Black Lives Matter
It hasn’t felt right to post anything on here for the past month or so. It hasn’t felt right to take up virtual real estate with my emotional musings when we are in the midst of a revolution. Everything in the US and most of the world right now is, for better or worse, chaos. We have reached a turning point. The energy of the country and the world have been simmering for a long time and the heat has finally brought it to a full boil. We are mad. We are hurt. We won’t take any more. We are sick of people dying, of being taken advantage of, of not being heard, of being silenced, of being treated like a small cog in a big wheel in an even bigger capitalist system. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the resurgence into the mainstream media of the Black Lives Matter movement and everything else that’s happened since January 1st, (World War III? Australia burning??) we have just about reached our breaking point. People are tired of being treated like nothing but a number, but more importantly, people are still fighting.
It is the eve of the fourth of July so now felt like a good a time as any to break my silence on this blog. I’ve never enjoyed celebrating the fourth of July. I’ve always thought to myself, why would I want to celebrate a country filled with such terrible systems? Why would I want to have any kind of patriotism to my name or spend time around anyone supporting this place? The tragedies that have happened on American soil far outweigh the victories, as far as democracy or government is concerned. I don’t think I even need to clarify that good things happen here as well, because that doesn’t need to be specified right now. The United States as we know it has existed on stolen land since day one, and we have done nothing systematically to give it back or right our wrongs.
The results of the systemic racism in this country are in no way a new thing. However, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the mainstream media. It is no secret or surprise the amount of inequalities and racism in this country, but for some time white people have had the option of opting out of the conversation very easily. Now if I go on instagram, everybody’s story has something to do with the revolution, and I absolutely love to see it. I wish it had been this way this whole time. I wish we had always been called to diversify our feeds and speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves, but we are here now. I will take responsibility for the fact that I haven’t always been this loud about it, and I acknowledge that I could have been. But now I can’t even start to think about quieting down about this. This isn’t politics, it’s human rights. Many of us have just now hopped on the hashtag of #BLM and if you are choosing to show your support just on social media when it doesn’t inconvenience you and not in any actions in the real world, you have some serious soul searching to do. If you are able to move on from signing petitions, reading books and articles, and go back to “posting normally” on social media, I hope you are at the very least aware of the privilege that you carry.
The resurgence of the fight for human rights is nothing new: Black people have been fighting for equality and the end to racism in all its forms for hundreds and hundreds of years: from the prison system to the education system to the police force to the inequalities that riddle literally every system that stands in place in the US today, equality must prevail. Justice must prevail. This topic is not something that even needs my white voice discussing it online, but I know I have the privilege of sometimes being heard faster and louder by other white people.
Please get comfortable with the fact that you may be uncomfortable for a while. Please get comfortable with the “new normal”, because there’s nothing normal about the way we’ve been living up until this point. Sign every petition you see. Donate when you can. Keep educating yourself and read books by Black authors about this and the history of these unjust systems. Here is a convenient collection of resources if you don't know where to start! https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ The work is far from done. It’s lifelong work. Get used to it and be happy about it. We are all walking around with computers in our pockets, you have to try pretty hard to miss any of this. Keep doing the work and fighting for what’s right. And while you’re at it, wear your damn mask.