A White Man Placed a "Black Lives Matter" Sign on His Front Lawn & Here's What He Noticed by Matthew Suarez Pace LMFT

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a month ago
A White Man Placed a "Black Lives Matter" Sign on His Front Lawn & Here's What He Noticed

I live in a predominantly white neighborhood and placed a Black Lives Matter (BLM) sign on my front lawn. Here is what I have noticed:

  • I noticed my own sadness, anger and sense of powerlessness against systemic racism and police brutality.
  • I noticed there are no signs in my neighborhood. When I thought about something we could do as a family, we decided to make and post a BLM sign on our front lawn.
  • I noticed my initial fear that I am likely to be judged by many other people in my community who don’t support this message. This gave me pause. It is a familiar feeling. Then I thought about the possibility of my black and brown neighbors potentially feeling "seen and heard." Then I thought about how black parents fear for the lives of their children every day. Each of these far outweighed any small judgment I may face. My fear was gone. 

There is now one sign in my neighborhood. 

  • I noticed the text I got from a black neighbor, mother of two black children, that said, “I was overcome with emotion when I saw your sign ... you have no idea what it means to my family ... our fear for our children is real…”
  • I noticed our postal worker, a black woman, pause and take a photo of the sign. I greeted her and she said, “I like your sign.” I said, “I see you and value you.”
  • I noticed a work crew of black men drive by slowly and raise a fist of black pride after seeing the sign.
  • I noticed a white neighbor’s text saying, “I really like your sign.” We answered, “Thank you. Would you like one? We will make one for you!” 

There are now two signs in my neighborhood. 

  • I noticed I got another text from a white neighbor that said, “I sprayed along the fence we share just in case your dog goes out back. Also, your BLM sign is on point!” My reply was, “Thanks for the heads up. Hey, my daughter says her sign is getting lonely and she wants to make one for you.” He said OK.

There are now three signs in my neighborhood.

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Wow, Matthew Suarez Pace LMFT . This gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing your actions and reflections with us. I hope you will inspire many others to take steps such as these. Thank you for modeling what we all can do to make change, one person and one sign at a time. Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Ash Benton Lauren Carrier Horton Whitney Hudson Samantha Harris Tori Ulrich Pilar Clark Kate Riffle Roper
Matthew Suarez Pace LMFT
Thank you for sharing, Elisa. Much more work to do as these signs are lonely and there are scores of homes without them!
Tribe
This is amazing. Your family is amazing. Thank you for doing this.
Matthew Suarez Pace LMFT
Thank you for your comment. So much more needs to be done and standing up and using my privileged voice for change is just simply the right thing to do.
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Matthew Suarez Pace LMFT : I have known and loved you for over 25 years (!). I saw your heart even way back then when we were young and ridiculous. :) Thank you for who you are and the difference you make, and for sharing it all with us. #BlackLivesMatter
Matthew Suarez Pace LMFT
That is so sweet, Ann Marie...and you know the feeling is mutual! So very proud to know you! With Love, Matt
Kathy Ast-Kutzbach
Thank you for your inspiration. Been thinking about doing the same in my neighborhood.

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