After news of the speech made last night, seeing that some white supremacist groups are having initiations this weekend (which may include the murder of people who look like us), and just the all over pain and exhaustion of the world I have attempted to recenter today.
I took the time to read What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? I read it for the first time. It’s embarrassing to admit that but I must and I will not stop coming back to it. It is shocking to read words from 1852 and have them resonate and feel current. To read these words, these eloquent and poignant words, knowing that a person sits in a place of power for our country and could never match the delivery of a message is scary. Knowing that a person who sits in a place of power for our country is actively attempting to polarize our country more than it already was and threatening the lives of all BIPOC is scary.
It’s too much and lights a flame at the same time. We have some serious work.
So no... July 4th wasn’t about celebrating today. It wasn’t about the huge cookout. It was about staying home and staying safe because there are crazy people out there that don’t think our family deserves to be safe (not to mention a pandemic). Today was about learning and using that knowledge to make plans for change. Today was about learning history through music and dance (Thank you HAMILTON!).
There was joy today. There was pain today. There was fear and worry today. There was laughter today. There was HOPE today. And we won’t stop hoping and we won’t top working.
This is an interesting perspective and catalyst of self-reflection. Sure, I am also buying books, working to be more informed, working to make sense of what is happening. But I’m not joining a book group. I don’t need to discuss and I don’t need to listen to others discuss their shame, sadness, or shock of how things are.
A poignant quote: “What they do is never enough. This isn’t the time to circle up with other white people and discuss black pain in the abstract; it’s the time to acknowledge and examine the pain they’ve personally caused. Black people live and die every day under the burdens of a racism more insidious than the current virus that’s also disproportionately killing us. And yet white people tend to take a slow route to meaningful activism, locked in familiar patterns, seemingly uninterested in really advancing progress.”
So today... what are you going to DO?
So, you (like I) did Black Out Tuesday. Feel like you’ve done your civic duty? Good for you.
It doesn’t really mean anything if you change your picture to something cute today. Or you share that cute video. It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t continue to DO something. Anyone can screenshot a little black square and post it. That’s what social media has tricked us with. It has tricked us into thinking we’ve done something. It’s tricked us into this topical form of pseudo activism... and it’s working.
Have you forgotten their names? Have you forgotten their families? Their faces? Do. Not. Stop. Continue to do more. Today, read this passage (because it’s important and if I can make time to read six pages you can too. Remember... it’s been YEARS that people of color have had to fight for their rights and THEY STILL AREN’T SEEN AS EQUAL).
If you don’t have time, sure... here are the “cliff notes.” But make time. Because this is important. This is a step towards REAL activism and yes, it’s going to take longer than posting a black square on your page.
About the blog
Facebook became my blog. A space where I shared the resources, experiences, and reflections with those around me. I hope that the same discussions can happen here and I hope you will share your reflections, experiences, and resources as you feel comfortable.