I sat in silence as the man started telling the other parents attending school orientation how my son and I think we run the whole school. He said it was about time that everyone else knows how we really are. His hate for my son and I continued, soon his wife chimed in and the seconds felt like hours.
When they were done the only noise in the room was my heart pounding in my ears.
Although the other parents were in shock, their silence made the loudest statement of all. They were protecting themselves from his next attack.
Not one of those parents stopped him, not one of my friends stood up for me. I knew if I stood up for myself it would be only starting a bigger argument and I was not interested in engaging with that couple.
When the incident was relayed to the principal the couple was addressed privately and the principal wrote a letter of apology. That did not matter to me. I was devastated by the silence.
This situation is at the forefront of my mind as I watch what is happening to my friends of color and their community.
I understand the fear that keeps one silent and I know the pain that silence causes.
If I want it to stop with me, I need to be the one in the room that stands up.
I had the opportunity to talk with Amy Carroll and listen to her own journey with self-protected silence.
Amy shares how It starts with educating ourselves and listening from a place of grace.
It is not a misunderstanding it is a total lack of understanding!
In this discussion, Amy gives three practices we need to work on so that when we speak up we are prepared and even more convicted.
- Listen ~ This is a very humbling act of love
- Feel ~ allow yourself to hear the heart of who you are listening to and what they are experiencing.
- Do ~ take the action that God places in your heart
- Speak ~ there are many different ways that you can speak up
I know that I have been guilty of self- protected silence out of fear of making the matter worse yet it is the effort and the call that we need to obey.
“A huge problem with race conversations is we don’t know how to have them.” Dr. Lucretia Berry
As you listen in to Amy and I look at where you have used silence for self-protection.
What is your #1 fear of speaking out?
Think about a time when you might have been like a parent in that classroom, stunned yet scared. How did it make you feel? Then click reply and share it with me.
Your stories can help me with future interview choices or blog content that could help others.
Here is how to connect with Amy Carroll: