Well… that was an interesting, informative, frustrating, confusing, painful, joyful day.
I’m going to be using the word “I” a lot because this is a post about my experiences and thoughts.
Don’t @ me about this “not being about me”.
It is about me. It’s about all of us, for better or worse.
I spent the day reading articles, watching videos, watching talk shows with special guest panels, watching the news, amplifying voices, following new people, sharing links/stories, donating to organizations, sitting comfortably in my discomfort at being privileged through no fault of my own, and being called out on things I wasn’t aware I was doing. I’ve always been a pretty vocal supporter/anti-racist, but I realize I can do more. I realize that while I’m not racist, I have let unconscious prejudice seep into my thoughts/actions. (Yes, there is a difference, yes, you can be one with out the other, look it up) I will do/be better.
I was pleased that so much of my feed was black squares yesterday. I’ve chosen my friends, colleagues, businesses and services well. I was also pleased that the visible posts weren’t just out of touch white people and businesses, but many of the amazing, diverse humans and businesses that I follow. I want to improve upon that as well.
I was however confused that some of my POC friends were silencing themselves! I was like “NO!! Please make your voices heard and your beautiful faces seen!! That is the point of this!! To amplify YOU!”
I was disappointed to see so much vitriol in the comments. Some I expected ( lot’s of “unfollows” in a blaze of hateful glory…) but some was simply just not helpful. “Shut up” “get louder” “stop asking questions” “Ask more questions”“Don’t post a black square” “why didn’t you post a black square!?”
So many assumptions that people aren’t “doing enough” or that they aren’t being an Ally “correctly”
Dudes… that’s like telling someone how to protest or how to grieve.
For many people stepping into the roll of Ally is unfamiliar, and scary.
Yes, there is so much more to it, but everyone will come to it in their own way and in their own time.
There is a way to helpfully encourage “more”.
Much like the very UNhelpful protest disruptors, the most vocally discouraging people were not POC.
Let that sink in.
Be aware of the disruptors in your followers trying to derail your efforts to push for change.
Just know, I know that nothing is or can be “fixed” in ONE day. This is an ongoing conversation that has to happen every day. It is up to us as allies to continue to listen, and amplify, and call out injustice and inequality and racism and prejudice, not only for POC, but for all humans that are being made to live a “less than” existence.
Keep having those conversations with your friends, and colleagues, and workplaces.
Hold yourselves accountable and come up with solutions.
When you know better (and seriously, we ALL know better) you do better.
Be better! xox