It has been a few weeks since the world found out about the tragic murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and others) at the hands of the police. This erupted the world in protests and a call to make a change is so many ways.
Over the past weeks I have really been diving into listening to black voices and really listening to their experiences ( I feel like a lot of people have been doing this). I have always tried to be anti-racist but at the same time I was part of a system that upheld many societal norms and said nothing. These past few weeks have been very eye opening.
Now that things have died down and I have seen many of the people that I follow just go back to normal life while there are still horrific acts of racism happening.
The movement Black Lives Matter has be around for a while and was started by 3 amazing Black Womxn. Their names are Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. They started this movement in 2013. I implore you to read into the movement and what it stands for because it is very important.
What really got me was I saw someone post something along the lines of “if you are silent you are complicit.” When I saw that I was like OMG I have been complicit my entire fucking life! I have never used my voice to make moves. There is a certain power I have as a white woman (ahem white privilege) that I need to be using to help others.
So I have been learning, following, and believing all of these black people. I have been working on correcting things that can be harmful to others.
I have learnt a lot just from changing who I follow on Instagram (my main social media place). My feed was filled with 90% white people. The other 10% was black people and a few other people of colour. I figured I need to diversify my feed. I need to follow more black people, more disabled people, more indigenous people, more of people who don’t look like me.
I believe that we all need to create the change that we want to see in the world. For me that change is starting to change me. I need to actively be doing work to make changes. This includes having discussions that will be uncomfortable.
Somethings that you can do to make changes are:
- donate to causes that you feel need help (if you can)
- read books by authors that are not like you
- speak with your money (if you can)
- sign petitions
- share information that you feel will be helpful
- use your voice and speak to others about racist tendencies
- change words that you use (There are a lot of words/wording that is harmful)
- actually listen to people when they bring up things that you may have done that can be harmful.
I would also like to put out there to NOT be messaging black people about a lot of things. With this movement, a lot of people have turned to the Black community and basically expected them to spoon feed us the information. There are many other resources out there for us to use from Black people who have been at for this for years. Literally google it, look at hashtags to try and get a better understanding, read a fucking book by a black person. There are black people out there who are racism educators and they might have links to things that are beneficial, but if they are offering a class or information, make sure to pay them! Black woman should not have to put in all this extra labour for free in a society that treats them like shit. This is a white person problem. We need to make the changes. They did not ask for this, but for some reason white people took it upon themselves to make white people “superior”.
The fight still continues for all minorities in this world. We need to change our ways and fix this fucked up system. I hope that you can take it upon you to make some changes. You won’t be perfect at first but it is a start.