Dear Nice White Ladies
by The Angry Black Woman
I have recently come to a rather painful conclusion. A deeply unsettling realization that I am not sure that I should share . . . but I will because I believe in transparency.
Okay, here it goes . . . I AM A HOARDER!!!
There, I said it.
Now let me just clarify that I would not be featured on the television show Hoarders. I don’t have ceiling-high stacks of newspapers or trash piles you have to tunnel through. But I do have an affinity for paper, so I kept every drawing my children made. Every art project from Kita to Grundschule was a piece of history.
What started off as keeping precious memories preserved for old age and future grandchildren seems to have culminated in boxes and drawers filled with so many random uncatalogued artifacts that I don’t remember which child made what or why I kept them in the first place.
Why am I sharing this bit of myself? Well, partly, it’s because, as with most people during this pandemic, being locked in my house made me antsy, and I needed to do things. So I decided to clean out my office. I pulled out all of the folders and boxes and dug in. As I was sorting through it all I ran across a huge folder that contained all of the integration research I performed when I first moved to Germany. After being here for more than thirteen years now, I knew I no longer needed it, but as I flipped through the pages, something caught my eye.
I had an entire notebook dedicated to racism in Germany. Not simply whether it existed or not (it did and does), but I had researched people’s positions on the topic. What really struck me is that we seem to be having the exact same conversations, begging the question: has anything changed?
When I first moved to Germany I remember being at a coffee gathering with a few of my local club members. I was recounting a racist encounter I’d had, when one of the NWLs (aka “Nice White Ladies”) informed me that I was “crazy” and that such behavior did not exist here. She completely discounted my reality because it wasn’t her reality.
The death of #GeorgeFloyd put America and racism on full view. You could no longer deny that inequities existed. His death became all of our realities. But he was just one hashtag amongst so many others that remain nameless and faceless. The cries, outrage, and protests that Black people have borne witness to and pleaded for you to see, the pain that we have endured forever meant nothing until you, white people, had to sit through eight minutes and forty-six seconds.
I’m tired and angry. I go through a wide range of emotions daily. Simply because of the color of my skin. And how that is at odds with my ability to breathe. Yet, I am also hopeful.
This blog series that your club has created is a start in the right direction of recognizing the various realities that exist within our community. I am hopeful that this will not only allow you to see me, see us, but also educate you, while simultaneously giving you things to think about, talk about, and, more importantly, take action on!
Personally, I had to find a way to process and have both of my conflicting realities learn how to be good neighbors. So, a few years ago I started The Angry Black Woman, where I try to make sense of . . . that which doesn’t make sense. I hope that you stop by and have a look. You can laugh, cry, scream, or simply gather up resources that will help you understand the realities of being Black in this world.
This is not an easy journey. I won’t lie. But, if you really want to be a part of changing a broken system, I encourage you to see it through. It may be in small doses, but that is better than not showing up at all.
I am humbled that I have been asked to contribute to this project and from time to time you will get something from me. I may write it specifically for you or it may be a link to content I have on my site, but either way, I will always be honest and raw. I haven’t decided if that is a good or bad thing, but it is what it is . . .
Until next time . . .
The Angry Black Woman