I participated in a conference of psychologists this past weekend.
The subject was psychology during COVID. How interesting it was to listen to a different professional speak about this collective trauma from their point of view and to see the need for community.
One speaker that struck me the most was a black psychologist from NYC that spoke about treating black patients during this time.
She raised the issue of race, inequality, and how being black with COVID raises so many fears and deep trauma.
Stories of black upper-class patients in NYC that were sent back home without treatment while white patients were attended to in the same ER.
She discussed what it means to be a black woman sitting in a doctor's office or entering a government office.
It was physically hard to listen to.
Her speech had no blame or judgment. Just a testimony that we were bare witnesses to. She didn't ask for anything or complained about anyone. She only described a mental condition and a reality that is still foreign to me.
The way she spoke gave me space to self-reflect. To see my own racism.
Do I view black people differently from myself?
What is my reaction to a black man versus a white man in a hoodie?
If I can just notice my reaction, with no blame or shame, I can then work to change it.
I am grateful for her talk. This was such a great opportunity to reflect on myself.
Can we all look into our own racism?