Rain on My Parade (Permission to Play)
If you've ever spent time on a playground, you've probably heard "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." The child, who is the victim of a good time gone bad, is usually running towards a safe place.
By the second stop of my trip in China, I was on an emotional high! However, my good time came to a halt when I became a victim of racism. Without too many details, I witnessed two people (one Chinese and one Caucasian) receive a service without much effort. What appeared to be a seamless process for them had become a challenging one for me. It costed me more to receive mediocre accommodations.
When I recounted the incident to another woman of color in our delegation, she responded, "American racism is an export."
American racism is an export?
She explained this further and shared a personal story that was similar to this incident. She encouraged me as we proceeded to our next commitment which was a panel discussion. Still discouraged, I sat in the overflow section, but before I could sit down, my new confidant requested a different arrangement in the front row to open a seat for me.
And in that moment, I could feel the significance of her standing up. She used her voice to create a seat at the table for me. Her action was the epitome of advocacy giving me permission to get back on the playground.