Do you like to eat?
Although I struggle with food allergies I love trying food from all cultures. Stepping outside of my comfort zone has brought about a love for spices and sushi is now one of my go to foods.
This weekend James and I were able to attend the second annual Lexington Jewish Food Festival and I am still thinking of the latkes, brisket and pastrami. Fortunately, due to Jewish food restrictions, I can eat a majority of offerings. This weekend, guests were able to select from over 13 offerings including blintz casserole, borscht, corned beef, knishes and latkes. Additionally there were baked goods for sale including challah, hamantaschen, honey cake, macaroons, matzo toffee and rugelach.
James and I agreed that everything was wonderful. We didn’t take as many food photos simply because we were hungry and ready to eat.
However, something bothered me as we walked into the temple. Today I need to share my thoughts.
Outside of the temple were at least three police cars. One police officer was out front, another checked my purse before I entered and another was inside. After Lexington’s mayor announced plans to remove Confederate Statues, there have been talks of white supremacists marching in the city. Specifically, police patrols were increased at events this weekend. All of this angers me.
I am not an uneducated, white southern woman. In fact, I am an educated social worker who has worked with teens in appalachia, African American men in Louisville, Kentucky and I have sat with individuals from all cultures during end of life. However, today I recognized that despite my ability to understand, have empathy for my clients (and friends) who are Jewish, African American and others who are discriminated against; I can never truly understand. I can not understand because I am a white woman.
I have never had to worry about walking into my house of worship for fear that someone would try to attack. I have never feared someone pulling my car over because of the color of my skin. I have and continue to live comfortably due to my white privilege.
My family raised me to respect everyone. Some may find it hard to believe but I do not automatically recognize one’s race/skin tone/sexuality. I am more likely to remember if an individual was nice or if they smiled and sometimes if they have good shoes. I pick up on an individual’s energy and view them in that light. This is not to say I do not have biases, after all I am human.
The social work advocate in me feels this post needs to be more in depth. However, as I write these words I feel anything I write will not be as eloquent as I desire. What I ask is that you begin to think about your own thoughts, prejudices and actions. Have you experienced a moment in your life like I did today?