“I need to stop looking away and unpack my own reaction.”
My fellow blogger and friend, GirlGriot used that gem to describe her gut reaction to something. You can read all about it here.
I was telling a few friends a story of a crazy event that occurred over a year ago. I’ve told this story to several different friends over time, in the same way so I was not thinking about it as i told this group. At least I wasn’t thinking about it until a friend called me out on a racist comment that flew out of my mouth. I took a mental step back for a moment, but she was right. What I had said, even jokingly, was racist. I know it was a not-so-charming stereotype learned from my mother, among other places where such stereotypes are fostered, while I growing up. Still, I had not realized how deep that nasty little bug had dug in it came flying out.
As I said, I’ve told this story before to others in the same manner. I can’t decide if no one else ever noticed it before, or if they had, chose not to say anything. Neither option sits well with me, but the latter especially galls me. Once called on it, I owned up to it, because it was what it was. I know my friends know me better than that. What scares me is that it has been there all this time and I even I had not noticed to check myself.
I’m left wondering what other nasty little deep-rooted gems are waiting to come out and bite me. I’m praying that if it’s something I don’t notice, that it does not take over a year before I’m called out on it.