Dear Scared White People,
Let’s start off by saying I’m speaking from a place of understanding, because I was scared to speak up too. I don’t claim to know it all and have lots of room to grow. I might even say something wrong in this post. Still, I had to take a long hard look at myself and realize this isn’t about me. By staying silent, I’m contributing to the problem. So let’s break that silence, it’s about damn time I do so.
Here are some reasons that might be holding you back from speaking on this:
- You’re scared of saying the wrong thing, using the wrong words.
- You feel uncomfortable talking about it.
- you’re in introvert and are scared to speak up.
- You’re scared of receiving backlash or losing followers.
- You think your platform is too small or insignificant.
- You want your platform to be a happy space and only be positive.
- You don’t want to speak on controversial or political topics.
- You don’t live in America and you think it’s different where you live.
Well I hate to break it to you, but those reasons are not good enough. For one, black people having the right to exist, be equal, and be safe should not be a controversial topic. The fact that it is viewed as a controversial or political topic, is a problem in and of itself. It’s also a problem that still exists everywhere, not just in America. As mentioned before, this isn’t about you. Just because you can be safe and hide from this problem doesn’t mean you should. Black people don’t get to close their eyes and pretend like everything is okay. They have to spend every day being afraid to be pulled over, arrested, put in jail, dehumanized, hurt, or murdered just because of the color of their skin. Just because they are alive. They are treated differently, viewed differently, assumptions made about them before they even get the chance to say anything. They have to think about what to say and do in case they have an encounter with the police, how to prove they don’t pose a threat. They have to teach these things to their children, in order for them to be prepared and be as safe as possible while just living their life. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak of having to teach your child how unjust the world still is and how they are a target because of something they have no control over whatsoever.
Just because something does not affect you personally does not mean it’s not your problem. We cannot keep hiding, we have to be allies, we have to do everything in our power to help end this. Try to set aside your worries about how this reflects on you, set aside your uncomfortableness with the topic. These things are necessary to be able to help and it’s worth it. You don’t have be a public speaker, you don’t have to be the #1 loudest activist. You can start by being vocal about it in your own circles, your friends and family, your workplace or clubs, on your own platform. To reflect on yourself and speak up when you see or hear things that are not right.
As for people saying #AllLivesMatter in response to #BlackLivesMatter. Please stop. Your automatic response might be to feel attacked, but you can decide not to act on that. Please stop yourself in that moment and try to think about it for a second. #BlackLivesMatter does not mean only black lives matter, it means black lives should matter just as much as others do. The reason the #BlackLivesMatter movement exists is because the current system shows that black lives still do not matter as much. Black people still face injustice and inequality on a daily basis. That’s the whole problem! We all already know white lives matter, there’s no point in amplifying that. What are you trying to accomplish when saying #AllLivesMatter? Because the only thing you’re doing is refusing to accept the fact that there is still inequality. You’re undermining the message black people are trying to get across. Is that really what you want?
So what now? Now we self-reflect. See for yourself if you are being part of the solution or the problem, acknowledge where you have not been doing enough, and be better from here on out. Educate yourself. Seek out and listen to black people speaking up about this. Really listen and be open to criticism. Be vocal and actually take a stand against racism, also when you see it in the people close to you. Do whatever you can to support initiatives in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Sign petitions, donate if possible & share links.
These are the things I will also be working on myself. Not only on this blog but in my daily life. I’m so sorry it has taken something as tragic as the murder of George Floyd for me to finally realize all of this. I’m ashamed to admit it has taken so long for me to truly open my eyes to and see my own contribution to it by not speaking up. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to realize that just trying to be a good person is not enough and being a “silent ally” is not really being an ally at all.
Let’s do better people.
Here are some resources, a place to start:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Visions Collective
- Campaign Zero
- The Bail Project
- 12 Black-Owned Bookstores You Can Support Right Now
- An Essential Reading Guide for Fighting Racism
- A long list of anti-racism resources to look into
Finally, if there is anything in this post that is incorrect or badly worded, please feel free to correct me or be critical in the comments. Though only if you want to do so, as it is nobody’s job to educate me 🙂
Thank you for reading and I hope you have an wonderful day ❤