Updated: Oct 6, 2020
i'm talking to white people here. including myself.
i hope you all having been taking this time to listen to the voices of people of color on social media. my blog as well as many others participated in the #amplifymelanatedvoices challenge which lasted from June 1st to June 7th and was started by @blackandembodied & @jessicawilson.msrd on Instagram. i saw a plethora of accounts however putting up one final post captioned–
hey everyone i'm going to be leaving social media for a little bit to do this challenge because i want to amplify the voices of poc ... yada yada
that's like leaving a room and right before you go announcing, "I'M LEAVING GUYS PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO ME!"
first of all karen no one cares if you leave social media for 7 fucking days. second off, the mf irony. if you want to learn more about the challenge and the creators' official statement please watch this Instagram Live debrief video AND make sure to follow them.
it's been a week of not blogging, posting, writing. it's been a week of thinking, debating, learning. but even since the beginning of these protests i've always said that this movement does not start and end in one week. it's something we must continue to do in our everyday lives. something we must continue to actively participate in this week and every week following. i dont think fighting against racism is not posting a black square. i dont think fighting against racism is not muting yourself for a week and then going back to your normal whitewashed routine.
what do you do on a daily basis to amplify the voices of people of color?
what perspectives do you hear from and listen to on a daily basis? are they from people of color?
what businesses do you support? what music do you listen to? what events do you participate in? what do you do on a day to day level to fight against racial injustice?
i watched a video from mentor and founder of @Mavenelle– Ivirlei Brookes called:
i highly recommend to watch the entire video and follow her account. but here are some of the key points she describes:
Self Reflection: similar to what i described above. ask yourself questions. think about experiences you've had in the past in any degree, shape, or form where you have participated in (actively or passively) or witnessed racism. Ivirlei says if you ask yourself just now why you want to be an ally, what are the things you have ignored, assumed of poc, and the parts of yourself that have supported racism. she explains that in order to be a good ally you must recognize and analyze your past in order to learn and educate yourself in the future.
Being Vocal: often when racism occurs it can be difficult to speak out when you see these injustices occurring but Ivirlei explains that this is exactly the way that you can make people begin to Self Reflect. you can call someone in and say, "i understand maybe you did not mean for this to be offensive but i am uncomfortable with the way you said ___." then you can explain why you felt that way. she explains that not saying anything continues to perpetuate racism.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: in order to be a successful ally it is very important to put yourself at the forefront of uncomfortable situations. not every conversation you have will be comfortable. in fact, you will have to have many uncomfortable conversations in order to actively educate others. some people might be offended or upset or uncomfortable themselves. that is important in order for white people to learn their place in this movement and to learn from others. start normalizing learning and growing from your past experiences and actively changing! do not be ashamed but rather learn from the situation. normalize these difficult conversations.
Look at the Spaces / Businesses You Are In & Interact With: does your business employ people of color? do you interact with and support primarily white businesses / spaces? do you seek out talented black contractors, freelance workers, or artists? does your company set aside funds for young black entrepreneurs? are you creating opportunities?
Educating Yourself Is Part but Not All: reading about the history of oppression that people of color have endured is important but not enough to be an active ally. Ivirlei asks that allies in the BLM movement continue to take direct action throughout their lives.
Sympathy is Not Enough: Ivirlei asks, "what are you doing to step up tomorrow? say what i'm saying to you, to them [white people]. that's how change happens."
this upcoming week i'm really excited for the stuff we'll be putting out. before i even took part in this challenge i was looking to do some interviews with young creatives and entrepreneurs. i have an interview with a close friend of mine who runs her own small cosmetics business and will be sharing her experiences as a young black entrepreneur and mother. additionally, we have a Sex Talk podcast coming out later this week which will center around the discussion of Queerness– pride month and the trans poc who initiated significant change within the movement.
so what do we do now? keep supporting poc content creators, bloggers, artists. now and forever.