I don't know if I start with personal experience, with what I have seen and been a part of to validate my feelings expressed here today or just share my feelings. But, my stories don't matter - they add to the heap of sympathizers looking to contribute, selfishly. So. Stories aside, let's talk.
I've been fairly vocal on my platforms to share and express my feelings about things that are happening in our world, in our country. But, I've never taken a moment to write out my thoughts here on the blog. I'm not sure if I was waiting for approval, unsure of my place in the thought process or what it would mean if I put it on the internet. This morning, none of that questioning mattered. I wake up to another human gone because of some horrendous human feared another human with no threat on his life but took it because he feared his complexion.
Why is my Facebook feed filled with unnecessary thoughts like being annoyed with a young woman recording her partner's death by cop? That livestream is what created evidence for a potential just case. If your life was in danger on a daily basis, would you not want to ensure your word was solid by capturing it live for anyone to see before you could be gone too?
Why is my Facebook feed filled with #AllLivesMatter? If that's the case, why are we not speaking up and being enraged with anger about black humans being murdered by the ones sworn to protect? As devastating and heinous as Orlando was, why is there more importance placed with your hashtags and social posts of that mass killing and not understanding that black men and women are being MURDERED because of bigoted, fearful, "protectors" in our communities? What makes Alton, Philando. Antwun, Jessica, Michael, Trayvon, Eric, Dante, Akai, Tamir, Walter and the hundreds more any less important to you as a mass killing effort of a population? If you don't believe it, do the research. Dive in and read what is happening to a targeted population. The facts are there, try to argue that this isn't a targeted, racist action against a population of humans.
Why is my Facebook feed filled with puppies, a new balenciaga bag or what you ate for dinner? Are you afraid what your friends or family will say if you stick up for what you know is right? Well, maybe you are actually racist and feel it's right to kill off a population. So go ahead, post your puppies and bags and bullsh*t. I'll see myself out.
A friend of mine shared a written work of her friend that says exactly what many non-POC do not understand:
"Black people don't need to be convinced that anti-black racism, structural inequity and skin privilege are facts; white people do... White people have to do the hard work of figuring out the best ways to educate themselves and each other about racism. And I don't know what that looks like, because that is not my work, or the work of other black people, to figure out. In fact, the demand placed on black people to essentially teach white folk how not to be racist or complicit in structural racism is itself in exercise of willful ignorance and laziness." - sally kohn
This is on me and you and those who stay quiet because they aren't sure what to say, aren't sure who to support, aren't aware of what's going on in their communities. For those of us who have voices, with our fashion blogs and our little social media followings, we can support Orlando but we can't support a human population being executed? Why aren't we lifting our voices as a community for all accounts of murder, by reckless humans AND badge carriers taking an oath to protect? And please don't hear me wrong; I'm not saying all police are racist and murderers. But, there are those that are bad seeds and there are few that are speaking out against the bad ones which causes a majority of us to think all police are bad/corrupt/racist etc.
So, what are the next steps, you may ask? SPEAK. UP. Stand up. Stop being silent because you're white or because you don't think people you know will react well. Stop being afraid of sticking up for your FRIENDS, your FAMILY, your LOVED ONES. I'm asking you to think about your black boyfriend, your black niece, your black uncle, your black teacher, your black best friend, your black role model, your black communities. Speak up because of them, because you give a sh*t about them, just like you do any other group of humans being murdered like in Orlando, Baghdad, Paris and Turkey.
*Update: Listen to Savanna, an example to us all.
Give a shit.
Image via Zoë Kravitz on racism in hollywood for i-d magazine