This is been a hard few weeks for so many people, but especially for black people, as police brutality continues to target the black community due to the racist foundations the policy force is built upon, supported by a country which is still deeply rooted in the racist ties that began it.
If you follow me on other social media platforms, you’ll see that I’ve been taking the week to be silent. To stop posting so much about what is going on in my own life and instead, sharing, reposting and retweeting content from black creators and activists and individuals, allowing their voices to be heard. Sharing links to books, articles, petitions, donations, videos and images in support of black lives.
I hope you’ve been doing the same.
If you’re like me, you might be confronting your own silence and putting actions behind your claims to not be racist. You’ll be educating yourself by doing your own research, instead of relying on the work of black people to do the emotional labor they certainly don’t owe a single white person. You’ll be looking for books about white supremacy and white fragility and how to break down, understand and dismantle it, buying them when you can or renting them from your local library if you can’t. You’ll be looking for local black creators, business and shops to support, uplift and listen to. You’ll be signing and sharing petitions for justice for the stolen, murdered lives of those like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. You’ll be donating if you can afford to, financially, but also with your time, your attention and your resources. You’ll be protesting, or at least supporting those who do march, if you cannot. You’ll be reaching out to family members, asking them to confront their own racism and accept that their own silence in regards to racial injustice is just as damning as the individual who pulled the trigger.
Read that again.
Your own silence in regards to racial injustice is just as damning as the individual who pulled the trigger.
There is a lot to unpack. There is a lot to unlearn or learn for the first time. There are a lot of people who are hurting, who are scared, who are pissed, who are angry, who are frightened, who are fed up. All of those emotions, and more, are valid. Defeating systematic racism is something we need to work on not today, not tomorrow, but every day, for the rest of our lives, until the systems that allow racism to be put into place and to flourish and continue unanswered are destroyed and replaced with something that prevents that from ever being a possibility again.
I don’t write this to speak over black voices, but to make clear that this platform–the only platform I truly have, as I am nearing 800+ followers on this blog–where I stand. As a writer, I believe that black lives matter. As a book reviewer and book blogger, I believe that black lives matter. As a freelance editor, I believe that black lives matter. As an individual, I believe that black lives matter. As a human, I believe that black lives matter.
And, if you follow this blog, then you damn well better believe that black lives matter, too.
Otherwise, there’s an unfollow button right there, free for you to push.