Why is it called B'more Incremental?
Working for change can be disheartening. The work of repairing the world can be lonely. Too often we see only how far we have to go, and not how far we've come. It can be enough to convince a person to stop trying. The title of this blog is an attempt to recognize that reality while also recognizing the imperative of continuing to work.
Systemic racism was not built with a single act. It will not be undone with one, either. We must be patient and persistent. We must be willing to take responsibility for our own actions--and inactions. We must be willing to change. We must be willing to wait.
It is a difficult lesson in the midst of our culture that values instant gratification and measurable results. The work of dismantling white supremacy and of righting old wrongs takes time. It is hard to measure. It moves slowly, with small, jerky steps. In short, it is incremental. In my beloved Baltimore, with its history of Redlining, dogged segregation, failed public housing, documented injustices perpetrated by the Baltimore Police Department, and so much more, this seems especially true.
And so, Baltimore + incremental change = B'more Incremental.
B'more Incremental is the work of Tracie Guy-Decker
After the death of Freddie Gray and the Uprising that followed, I finally realized that being not-racist was not enough. I knew I needed to be more, to do more, but I didn't know how or what I ought to do.
I'm a mom and a Navy wife. I'm a middle-class White Jewish woman with a great deal of privilege: economic, education, white skin, heterosexual, cis gender. The Uprising showed me that though I live and work in Baltimore City, it is not the same city that my neighbors of color experience.
In the weeks following Gray's murder, I told my rabbi that I thought our synagogue should start a book club for folks like me who wanted to learn more about becoming more anti-racist. She agreed that we should start such an enterprise. Then she surprised me when she asked me to facilitate it.
That unexpected assignment from my rabbi put me on a path I continue to walk. I read and think a lot about race and justice, and I invite others to come along. I am not an expert; I'm a traveler. I misstep. I get things wrong. I'm pretty sure that I also sometimes get things right, and I do my best to acknowledge the difference.
Please feel free to join me. B'more Incremental is intended as one place for us to travel together the incremental path of lasting change.