Fully Loaded Baked Falafel Pita
Welcome to the second post in my series about anti-racism for white people: Identifying and Dealing With White Fragility. Thank you to all of you made a commitment to read at least the first two posts! (Here’s the first one if you missed it.) At the end of this installment, you'll find the dinner recipe that Mike and I are currently crazy about, which happens to be a great way to use the quick-pickled radishes I posted last week: an (incidentally vegan) Fully Loaded Baked Falafel Pita! You’ll also have a chance to share your experiences and resources in the comments. Let’s begin in a rather unlikely place: the skating rink.
When I was 8, I broke my arm at the skating rink. I’ve told you the story before, but I want to focus in on one aspect of it. I was rude to the concession stand cashier when he wouldn’t give me ice to put on my injury, and my friend encouraged me to apologize to him. I want to focus in on the feelings I went through in that moment, which consisted of discomfort, pride, indignation, anger, humiliation, defensiveness, and guilt.
Discomfort because I was in a pickle and I had to either back down or continue fighting; the former felt embarrassing while the latter felt stupid and scary. Pride and indignation because I had just sassed this dude to stand up for myself and now I didn’t want to back down. Anger because I felt like he should’ve given me the ice, which would’ve prevented all of this discomfort in the first place. Humiliation because deep down, I knew I was going to have to admit I had been rude. Defensiveness because part of me was still insisting that I hadn’t been rude: HE had been rude and I had just defended myself! I knew because my feelings were hurt and why would they be hurt if he hadn’t hurt me? Guilt because underneath all of my swirling feelings was the understanding that I had done something wrong.
All of these feelings were valid. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, but they require some analysis to interpret. And it wasn’t the concession guy’s job to sort through them and arrive at a place where I could make an effective decision about what to do — it was mine. What does this have to do with racism?
Check out Radish Revolution! Everyday Ways to Use that Peppery Veggie
by Julie Ruble at Mode
Thanks so much, Mode Media for sponsoring this post!
You guys, I'm seriously amazed and grateful at your response to my last post, which kicked off a series that seeks to start a conversation about race for my fellow white folks (with people of color welcome to join in as they wish). You guys were so open, enthusiastic, and supportive! Look for the second post in the series coming later this week.
In the meantime, I'm here today to drop in a quick little recipe that will come in handy for that post! No, you don't need pickled radishes to talk about racism — but you do need them for the recipe I'll be sharing at the end of that post. Sorry to tease and keep it a secret, but it's worth the wait.
Quick-Pickled Radishes Recipe
Chile Rubbed Salmon over Cheddar Grits
I wrote this post as part of the Plugrá Butter Brigade. Thanks, Plugrá, for sponsoring this post and for making my favorite butter!
I dumped several spools of yellow curling ribbon out of my book bag and started cutting off lengths to tie around the willing arms of my classmates. Someone tied mine on. My coursing adrenaline had turned my head into a pressure cooker. I was walking into trouble and I knew it. But I also knew our cause was just.
As we collected our books, I surveyed the group around me one last time. We were a rag-tag bunch of middle school students, some in flip-flops or sneakers and others sporting the latest Timberland boots. Bob, whose real name was Daniel, stood tall and weird over in the corner. Jamie, who had singlehandedly launched the layered-curls trend that many girls subsequently tried to emulate with less success, was being effortlessly cool off to the right. Our yellow armbands probably looked like sad bows ripped off a kindergartener’s present and trampled in a hasty exodus toward a birthday bouncy house. But in my mind, they looked like something a warrior might wear.
The bell rang. Just like that, we marched out into the hallway and began what seemed then like the ultimate act of rebellion: we turned right instead of left.
Cheesy Chipotle Shrimp Sweet Potato Coins
What do you do to self-soothe during times of distress?
As many of you know (and have been so supportive about, thank you!), I’m currently writing a series about my growth as a white person who wants to actively combat racism. There are a lot of thoughts swirling around as I write, but one thing that keeps springing up is how crucial it is for us to be able to manage our own emotions.
That probably sounds obvious, but a lot of times when I’m in a period of distress I find myself wanting to blame someone for my feelings (Brené Brown has an awesome little video about this), withdraw to prove a point ("I’m taking my ball and going home!"), or rely on someone to comfort me. But of course no one is responsible for managing my emotions but me. I’m stronger and safer if I know effective ways to do it on my own. So just like we created a list of reasons to stay alive, let’s create a list of ideas to help each other tolerate distress.