the __________ black lady sitting at the end of the table. See simple, because sometimes it helps to be able to identify a person when you are sending someone for directions.
After reading this book I had a simple friendly discussion with Jamie about what she preferred. She was very willing to talk about this and how she feels about being called an “African American” – she said “I am from Maryland, LOL”… As a leader of a small group I have the ability to talk with my team individually and learn more about who they are. I was thankful to be able to talk about our class and diversity among our small group.
I hope to use some of the ideas from the Bias book to grow the knowledge and perceptions of others in my group, too.