Today I am happy to introduce you to LaQuanta Jackson from Seattle, Washington. She's lived and worked there the majority of her life. Our discussion today runs the gamut from the Oklahoma Massacre to neighborhood Redlining to the George Floyd murder. But the most interesting revelation about LaQuanta is her perspective on race. LaQuanta says that her privilege growing up and the diverse friend group she acquired at a young age played a huge role in how she felt racism in her life.

Show Notes

LaQuanta's mom made the hard choice of leaving her home and family in Tulsa to give a better life with more opportunity to her kids by moving to Seattle. She was given the chance to grow up in a beautiful neighborhood with successful professionals as parents and all the privilege that comes with it. I found her admission fascinating that privilege sheltered her exposure to racist actions even though she saw glimpses in how those around her were treated. I can understand how it took her awhile to process these actions as racism since they were not overt in nature.  

I appreciate LaQuanta's sage advice that change begins with the younger generation. She's absolutely right. Teaching empathy and compassion at a young age is critical to ending all these great divides we have in our society. To quote Jane Elliott, "Racism is a learned affliction and anything that is learned can be unlearned." I love how LaQuanta is actively teaching her daughter through her actions what kindness, acceptance, and understanding of all people looks like.

I'm also glad LaQuanta brought up the George Floyd murder and how it produced trauma for all who saw it. I hadn't thought about it in those terms before. It seems we've all become so desensitized to violence because of the movies we watch or video games we play. But George was a real person. This wasn't staged. It was real blood. Real hate. Real shock. All filmed live and no one had any power to stop it. That's traumatic. How do we as a country heal from that? I think the answer lies in what so many guests have said and LaQuanta echos….kindness. The more seeds of kindness we plant, the more fruit of kindness we grow. It seems to have an exponential growth pattern. But sadly, so does fear and hate. It is a conscious choice. We have to educate ourselves and choose kindness. As R.J. Palacio says in her book, Wonder, "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. Let's start there. Thank you LaQuanta for reminding us that we never know where people are or what they're going through and how a morsel of kindness can change someone's day or entire life.

LaQuanta's Quotes: 
"Baby, if you're gonna pray, then don't worry." her Grandma 
"Never look down on someone unless you're reaching down to lift them up." Anonymous

What is Gramercy?

Stories from those who live and work on the margins of society.