(Black Lives Matter Cover Illustration by Sacrée Frangine)
From Twitter to Instagram to Facebook, I have made sure to use my small platform to speak about the Black Lives Matter movement. As accounts muted their platforms from June 1 to June 7 to Amplify Melanated Voices, a movement founded by mental health therapist Alishia McCullough and activist Jessica Wilson, resources, information, and Black creators were being shared. So today, as other creators “resume” their content, I wanted to make it crystal clear on here where I stand before I can post any other content again.
I have voiced my opinions on several platforms politically and morally, so know that I’m not shy about where I stand. I believe that Black Lives Matter. They more than matter; they are valued, they are loved, they are humans. This isn’t about if you’re Liberal or Conservative, or Democratic or Republican. It’s about human rights. Human rights should not be political. All lives CANNOT matter until Black Lives Matter. I am a straight, white cis woman so I know I will never know the struggles that Black people face in America. So, I cannot speak for them and that is not the intent of this post. I want to share what I have learned over the years and especially this past week.
Black Lives Matter
This blog, all my social media outlets, and myself as a person are for people to be completely themselves and feel safe, loved, and valued. I believe that Black Lives Matter, everyone should be a feminist, Trans-rights are human rights, love is love, no human is illegal, science is real, and being kind is important. I am pro-choice and pro-sex workers’ rights. The police force should be defunded and reallocate their funds to actually help people in communities rather than send everyone to jail to reach a quota.
If you are not sure how the police force in America was formed, please do your research. Its foundation originated as being slave patrols. The system is built on racism therefore we cannot simply just reform the police. We need to demilitarize the police. How is it that they have funds for expensive riot gear, and yet hospitals have been begging for basic supplies during this pandemic? We cannot have “one bad apple” in a job like this. When a medical professional screws up they are fired, sued, and put into jail. You cannot have “one bad apple” in the medical field and it should be the same for police. Click here to learn more about defunding the police.
Facts you might now know because I just learned them this past week…
- There are currently 35 states in which police officers can rape women in police custody and not be prosecuted and convicted of a felony. (Source)
- The NYPD has a budget of 6 BILLION dollars budget and yet education continuously gets defunded and teachers have to pay for their own supplies. This money could go to homeless services, youth programs, among other programs to help communities instead of arresting a homeless man sleeping on a bench. (Source)
- Have you heard of the Blue Wall of Silence? It is an informal rule among police officers not to report on a colleague’s errors, misconducts, or crimes, including police brutality. Is that not entirely messed up? (Source)
- The racist roots of American policing: From slave patrols to traffic stops
- Barbers require more training than police officers. (Source)
Let’s Talk about White Privilege:
What is white privilege? White privilege simply means that you have not struggled in your life, but your skin tone has not been a factor in your struggles. As white people, we do not have to fear for our lives when a cop pulls us over or approaches us. You still have white privilege if you grew up poor, suffer from medical issues or mental illnesses. This privilege exists due to historic and enduring racism. For example, Black people were slaves, once only considered 3/5 of a person and could not vote, segregation existed, police brutality, and obviously, racism. So as white people, we have our personal struggles and hardships, but we are not oppressed. We never have been. We have been benefiting from a systematically racist system since the country began.
As white people, we do benefit from the oppression of Black people. In the media, we are widely represented. No one questions our citizenship. People at work look like us. Products such as ballet shoes and band-aids are designed for us. We do not get harassed in public for simply being there. Our actions are not perceived as all actions of our race. For example, all the white mass shooters of schools, festivals, clubs, etc. are deemed as “mental health issues”. So, therefore, white people do not automatically get grouped into a stereotype like “all white people are mass shooters/domestic terrorists”.
Black Lives Matter
But what’s systematic racism? The wealth gap is that 90% is white-owned and only 10% is POC (people of color) owned. Black people who graduate from college are 2x more likely to be unemployed, and Black Americans are 30% more likely to get pulled over by police. Students that are Black are 3x more likely to be suspended. Black Americans make up 40% of the prison population. Black women are 4x more likely to die in childbirth.
How can I use my privilege to help? Talk to your racist family members and tell them why their inappropriate jokes are not funny. Call your friends out for being racist. Educate them on why they cannot say the N-word. Educate other white people about the struggles and barriers that Black people face every single day. Listen to what Black people have to say, if they tell you something – listen, and if they correct you don’t get offended and defensive: listen and learn from them and apologize. Amplify Black voices. Being “not racist” simply isn’t enough – be anti-racist. Confront racial injustice even when it is uncomfortable. This isn’t a one-time thing. We must commit to being anti-racist and putting in the work to learn – and unlearn – every single day.
- Blue Lives Matter is not a thing. This is not to say their lives do not matter, but they can take their uniform off at the end of the day. A Black person cannot take their skin off. You chose that career. Black people don’t choose to be oppressed because of their skin.
- All Lives Matter cannot matter until Black Lives Matter. Besides, if all lives matter to you, wouldn’t you be for Black Lives Matter? For saving those babies, children, teens, and adults locked in cages by ICE? Wouldn’t you believe sexual assault and rape victims?
- America was stolen from Natives and built (for free) by enslaved African Americans.
- Protesters do not equal looters. If you looked away from your television news screen for one second and did the research yourself and hear from people that are actually at the protests, you’d see that a majority of “riot” behavior is started by undercover cops and people unrelated to the movement.
- On the subject of looters, who cares anyway? I do not promote violence but as non-Black people, we cannot tell them how to mourn and to fight for their basic human rights after 400 years of oppression. A Target can rebuild, they won’t suffer much loss but you cannot bring back Black men and women who have died at the hands of people who are supposed to protect them.
- Reverse racism is not a thing. Being called a “Karen” is not a racist slur.
Release Black people incarcerated for marijuana charges because now it’s widely legal and a good portion of the US economy now.
- For you stats fans that like to say white people are killed more by police, “Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.”
- The confederate flag, statues, and other symbols that still take up public space need to be torn down. Germany doesn’t have Nazi statues and memorabilia around their country to “remember” what happened. Take that stuff down.
- The goal is not to say, “I don’t see color”. See color. Celebrate color!
- There is no right way to protest. MLK protested peacefully and he was still assassinated. Colin Kaepernick was dragged through the wringer for peacefully kneeling as a protest. You still had a problem with it. Don’t you remember when Nike still supported Colin Kaepernick and people were burning their Nike products and no one said anything? Need I remind you of just a couple of weeks ago of MAGA people screaming about their right to get a haircut in the middle of a pandemic with their guns and nothing as atrocious and vile as what’s been happening to people in the last few days happened to them?
- The KKK is still alive today, in fact, they were just in Auburn, AL in the past week, threatening peaceful protesters
- Protests are peaceful until the Police show up. (TW on the link – police brutality) There are curfews enforced with tear-gas (which is illegal in a war so why can they use it on their citizens?), and overall, just beating peaceful protesters.
- SAY THEIR NAMES: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, George Floyd and so many more that have been noticed and unnoticed.
Do the Work: Resources to committing to being Anti-Racist and fighting for justice
- A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-rising
- THE BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES IN NASHVILLE TO KNOW
- 67 Books by Black Authors We’re Reading in 2020
- 14 Films By Black Filmmakers That Everyone Should Watch In 2020
- Being Antiracist (Incredible resource)
- Anti-Racist Reading List
- Black Lives Matter: Ways to Help
- Documentaries About Black History to Educate Yourself With (13th is a MUST watch)
- 125 Black-Owned Businesses to Support Right Now
- Petitions Thread to Sign that takes 2 minutes
- A Growing List of Resources for the Movement for Black Lives
- Jane Elliot – A World of Difference 2020 Interview
- No money to donate? Stream this video without ad blockers and do not skip the ads. All ad revenue made on these videos is donated to BLM
- On my Instagram, I have ways to help, information, infographics, etc. saved on my highlights. My Quick Links have links for ways to help Black Lives Matter right now.
Black Lives Matter
We must put in the work to learn about Black History and the reality they live in every day. The American education system has oversimplified Slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and has white-washed just about everything. As non-Black people, this is supposed to be uncomfortable and hard. The fight for justice never has been easy, but we need to do our research and use our white privilege to help our Black brothers and sisters. Sign petitions. Donate your time and money (if you can), attend protests (safely, and do not go alone). Learn. Listen. If you are silent, you are part of the problem. Equal rights for all.
I know that I’m forgetting so many things and I will continue to edit this post and keep it relevant. This is just a general overview of what’s happening in the world right now. This is a revolution. For some of you, you are living through a second revolution – be on the right side of history this time if you weren’t before. On that note, hateful comments will not be allowed here. Nor will gaslighting or “devil’s advocate” comments be allowed. This is a safe place.
I also do not claim to know everything at all. I’m not above learning and being corrected. I’d love it if more helpful resources and information be left in the comments because I obviously do not have them all. Get uncomfortable and let’s talk about it. No justice, no peace.