Jay Smooth (see the link below) has a unique way of helping us look at our own prejudice and the need to commit to continually exploring ourselves and our understanding of others. He says that by being mindful of our personal and common imperfections, we are able to be good to each other and ourselves. He provides a really simple analogy to help us all remember that exploring our own “pockets of prejudice” and being open to how others are perceiving our words and intents must to be a daily regiment, like brushing our teeth.
Of course, brushing our teeth in the morning doesn’t guarantee our teeth will be clean all day or forever. So when someone lets us know that we have something stuck in our teeth, we are thankful. We can go and floss or brush or swish our mouths out with water to correct the problem. We respond kindly to the person, understanding he/she/they was showing good will, caring enough to save us the embarrassment of walking around all day with food in our teeth. It needs to be no different when someone takes the time to call us out on our words or actions that were hurtful or insensitive. We must respond graciously and be thankful that someone cares enough to let us know!
Certainly thankfulness isn’t our typical response these days when someone let us know what we said was racist, hurtful or offensive. We tend to get defensive, making it impossible for our society to have these very important conversations needed to dismantle constructs that are limiting our growth and binding us to intolerance and hate.
So check it out, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbdxeFcQtaU (if you are taxed for time start at 6:00).And for goodness sake, if you see something racist stuck in my teeth… please tell me!