#BLACKLIVESMATTER!! Every time I see someone like Trayvon Martin or George Floyd murdered, I see myself in them. Every time, someone calls the cops on Christian Copper for asking a lady to put her dog on a leash, I see myself in him. To me, this is why I say black lives matter! We discussed last week on Let’s Have A Fefe with Felicia “Fefe” Minor & Freddy Prinze Charming. It’s more than just a hashtag or a moment in your news feed.
I have been mentally overtaken and overwhelmed by all that is going on. It got to a point where I was taking in so much information, trying to be more educated, trying to tell people why this is important, and I was wondering and if I was doing enough for my fellow siblings. Questioning myself… my validation, my equity in the community.
Now, I have some things to talk about and hope that I am not immediately dismissed or canceled. And NOR do I speak for everyone or anyone. I encourage conversation but do so in a way that educational and empowering.
First, let’s address the elephant in my family room, not that I need to clean my laundry in public. I have been with my husband for nearly 15 years and he has been a supportive ally, partner, and husband. There’s always time for learning and being educated — opening up lines of communication, including now. I understand that maybe it wasn’t appropriate, but it was what he was feeling. It’s a fair feeling. But I was feeling invisible, not supported, and quickly outraged.
After being wrapped up in this for all my life, I know that it’s easier to be quick to jump on someone because you want them to feel the years of struggles you’ve been through, injustices that you might have felt. But instead of taking the first steps of allyship and educating an ally and putting into a way that it might be education to the other person, he received some hateful and hurtful messages — including harsh commentary from my mouth directly. I felt it. I was angry, most of us are outraged. If we are educating people, maybe we don’t go for the juggler right away especially if they have been supportive before and continues to be.
Now after sitting back from the situation, the tone changed and the post was deleted. I see the messages I received and I see that messages he received. I have to say I appreciate the support, but he was automatically canceled. And I gave permission for you all to give educational nuggets but some it became very hateful, very hurtful. Instead of feeling more like an ally, he felt like putting up his guard and became more resentful.
He understands how the Black community is hurting and understands the hurt it might have caused. In retrospect, I don’t think he was seeing it how I was seeing it and was trying to process and understand it. We had been talking about it since it happened. He wants to encourage peaceful protests and is not a fan of looting.
I am exhausted and nor am I apologizing for him. But to see it from both sides, was a bit of an educational experience and definitely opened the lines of communication, education between us and our children. Indeed, feeling more supported. I hope to be able to continue our relationship, conversation, and education.
Discussion: Are there better ways to educate partners, allies in our community? Am I doing this right? Should I be doing more? How are you educating younger people about the movement and race in general?
Next, we are all processing this in a different way. Please stop posting on other’s social media that they need to speak up, they need to use their privilege to speak up. There are some people that are still dealing with the day-to-day mental obstacles they were dealing with before any of this went down. If you are willing to post something in support of the movement, please do! Elevate the voices that need to be heard, especially if you recognize your privilege.
Discussion: Do you recognize “privilege”? And do you realize it has nothing to do with wealth? Need a great explanation of privilege? Hanna had a great one that she posted the other day.
Allies, friends, and family, if you have sent me a message about how you can support me I will send you to my fundraiser for the Foundation for Black Heritage & Culture, support the relief efforts in Minnesota, and more. And no, you don’t have to post the receipt online to prove it.
Discussion: Do you feel that you are supported? Where do you feel that support is lacking? Where do you need support? How can the community come together to bring more unity and support you?
If you are protesting, do so safely. Take all precautions to keep your face covered. Be aware of any curfews or deadlines. Let your voice be heard, but I still emphasize that you should take precautions and keep yourself physically distant as we are still in the middle of a pandemic.
The nasty part of this is those that are looting just to make a steal and not serving any justice and gaining personally like Jake Paul. No, no, no — I don’t believe that’s right. Not a care for the cause at all. That’s not what we are here for.
Discussion: Are you protesting on the streets? Are you staying safe? Do you know how to stay safe? Do you feel like people are doing less because they aren’t physically protesting?
For those who are politically involved, I encourage that your conversation among those who are you are connected with and finding out better ways to educate, communicating, and opening the conversation for justice reform, race relations, and how to improve the American landscape. This not just a movement, people are outraged. They want their government, local officials to say something, do something. They want to feel supported.
Discussion: Are you seeing this through a political lens? Are you fighting for those who can’t speak or their voices have been silenced? Do you feel educated and empowered to educate others? Are you thinking of running for office to change the justice system and encourage the conversation on race relations?
I am not downplaying what has happened, what is happening, or what needs to happen. But I do believe in encouraging education, pushing for change, and fighting for what you believe. I believe these injustices have gone on long enough — and enough is enough. I will continue to educate, show activism, share articles, and do what I can. I can’t be everything to everyone but I am doing my best to speak up for those who can’t or not able to for one way or another.