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home : columns : dear harriette October 20, 2020

8/8/2020 12:39:00 PM

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a really great job that has good benefits. The job itself isn't what I think I would want to do forever, but I'm comfortable. Recently, there were proposals for the reduction of our benefits. Some of those proposals were passed, which resulted in the loss of those benefits. Now I worry that I could potentially lose more than what I'm willing to live with.

At this point in my life, I'm at a crossroads. Should I continue on my current path because I'm comfortable, or should I start searching for a career that entertains my true interests, especially since the benefits here aren't guaranteed anyway? -- Crossroads Millennial

DEAR CROSSROADS MILLENIAL: If you are not working toward what you want your career to be, make a plan to get to the job of your dreams. That doesn't mean that you should up and leave your job now. Instead, do your research. Figure out what truly interests you. Then look for stable companies that offer those opportunities. If it is possible to see what benefits these companies offer, figure that out as well. In some instances, people supplement their insurance and other benefits themselves in order to pursue their dreams. There are many ways to get to your goal.

DEAR HARRIETTE: The Black Lives Matter movement is the biggest topic today, aside from COVID-19. The world is changing, and the truth about people in our surroundings has been coming to light. My white friends are backing all lives matter, and I'm confused about what to think and feel. Why don't they see why BLM is important? Have I been blind to their true feelings about Black people all this time? Have they been blind to their own feelings about Black people? How do I continue these friendships? Should I? I am in shock because there is a lot of love here, but I feel for the first time that we are just too different after all. I want to bridge our races, as I thought we were doing this whole time. Was it all fake? -- Lost in This World

DEAR LOST IN THIS WORLD: Honest, robust conversations are beginning among people who normally do not talk about race. Research is revealing to many people nuances about the racial justice struggle that, hopefully, will open more eyes.

The fight between Black Lives Matter and all lives matter is based on perspective. The reason that Black Lives Matter became a thing is that Black life didn't seem to matter to many people. Black men and women were being executed on a regular basis with no repercussions -- whether the murderer was a citizen or a police officer. The notion of all lives matter emerged as a reaction to BLM, suggesting that white lives, blue (police) lives and all people are important. That was never the issue. These other entities were not and are not under attack in the way that Black people are.

When you educate your friends about why upholding the value of life is necessary, this may help them to understand better. The intention of Black Lives Matter isn't that white lives -- or any other lives -- matter less. Instead, it is to point out that Black lives should not be disposable.

Don't give up on your white friends. Start talking, reading together, sharing information and keeping the dialogue going. Education is key to liberation.

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