On Being Privileged
Over the last few years, I've become aware of how much I (as a middle-aged white woman living in a mostly white community) privilege I have, without even realizing it. That knowledge was brought into stark focus last week, when our home (along with 7 others) lost water for several days. We are on a well, and the pump broke. Replacement parts didn't come until 48 hours later, and so our household became a Third World Country for almost 4 days. Although we had plenty of bottled water, electricity and plenty of food (plus a friend who cooked us 3 days of meals), but we couldn't wash our hands. The dirty dishes filled the dishwasher and then both sinks, and I ended up buying paper plates out of desperation.
What I've Been Doing
Suddenly we were in the same boat as the millions of Americans who do not have indoor plumbing. I found, as time went on, that it was increasingly hard to concentrate on anything. I had to go to my daughter's house (a 40 minute drive away) to take a shower. And my husband and son (both disabled) were stuck at home.
We have water again, which is a real relief. But I won't soon forget what it felt like to be without. I think of Flint, Michigan (57% black), that has been without safe drinking water SINCE 2014. I think of all the Indian reservations who are massively impacted by Covid-19. There is no reason - in a country as rich as this one is supposed to be - why anyone should have to live under these conditions.
* Incorporating more records and resources for African-American, Native American, and Asian-American people into my presentations and writing.
* Analyzing a friend's Ancestry DNA and doing African-American research
* Reading (and being outraged by) articles such as these: "A White Woman, Racism, and a Poodle" (which takes place in my beloved Michigan).
* And this one: "2020 is the Summer of the Road Trip. Unless You're Black."
* And this one, from the Board for Certification of Genealogists: "Genealogy Ethics and the Call for Diversity"
* And this one: An entire Manhattan village owned by black people (including 3 churches) was destroyed to create Central Park
* Joined a Facebook group of genealogists discussing racism and how to overcome it
* And most importantly, reading a document called "Genealogy and Anti-Racism: A Resource for White People"