It's Time to Listen
Today’s post is going to look a little different. I didn’t participate in #blackouttuesday because I believe that it was a tactic created to silence the BLM movement by hiding the information that needs to be heard. That being said, I do agree with the idea behind it that we need to silence our voices, more specifically our white voices, and listen to black voices in this time because they are begging to be heard and listened to.
After this paragraph, none of the words in this post will be mine. Their voices right now are far more important than mine so today’s post is going to be all and ONLY black voices. Some of the content below is from friends, some resources I found on social media, some are articles I found on google and through my blogging groups. I have done my best to make sure that every person on here is properly credited. Please read and listen with an open heart and willingness to learn and grow because the only way we will ever understand is to listen to the people affected the most.
How Allies Can Help by Courtney Coffey
Seeing these images is hard. Some of you may want to take a social media break, but realize that you can do that because you don’t have to live it. That’s privilege.
Talking about race and the systematic oppression in this country is also difficult because we were raised to avoid it. But it’s so important for allies to educate themselves and learn how to speak up because we can’t do this alone. We need those conversations.
I worry about my family everyday. Racism is not something that ended a long time ago. This country was built on broken bones. I believe that we are all on this earth at this exact moment in time for a reason. We are living through a pivotal moment in history, one that is about to bring about massive change in many areas. You and I each have important roles to play and it’s vital that you start playing yours. Because if you are silent, you are the problem and there’s no more getting around that.
Racism Doesn’t Care about Your Socioeconomic Status by Christina Kimble
I’ve never been one to speak up much about “race” much at all. I’ve always buried my experiences and feelings deep, and accepted that people just are who they are. However, with protests in all 50 sates + around the world and non-POCs speaking out, I finally had a long overdue release a couple nights ago. I truly feel that change is happening and possible (ah shit, here comes the tears again).
You see – I always thought I grew up relatively privileged. I lived in upper-middle class white neighborhoods and went to the “best” schools. I only grew up around white people, most of my life was spent in Georgia. Even though I was pulled over twice leaving my neighborhood when I was in HS (both times they called for backup, one time with dogs), was called a n*(hard -er), didn’t get the same college admissions counseling as my friends, was in a very abusive relationship where our parents, youth pastors, etc. turned a blind eye, was followed back to our rental in Seaside/30-A by patrol multiple times, regularly followed around stores, etc. – I still considered myself hashtag blessed. “Things could always be worse,” “It’s just a disease that runs in their blood,” “it’s the South” – these were all the things I used to tell myself to just keep my head up.
Today, someone from my HS posted a “_______ HS racism thread:” on FB…and omg guys, the stories *mindblown.* I ‘searched’ messenger for the n-word and sure enough, found some disgusting messages from “friends” when we were in silly HS fights, censored, and posted one. After I posted the screenshot, I received some comments and messages from my fellow black classmates, one of which included, “I always thought they treated you better.” IDK why, but that little sentence made me break down (…again).
(Note: I switched to a public school in 10th grade, but immediately stuck with friends of friends.)
This week has been particularly heavy as I’ve now lost some “friends” due to their ignorance and refusal to simply LISTEN and educate themselves. It’s like HS is rearing its ugly lil racist head again.
I’m not sure what my point in all of this is, or how to end this but I think I just want to say:
- Please do not assume that socioeconomic status excludes Blacks from experiencing racial discrimination.
- Please never ever use “my friend is black” (or any minority) as a defense… see: above.
- Please keep this momentum and fire burning in your hearts.
- Please educate your friends and family when they make racist comments.
- PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH AND VOTE, from local to presidential, and encourage your friends to do the same. We can sign online petitions, share to our stories, read books and watch documentaries all we want – but the change happens with the government. (...HIGHLY recommend the podcast The Daily episode yesterday titled “The Systems That Protect The Police” for a very solid understanding of 'why')
Knowledge is Power by Tabitha Brown
Why This Will Keep Happening (2020) by Prince Ea
Thoughts by Anna Gage (Her song "This Feeling" comes out June 10th!)
I’m just so heart broken and this past week has brought back up all the racist things I’ve had to deal with when I was younger growing up with predominantly white folks. A few things that stuck out to me this week was always being treated like a little criminal or harsher than my other friends.
•Being so sad because in my heart I knew I was being treated wrong but I didn’t know how to explain it to anyone.
•Being pulled over in high school (my friend was driving) with my white friends and everyone talking and joking and I’m scared out of my mind. We all get out of the car and He comes in front of me and says “I can tell you have a problem with authority” I didn’t do anything disrespectful or anything. I believe he was trying to antagonize me. If I wasn’t with my white friends I know that night would have been much different.
•Being called a n***** by one of my classmates my freshman year of high school. Being so loving to everyone and them having hate in their hearts towards me because I’m black.
•Being in AP literature class and having to do a group project and your group goes behind your back and say that you didn’t contribute but you gave ideas but they ignored them... having to fight for my grade because it was them v.s. Me.
•Being ignored in class when all I wanted to do was participate. Wondering why my best friend never invited me over to her house and would invite everyone else, because her grandpa was racists. She finally had the guts to tell me later on and I appreciated that.
•Scared to order Uber Eats sometimes because of my color.
I was down Cary street in Richmond today getting food today and all the businesses were boarding their businesses off to make sure their businesses weren’t looted. I have posted pictures below.
I would say keep posting to show you are with us. Challenge others to understand where we are coming from and speak out against racists. Don’t be quiet about it if it’s friends, family, etc. Speaking out, that’s a start. Love wins in the end; I believe it ❤️
Twitter thread by President Barack Obama
(posted by @glowrecipe)
(posted by @thesamrichardson)