When the elephant in the room, is actually the room.

When I was a young girl, important messages would interrupt broadcast television and end with, “you will now return to your normal programming…”

I have not really been able to articulate the feelings rising to the surface over the last 4 years. Everyone is polarized and perhaps a bit traumatized and it often looks like apathy or defeat. And like many of us, I am interrupted by reoccurring thoughts—trying to understand the vitriol and annihilation.

Brene Brown came as close as I think possible to breaking this down for us—teaching us that dehumanizing language is never the right choice—even if we believe our truth is infallible.

Many of us have been “other” our entire lives. Historically, anything not white has been considered “other” and has often been dehumanized. How else can you explain separating babies from their mothers and placing them in cages. If they weren’t “other” we would not have initially gasped in horror but then went on with our lives.

My father was black and that was a label he wore my entire life. Sadly, observing the richness of our DNA was not available during his lifetime. I am the fortunate one. I can paint my life with the rich colors of heredity and originality. No labels, simply science and DNA.

How can this be “other” when I can see so many similarities with my fellow man? This country was built on diversity albeit in the shadows and right under the noses of others able to rise up by dehumanizing the other and claiming a false path to ascension.

It is true our founding fathers certainly thought they were making America great. A gathering of a dozen or so white, noblemen landowners would decide the fate of the majority of the citizens. But we had other ideas. We sought inalienable rights, we fell in love, we immigrated and emigrated. The timeline may differ between you and me—but otherwise we are all humans in a flawed, dynamic, world full of forgiveness and humanity. We simply might not be looking in the right places.

White supremacy is not the elephant in the room, it is the room.—Nelba Marquez-Greene