I want to acknowledge the enormity of the past week while at the same time, acknowledging that it is a painful, horrifying repeat of so many, many weeks in this country when an African American or Black person was killed by a police officer.
Under the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all experienced living in a world where our health and safety, potentially our very life, is threatened by everyday interactions. Where a small action or inaction in a social interaction could result in a life-threatening illness. The need to be aware of where we are, who is around, and what we are wearing so that we can be safe is a heavy and often frightening reality. While this may be new to some of us, particularly those of us with white skin, I imagine that this has been the everyday reality for African Americans and Black people as well as other Brown people for generations. Any small action or inaction in a social interaction could result in a life threatening event.
That threat to African Americans, Black people, and Brown people is the direct result of institutional and systemic racism. As it is with the COVID-19 pandemic, it will take all of us to end this epidemic that is taking the lives of African Americans and Black people. As expressed by Michelle Obama, “If we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”
All of us at Ryther are all committed to doing that uncomfortable work. And we are dedicated to serving our clients and supporting them during painful times like this. We are open to children and families who find themselves needing support right now and are ready to provide the trauma-informed care that we specialize in.
Executive Director of Ryther