Saturday, July 3, 2010

evolving thoughts: race, ignorance ...

... privilege, self-identity, ...

my evolving interest ... is shared over here (must. buy. book. buy.) and to some extent, this dating-life moment over here.

recently reminding myself about my 2010 goals (over here) made me remember about a film that was shown at work back in february 2010. and just two days ago, i mentioned to a few people at work about an event shortly after that film was shown. this post is simply to share an email exchange after my viewing of that film.

the film ... mirrors of privilege: making whiteness visible by shakti butler - - - during black history month, this film was one of the offerings and events at work. i made time for this viewing.

the exchange after viewing that film ... i, among many others, were affected and/or moved by the film. i was so moved that i felt the need to (a mandate!) contact one of the women who shared her perspective. here is that exchange with some specifics redacted/revised ...

my note to her ... (presuming the facebook person was the woman in the film)
Hi woman-who-moved-me-to-tears,

I am hoping you are the correct woman.

I know you don't know me. And this is quite uncustomary (sort of) for me to touch base with a total stranger. However, I just wanted to let you know how I was so moved (literally moved to tears) by your story in the "mirrors of privilege: ..." video. And so moved that I have obviously felt compelled to find and check-in w/you - and if not, the folks who made the video and hope a note would get to you. I have to believe there are others who have done the same.

Thank you very much for sharing your story and your feelings.

Not that this may matter one way or another - nevertheless, I work at a large government organization (in San Francisco). The video was part of a lunchtime presentation yesterday - a series of presentations being held at our organization. Admittedly, the whole video was very moving. However, for whatever reason, your particular story was not only powerful for me but also memorable in emotion and feelings. When the second clip of you came up, I kicked myself that I didn't get your name. (and really ... I wasn't taking those kind of notes). Of course, I found clips on youtube. Had I not, I already had a note drafted to our Director in our organization; she was partly involved in organizing and/or supporting events such as these in our organization.

I could certainly go on to let you know why I am interested in this topic of privilege, race, ignorance, etc., however, I am sure my friends hear enough (or maybe not - who knows?) of my philosophical and evolving perspectives and mini-rants and raves - all for good and for being part of a path forward. And usually we do that over happy hour. (haha)

In any case, you reminded me of the importance and power of the authentic expressions of our (human beings') feelings. For that, I am thankful to you.

And if you have reached this far in the note, thank you for entertaining a note from a stranger who has decided she is the woman-who-moved-me-to-tears fanclub member at my organization. : )

Be well,
her response to me ... (i received a response 3 months later, much to my surprise and gladness.)
Aloha girlnutkin,

It has been on my mind for quite some time to respond to you when I had an extra moment. As a classroom teacher, that moment has not really come until now, as school winds down for the summer. I was very touched and grateful to hear from you, and to know firsthand that my experience could impact/connect/relate to another. Because that is what I believe this work is truly about - creating connection so that we are able to transcend fear and separation - with others, as well as with ourselves. I have often thought of the process I took in offering that interview with Shakti. I felt passionate about doing it, and knew that my personal upbringing with my cousins and brother blessed me with a viewpoint truly unique. The wisdom and understanding it has brought me to continues to compel me in my work with children - prioritizing an understanding of the "other" viewpoint, whatever that viewpoint may be.

Thanks again for having the courage to seek me out and email me. you are, actually, the first. I feel honored and privileged to know that my experience has created a universal connection between two "strangers" in theory, but not in heart.

Mahalo for taking the time to connect,
what a wonderful universal connection


  1. Thanks for taking the time to remind us the importance of connecting with those people who "speak" to us!

  2. yvette ... you are welcome and thanks for dropping by on this one. it's interesting because i'll sometimes find myself observing others' exchanges and wonder whether/how they have been affected or moved or even if they are actually **hearing** a message.


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