Black Lives Matter
This morning I published the photo above and it was going to be the only thing I posted this week. I wasn’t exactly sure what to say. But then I thought about it, and it would be a disservice to those who follow me if I didn’t share my story. It would be a disservice to the Black Lives Matter movement. It would also be a disservice to all the mixed girls who think they need to be something other than they are. And they don’t.
I would have said something eventually. This morning just didn’t feel like the time. I needed to sit with myself some more. So here I am, sharing my story and why Black Lives Matter.
When I look back on my life I’ve always liked to consider myself white. Though I am both white and black, if you asked me, I was white. Nothing else. I didn’t want to be black. Truthfully, I still feel that way. But it’s not because I’m ashamed. I’m afraid.
It was an advantage that I had, that I now realize was just that. Black people can’t choose whether they’re white or black and here I am choosing to be white because I can because I’m lighter than then. And because it was a defense mechanism that worked in my favor.
If you thought I was white, well you didn’t treat me as if I was black. My whole life it was very obvious that being black wasn’t a good thing. Whether it was in school, with certain members of my white family, or even with my father who isn’t a very good father. As I got older it was very noticeable with the police.
So if I could make someone, including myself, believe I was only white then maybe I would get away with a parking ticket if I were pulled over. Maybe I wouldn’t be followed in the store if I went. And maybe I wouldn’t be brutally attacked by the police…. until I was.
The last week has made me open up a whole new perspective on Black Lives as well as my own white privileges. I think that recognizing your part in all of this no matter what color you are, is the first start. Take time to reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And then, have those hard conversations.
I’ve had several conversations in the last week. Both good and bad. But what I can at least take away from them is an entirely new perspective. One I would have not had, had I choose to ignore the situation. I am here today saying I have not been perfect, but I promise to be better. And you can too.
My response to all lives matter
We’ve had the conversation time and time again, so I hope that at some point it sinks in. Black lives matter isn’t about making black lives more prominent than other races. It’s about including them. It’s about saying black lives also matter, and should be treated as such. Stop saying all lives matter. That’s oppressing the systematic racism at hand.
My response to silence
If you’re sitting at home not posting on social media, not protesting, not educating yourself you are taking the side of the oppressor. If you’re scared of doing or saying the wrong thing, the only thing you can do is educate yourself and do better next time. But being silent isn’t helping anyone. It didn’t help George Floyd.
My response to educating yourself on the topic
It’s come to my attention in recent weeks that there are people out there who feel they need to be taught how this works. Please stop that. I understand that you may not know enough about what the black community has experienced and it’s ok to educate yourself on that. But it is not ok to act like you had no idea that systematic racism exists and that you need someone to help you understand it. This is nothing new. It’s existed for years and years. Stop acting like you didn’t know.
Ways you can help
Books you can read (Disclosure: These contain Amazon Affiliate links)