|honestly, why is this even a bone of contention? The fact that it|
has to be said and that others react negatively to it says more about them and
the reason as to why it has to be said in the first case
So I haven't written anything. I wasn't sure what to write or even if I had anything new to say.
Or if I had the right.
Because I am older (and hopefully more mature) I let things simmer in my mind a bit to see what comes out. Then I saw a post on FB by Lysette. She is a black equestrian hunter jumper rider. She also has this beautiful horse that I'd love to see her do dressage with, but I digress......
|feeling the need to break up the text with an old photo.|
Here's the story. And yes I am about to call out an old white equestrian named Denny Emerson. Hang on, the why will become apparent in a moment. You see, Danny wrote a post on his FB page decrying the lack of diversity in the horse world and how we should all do better. It was nicely written and spot on.
Except it turned out to be just that. You see, Lysette challenged him to reach out and do more with his platform to highlight black equestrians. it was apparent that that made him uncomfortable and he responded that he really didn't know any black horse people. So she challenged him again (politely) and he basically told her to shut up or he would block her. If you want to see it- here it is:
I'm pretty sure he missed the total irony of his telling a young black woman to shut up while he was decrying the racial bias in his sport.
This post is not to encourage anyone to pile on Danny. I am writing it because I think it underlines that words are not enough. And that we are uncomfortable as white people doing more. Maybe because we don't know what to do. Or because we worry we'll do the wrong thing? Or we're old and tired. There are many reasons. None of them really any good.
Like the meme going around says, it's not enough to be non-racist anymore. We have to be anti-racist.
I always say that I more happy with the 'wrong' answer from Carmen than no answer. Because that means she's trying. So I need to do the same. I often say that Nova Scotia is largely white. And maybe it is. But also I need to recognize that we still a very segregated province with the majority of our black citizens living together in neighbourhoods. Either because we forced them to or for safety (likely both). I grew up in a culture that was subtly or not-so-subtly racist. I recognized the more obvious ones but missed a lot of the small ones.
When I think back, I knew only one black equestrian. I never thought about it before. If I had I think I would have reached the conclusion that it was because of the disparity of population. Clearly that is wrong. white people are not more likely to lovely horses than people of other colours. That makes no sense. I think that we need to reach out to encourage others to explore their love of horses.
I also need to stop saying 'we'. That distributes the responsibility and dilutes it. I need to do more. I need to work actively to make the world a safer place for others. And, in total honesty, I don't really know how. Where do I start? I do know that I am no longer going to look the other way at racist comments, jokes or barbs.
I am going to do some thinking about this and seek out ideas from others.
I also want to say that Lysette has no idea that I wrote this post. I am going to reach out to her and if she wants me to I will take it down.