I am of German-Italian descent - otherwise known as white and I grew up in the United States of America. Specifically, I grew up in California - and Hawai'i and Mexico. I went to public school, but in Marin County, CA. I have a Bachelor's degree from a private college in Los Angeles. My parents are still married. I have three healthy siblings. My mom devoted her life to raising us and my dad is a rock and roll hall of famer.
No matter how hard I've worked, how much I give or how kind and conscious of a person I strive to be, it won't ever take my privilege away.
The word that used to trigger me most is the word that describes my social placement in society: privileged. My name is Kama Hagar and I may be the most privileged person I know.
In 2016, I looked at my friend innocently and asked, "why black lives matter, when all lives matter?" In the kindest, most patient way, she explained that this movement surrounds the injustice around black lives: the hate and racism, the imbalanced ratio of black to white prisoners, police brutality, and the oppression and long-lasting effects of slavery and segregation. That yes, of course all lives matter - that's the point. It's like attending a march for breast cancer and barreling into the parade screaming, "ALL CANCER MATTERS." In the gentlest way possible, it's like being the kid with hardcore ADHD blasting off in the classroom and having to be redirected back to the objective at hand over and over again. It's like a big fat, off-kilter duh in the room of oppression. It's not taking in the sensitivity of the specific cause, situation, or the traumatic history behind black America.
Upon research, education and simply opening one's eyes and ears to the world around them, the privileged learn that black lives are the lives that have the deepest history of oppression in this nation. This is why we say, "black lives matter." This is why this is the movement of focus.
The fact that we even have to have a discussion around why lives of any kind matter show where we went wrong. How did we let it get here? How did we let anyone feel isolated? How did we ever begin to believe that there is a hierarchy of life? This is where we need to ask ourselves the questions: "where did I go wrong?" We are one. No one comes out of this clean.
I am an advocate, an activist, a big-picture thinker and a doer. I feel I have always known the right action to take and the right things to say, but historically, I have been ignorant in this area. As a result, during these times I have been afraid. I am strong in my beliefs on peace and love, but I am afraid of being insensitive, I am isolated in my ignorance, - and though I stand, I truly will never fully understand. I am trying. I can only imagine my privileged micro-blip of feeling unsafe, of feeling helpless, of feeling heavy and of feeling wrong in my simple being is only a fraction of what it feels to be black or a minority in this country. I can only imagine. But for this moment of deep discomfort and sadness, I am actually grateful.
I am grateful because this pain gives me (us) the means and the drive to change. Heavy, solemn growing pains. I have stood for equality for the entirety of my conscious life, but I am ashamed to admit that I have never wholly realized the severity of the inequality in our very own country. For this, I am sorry. I am so, so, so sorry.
And to my fears, my inhibiting, but understandable fears about being privileged and having the "audacity" to speak out about the unprivileged: this is not the time to hold back. I promise to only be guided by love, justice and equality in my words and actions and I trust that even in the face of adversity, this is endlessly better than silence. I trust that silence is compliance. I am here for change. I am here for equality. I am here for truth. I am here for love.
Advocating, donating, educating and voting for love, justice and equality is how I vow to use the privilege I was inherently born into. You can too - and you can be proud to do the same - what a privilege.
A teacher and friend of mine, davidji says, "If there’s any universal truth it’s that we can’t undo the past... I can’t unhurt those I have wounded and they can’t unhurt me. But I can make different choices in this moment to right my past wrongs, to say now what I couldn’t or didn’t say then, to make amends for past misdeeds, to listen now to what I couldn’t hear then, to add sweetness to the lives of new people in my life in the same way I have brought pain into the lives of those in my past, to bring closure to the past in my heart and in my mind (even when I am unable to do it in this physical world), and to take responsibility for my feelings, my interpretations, and my dreams while being SO SO SO PROUD of all the progress I am making. That’s how we keep moving forward. By purposefully reinforcing the new positive life-nourishing behaviors. That’s how we transform the world.... by transforming ourselves."
I am here to learn, to listen, to reprioritize, to love, and to transform the world to a place where true equality exists.
I love you and I stand with you.
Peace, love, justice, equality. Let’s raise the vibration of this earth ♥️
Some movements towards equality and justice I am supporting right now as a result of a week’s worth of intensive research, study, observance and discussion:
3. Contact your congressperson (if you do not know who, look them up HERE) by calling them (numbers HERE) and ask them to co-sponsor Ayanna Pressley & Ilhan Omar’s police brutality resolution. ○ SCRIPT: "Hello, my name is [insert name]. I'm a constituent from [insert state], zip code [insert zip code]. I don't need a response. I am concerned about police brutality in our country and I strongly encourage congressperson [insert last name] to vote on the police brutality resolution introduced by reps Omar & Pressley. Thank you for your hard work!"
4. Find more resources on how to support Black-Owned Businesses here: https://www.finimpact.com/blacklivesmatter-support-black-owned-small-businesses/
Watch + Learn Through These Video Clips:
● What Racism Is - Toni Morrison
Love you all - I implore you to do some research as well if you haven’t already.