I reached out this morning to my friend Marra Gad, who lives in Los Angeles and is the author of a moving memoir The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl. She shared with me what she sent out to her friends yesterday.I asked her permission to post and she graciously gave it. She wrote:
“I send my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have reached out to me over the last day or so to say that you are supporting me…and that you see me.
Sprinkled among the messages, however, have been notes saying that people support me, but that there is surprise that I am so affected by the murder of George Floyd, the racism and the violence because….
“…you’re not really black.”
“…I don’t think of you as black.”
“…I don’t see your color.”
My brother and I were discussing this last night, and he rightly pointed out that the brutal murder of George Floyd should affect every single person on the planet. Simply because we are human, and the act was so sub-human on every level. And if it isn’t affecting you, I would encourage you to ask yourself why.
But for those of us who are black, bi or multi racial, the impact is intensified. And I am absolutely on that list.
I am black…white…and Jewish. That is my wholeness. I am here to be seen for all that I am…and I will not allow anyone to deny any part of me.
Look at me. See my color. How beautiful and powerful I am. See that my strength and lifeforce comes from being black. Just as it comes from being Jewish.
The world has tried for far too long to keep black and brown people invisible. And a part of what is happening right now in the streets of America is the voice of the people demanding to be heard saying NO MORE. It is a demand to be seen. And my voice is with them.
If you cannot or will not see and honor me for all that I am, you do not see me at all. And if you do not choose to see all of me, you are not being my ally or my supporter.
Marra B. Gad”