I just finished reading a book with my church titled Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by LaTasha Morrison. I can’t recommend this book highly enough for people of faith, especially Christians. What I loved about this book was that it was less about educating you about racism, and more about finding a way for us to, well, reconcile. Morrison presents a process for us as a nation to go through, starting with awareness and mourning.
One step of her process includes confession.
I am ready to offer my confession to you all. My friends. My fellow bloggers.
I have not read as diversely as I should. I said “I don’t really pay attention to the author, I just read whatever catches my attention” and allowed implicit bias to lead me into reading mostly white authors. My own implicit bias, publishing’s implicit bias, my fellow bloggers’ implicit bias. Then, as I started becoming aware that this was a problem, I knew that I needed to read more diversely and didn’t. I said it was “important,” but I didn’t prioritize it. I didn’t prioritize people of color. I was wrong. I am sorry.
I don’t follow enough bloggers of color. This is unintentional. Bloggers are not as easy to find on WordPress as they are on Instagram or Twitter, so I mostly follow people because I followed them back after they followed me. A lot of bloggers of color are on YouTube, not WordPress. But this is not an excuse. I could have and should have sought out diverse voices. I didn’t do good enough. I’m sorry.
I acknowledge that my actions were both privileged and complicit. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for not doing better sooner. I hope that you all, my friends, can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
For people of faith part of confession is (hopefully) repentance. Repentance as it is used in the Christian and Hebrew documents literally means to “turn around”. It means to stop doing what you were doing that was wrong and to do the opposite instead. For me that means intentionally seeking out books and blogs written by people of color. I have a spreadsheet (are you surprised?), and I am holding myself accountable. It means purchasing own-voices books, especially new releases, instead of waiting months to get them from the library. It means featuring those books in tags and list posts. It means being intentional in supporting the BIPOC community.
You might be wondering, why now? It’s been weeks since the big push for diverse books and diverse creators. The answer is easy. I wrote something in early June and decided not to publish it. I wanted to leave room for Black voices and to not publish something that came off as performative. But after weeks of reflecting, and after reading Be the Bridge, my heart told me that I owe you all a confession and apology. So here I am.
Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. And your voices matter. Your stories matter. I’m sorry I haven’t treated them like they do. I promise to do better in the future.