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