Every day is an opportunity to learn

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  • By Lynn Ross
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Every day is an opportunity to learn

Every day is an opportunity to learn.

Earlier this morning, I received a voicemail from a citizen regarding our TV commercial that aired on channel 6. This person was concerned about the possibility of this commercial offending Black people. This is a situation that could have been a disaster, but has been a beautiful and teachable moment, and I would like to share it with you.

 

In this commercial, my son recited the old rhyme “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo” regarding choosing a car seat. Thanks to this woman, we did some research and learned the history of that rhyme. It is not an innocent children’s rhyme, but rather was a racist rhyme written in the early 19th century, and its meaning is rooted in the Slave Trade.

 

I had no idea. It was a cute idea I had last minute that I felt would be a sweet addition to our commercial. I take full responsibility for my ignorance in this situation. 

 

I immediately called the station and pulled the commercial. I then spoke with the woman who reached out and had one of the most beautiful conversations that I will never forget. This woman is a 78 year old White woman. She has never shopped at our store, and didn’t even know what our store sold. She told me she was sure that I didn’t mean any harm, and that people my age probably don’t know the history of that rhyme- but she did. When I told her that we had already pulled the commercial she seemed a little shocked that she did not have to do any convincing otherwise. She said she can’t go march or protest at her age, so she is trying to make an impact where she can. She took the time to educate me, and I am SO thankful for that education. 

 

I value every single member of our Mother & Earth community, and the thought of unintentionally offending or hurting anyone breaks my heart. But when we know better, we can do better. And I am so thankful to this woman for her courage and conviction to call the store. 

 

We all have things in this world that we do not know. And we all make mistakes. Most of us are decent people who would never want to hurt someone- and most of us would welcome the education. 

 

I hope that this story inspires all of you like it inspires me. I hope it inspires you to speak up when you have a chance to educate, be open when someone tries to give you that education, and be able to admit when you are wrong. 

 

Growing can sometimes be painful, but it is so, so worth it.

 

So much love to you all.

 

Lynn Ross

Comments

  1. Heather Heather

    I’m crying as I read this because I’m so proud of you. I’m just another white lady doing her best to learn to be anti-racist but I feel sure this is what being an ally looks like. Not being defensive and saying you didn’t mean to hurt anyone while changing nothing, but stepping up and apologizing and promising not to do more harm. You are an inspiration to anyone else who makes a mistake later (and goodness knows we all will) of how to handle it with grace. Can’t say enough how proud I am of you and the way you handled this.

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