I am not brave

As you may have figured out from past posts, I have been a part of a lot of conversations about diversity lately.

Here's one side effect of these conversations that has come up a lot: other people telling me how brave I am.

For what, exactly?  Certainly not for risking my own safety, well-being, or reputation, because I didn't do that.  In fact, I hadn't actually done anything except for listen and try to be a good and decent person in my responses.

Literally all I had done was converse, and I was being called brave.  A lot.

This is a problem.

We can't make being a good and decent person (which I am currently defining as a person who cares and listens and asks questions when they find out people are being hurt) brave, because then guess who just got off the hook?  Everyone, because nobody thinks of themselves as brave.

What about if we start to think that the real scary thing is not addressing diversity?  What if it was worse for us to ignore inequality than it was to address it?  What if the persistence of exclusion and increasing separation between those with privilege and those without was more frightening to all of us than examining systemic prejudices?

Just a thought.

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