Black Lives Matter. Societal growth happens when we replace hate and indifference to suffering with love and real justice.
Use your platforms/voice and stand up for what’s right, even if it is not easy or popular to do so.
NOTE: in the progress of being rewritten, as of 4/12/2022.
If being actively anti-racist makes you uncomfortable and standing up for Black Lives is controversial to you, please do not ask me to censor myself for your comfort.
Some notes that I posted on Discord:
- everyone should remember the intersection of art and society. Many artists were activists and changed the world.
- If you support someone who is instigating violence/is racist, you can make many people feel unsafe even if you say you aren’t also those things. In some ways, silence can be compliance. I love complex conversations, but I also value safety and do not tolerate racism/sexism/any of the phobias, covert or overt.
- I am trying use my platforms to fight for rights even though I know I mainly post about art. At the end of the day, people can’t escape their skin color (& that goes for other rights I’ve posted resources on like orientation/gender). If you came here for just art, there’s channels for that but I really do encourage you to educate yourself on the complexity of the situation & stand up for people. You would wish people would stood up for you if the roles were reversed.
- Self care is important, if you are stressed from the way your timeline looks, I would like you take a look at this post about feed fatigue: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/07/9853841/feed-fatigue-social-media
My responses to a few types of common comments:
I don’t like politics
One, standing up for human rights, should not be political.
Also, most things that you take for granted were contested. Think about the previous Civil Rights Movements, Haymarket Riots that allowed you worker’s protections, woman’s rights movements that ended up in bloody protests that allow your mother, sister, daughter, perhaps yourself autonomy and rights, the early history of Pride. The list goes on and on, unfortunately.
Check out the following posts:
from @anarchistbitches on instagram
Being silent can be violent. It’s not enough to be not be racist, you have to be anti-racist. Why? Silence is consent, in a way.
When I am hesitating if I should speak out, I ask myself: would you stand up for, anyway? What would make you mad? If it was you? I feel like we should view ourselves as human first, instead of in different groups.
Why does this matter? Don’t All Lives Matter? Don’t Blue Lives Matter?
All Lives Matter was created to oppress Black Lives Matter movement. Of course all lives matter, but they don’t all matter until Black Lives Matter too. You wouldn’t go to the doctor with a broken arm and say, oh my whole body matters? Of course it does, but you’re there because your arm was broken. That is your current concern.
In a similar vein, blue lives matter doesn’t make sense because being an officer is a job you actively chose, you don’t choose your skin color.You can clock off a job, but you can’t just clock off your skin color.
When we say not all individual cops do bad actions, I agree with that statement, as most people do. However, the reason the protests are happening is because there is not justice for a long, long list of people.
Accountability is what keeps society healthy. Like if there’s a teacher that simply watches another teacher beat a student and does nothing, they are ALSO a bad teacher! In addition, if you have 18+ complaints for excessive force and aren’t fired, that goes to show you that accountability isn’t present. Can you imagine how it would be if other jobs where that is acceptable?
Addressing your own privilege is not to say your life isn’t hard or your struggles aren’t valid. We all struggle. We all face problems for multiple reasons. However, guess what, I do have privilege! How do I know that? Because I am not afraid to eat skittles, run outside, go grocery shopping, sit in my own home and not be shot by a drug raid on the WRONG house, to breathe. I don’t worry that I will die and all my family gets is a hashtag with no justice. And with this privilege, I need to fight for the rights of others. Yeah, I experience racism and it hurts, but I don’t fear for my life on a daily basis and if what has been happening now and for 400 years. You should not have to experience injustice yourself to care about other people and actively fight up for them.
Well, why should I care? I’m stressed about reading about this stuff.
If systemic racism and police brutality without accountability doesn’t enrage you, I really don’t know what will.
If you literally can’t imagine what it’s like, read this story about a Black father and what he thinks when he walks his 8 year old daughter and small dog: https://www.facebook.com/shola.richards.7/posts/10163797079620220.
Just as people cannot clock out of a skin color, people cannot simply log off of their daily lived experience. When people are ‘tired’ of hearing about it, people are also tired of living it. Systemic racism has been in place for 400 years, unfortunately
This is why I fight for others.
Silence is violent.
What would Jesus do though?
For those trying to bring Jesus into this… Though I really am no longer religious at all, I was raised Catholic. I hope that if you bring religion into this, that you know Jesus was Black, please look it up on a map, and that this man wouldn’t stay silent in this type of injustice. He died on a cross for sins and injustice.
Not all police officers are bad (which I agree with, however this distracts from the problem)
There is zero problem wanting accountability for a police officer. Like if there’s a teacher that simply watches another teacher beat a student and does nothing, they are ALSO a bad teacher!
In addition, if you have 18+ complaints for excessive force and aren’t fired, that goes to show you that accountability isn’t present. In addition, police brutality happens all over the world Can you imagine how it would be if other jobs where that is acceptable?
In addition, read about the Blue Wall of Silence. There are multiple first hand accounts, and here’s just a few to get you started.
In addition, many of the people who say not all police officers are bad are the exact same people using the same logic to speak for all protestors.
Take a look at PER CAPITA (adjusted for population) police violence against Black people vs White people. In addition, crimes happen due to proximity. Nobody calls it white on white crime (the highest rate which makes sense bc there are more White people and also proximity) , so why deflect the issue?
But Blue Lives Matter?
- A uniform and a job is an ACTIVE CHOICE, being Black or POC is not and you can’t take off your skin like you can a uniform,. You signed up for the risks involved and if you can’t handle that and are trigger happy, you should quit. If you look at officer McMuffin and the police who thought their shakes were poisoned when they just had gastric upset, those are good examples of people who should quit.
- If you are for All Lives Matter, how can you say Blue Lives Matter? Don’t All Jobs Matter?
Riots aren’t the way, right?
First, watch this 2:30 video (click the link if it does not display below)
"America has looted black people. America looted the Native Americans when they first came here, looting is what you do. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. If you want us to do better, then damnit, you do better.” —Tamika Mallory, Nat. Co-Chair of Women's March pic.twitter.com/EP2VpnCYMw— bengarvin (@bengarvin) May 29, 2020
& watch this 6 min video, absolutely so powerful.
The problem with commenting on ONLY how you’re annoyed at looting/riots tells a LOT. You shouldn’t only care about yourself when you’re silent on others having to fear of being killed because of skin color. One is absolute silence compliance about the meaning of the protests and that property matters more than an innocent life taken. Secondly, there’s a cherry picking problem of not even addressing the layers of complexity. Many of the looters and rioters were white supremacists trying to hijack the protests and live out the Purge. Saturday it was like 80% arrested were in fact white supremacists, at approx 11pm (ABC7 local). The same people will tell you not all cops are bad, but then go and say a whole protest has no merit. Which is it? The real answer is it’s way more complex.
There is also a ton video evidence of police inciting violence. There’s over 200 counts on this thread, with footage. Use your eyes and judge for yourself: https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1266751726834638852?s=20. It’s hypocritical to comment if you don’t also condemn this.
In addition, America has very VIOLENTLY looted natives, Black people, all types of minorities for a long time so for the ones that did, it’s honestly kinda justified when the country was built on their backs for free. Also look up the massacres of Tulsa and Rosewood, two examples of racists burning down places of economic wealth. It’s more complicated than it first appears.
Let’s all remember a window is not alive. A broken window is unfortunate in terms of financial cost, sure, but a racist killing another innocent human is what violence is. Silence can also be violence. If you are vocal about property damages and silent about the destruction of human lives, I really just don’t know. Use the energy you have for the economy for fighting for justice for human life, which is priceless.
Also, when have any rights been obtained peacefully? If you can complain about a protest, it’s only fair you going to also call out every single riot that helped you get rights and that allowed you to stay on stolen land. You can’t criticize when you have zero solutions and are only further contributing to the problem.
So far, peace hasn’t brought any justice. Black people have been oppressed violently for hundreds of years, so many innocent people lost that we don’t even know all of their names. A civil war happened to end slavery. 100s of women died for women’s rights. Haymarket riot so workers don’t die in a factory with no protections. Stonewall many LGBT died to get the rights they have today. Imagine your family member dying and all you got was a hashtag and no justice? Over and over and over again? I think you’d be very VERY tired. If you talk about violence, then it’s very hypocritical to not mention the violence for 400 years. Yeah, I do wish we would listen to peace, but history shows us that we often don’t.
Another thing that makes me mad is white people quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (who was assassinated and hated, by the way) which is incredibly condescending and another example of cherry picking. Here’s a few you might have not shared
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
“Riots are the language of the unheard”
I was raised _____
With the age of the internet, we have no excuse to not be educated when there were people who fought for rights with no internet! If you have privilege, don’t be silent, don’t be compliant. People’s lives are on the line and it’s a privilege to be able to turn your head and go on your day.
Personally, I really think we have the responsibility of leaving the planet in a better place than we found it. That includes being fighting for ethics and rights!
I struggle too, so why should I focus on this?
A quick note to my white family/friends who aren’t sure what the big deal is. Nobody thinks your life isn’t hard or you don’t struggle, I do see the challenges you face and I personally admire the awesome, hard work you put in. The thing is, those struggles do not relate to racism, and again, that does NOT mean your struggles aren’t valid. Everyone’s struggles are valid, but not everybody’s struggles are because of their skin color. Nobody chooses the starting spot in life or their skin color. Supporting Black people and fighting against racial injustice does NOT mean an attack against you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because empathy and love means fighting for those who face racist injustice. We ALL rise by lifting others in a similar way to curing a localized disease helps the whole patient. Right now, the disease is racism and it is real. It’s killing people, and we need to stand up for what is right, not just stay comfortable with the easy route of maintaining status quo.
How come protests are allowed when I can’t go to the bar because of coronavirus?
I mean, ask yourself why. Difference between fighting for our own comforts vs for lives and justice.
What about the model minority myth?
- Read this article, it explains how minorities can get pitted against each other instead of holding white supremacists accountable for the oppression. In fighting amongst groups does not solve the problem.
I have privilege and I want to use it.
- https://www.nber.org/people/nathaniel_hilger the paper cited in the above article.
How can I help?
Educate yourself! Watch movies, read books, expand and diversify your media. RESEARCH! Look up stuff!
Donate! Put your money where your mouth is! Spread the word if you can’t. Educate yourself, do not add to the emotional labor of Black people. Research yourself!
Knowledge really is power, and I encourage you to read up on the not-so-distant past . The past affects the present in the same way if my great grandparents had a fat, old money trust fund, my life would likely look very different than it does now. (This connects to racist redlining)
Here’s a mix of things I’ve recently learned as well as other sites for the many topics I still need to educate myself on.
Your local bond fund
Black Youth Project
Let Us Breathe Fund
Go on twitter & instagram and READ & so many others.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22239747/ - meta study, also google AAMC to see a study in 2016 where 45ish% of med students/residents think Black people feel less pain and therefore do not control pain correctly. Additionally, outcomes are a lot worse due to dismissal of patient concerns.
An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
https://www.netflix.com/title/80200549 - When They See Us- a mini-series on the Central Park Five
https://www.netflix.com/title/80091741 - going to watch this next, about the 13th Ammendment which says slavery is legal if you are imprisoned
https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/tulsa-race-massacre#section_ & Also look up Rosewood
http://www.truthovertradition.com/biblical-proof-that-jesus-is-black/ -Good reminder that Jesus was a radical, Black man.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-12-04/levittown-and-rise-american-suburb - Suburbs are a good example of what it looks like to invest in the community and people instead of guns.
Posted a picture about not censoring the past, and I actually think it was talking about statues, but it applies also to education. So on the topic of those particular statues, it seems that the current ones could be replaced with more educating ones like memorials for the victims instead. If we put statues/memorials of victims, we aren’t erasing the historical moment. Another example is also interesting how Germany has banned Nazi statues and we don’t forget the Holocaust because there are memorial statues instead In a similar notion, why wave a losing flag? Not really a good look.