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I Don’t Care About Making My White Co-Workers Feel Comfortable About My Race Anymore

On December 31, 2019, I posted a video to my Instagram story about how 2020 was going to be the year of momentum for me. At the time, I was speaking about my job, a few of my projects, my book, my health goals, and my new relationship! Everything felt positive and looked as if it was headed in the right direction for me.

This was all until 2020 came crashing through the wall like the Kool-Aid man, totally oblivious to my plans.

Now, I must admit, I haven’t really “lost” my own momentum, as the job is still going well (I earned a raise), my health is great (remember folks, your health is your wealth), my relationship with my boyfriend is still tight (it’s a semi-long distance relationship, but we’re making it work) and my book is currently with my editor. However, this year as a whole has sucked, and sucked hard, especially as a black person in this country.

To be fair, being black in America is always like being on a never-ending roller coaster with more valleys than peaks but this year hit differently, almost like a powder keg finally igniting and setting a fire. I mean from the death of Kobe Bryant, COVID-19 pandemic (which has impacted black/brown people disproportionately), massive job losses, the Trump presidency, Amy Cooper, Breonna Taylor, and of course, George Floyd, the latter of which has triggered protests worldwide.

And this is only what’s happened by June; God knows what the next six months will look like with the impending election.

I speak as a black woman who has dealt with racism within and outside work, one who is closely aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, who nearly had a fit watching the super-Karen that is Amy Cooper lying against a black man for no reason, and who cried as George Floyd struggled to take his last breaths. To be constantly subjected to such hate and to come to work with that hate on my shoulders, each and every day, is brutal.

If you follow my blog, you know I don’t shy away from talking about race. In fact, my blog is aptly named, Blackness and the Workplace, but there is a unique struggle all black professionals face, trying to work while maintaining our mental/emotional/physical and even spiritual health among our white co-workers, many of whom are clueless or simply don’t care about the issues plaguing our families and communities.