There is lots in the news at the moment regarding the protests in America campaigning for accountability and change. Social media highlighted this through the posting of black squares and the hashtag #blackouttuesday
I could have ‘just’ posted a black square. I know it shows my support. However, that didn’t feel good enough. Also, I don’t ever post to instagram in real time. The majority of my posts are thought out in advance and scheduled. This post seemed too important to simply ‘just do it’.
Before I wrote anything on social media, I knew I needed to educate myself about the movement and find the right actions that would back up my words.
I have read through some of the Black Lives Matter website and educated myself about their movement and why they are doing what they are doing. I particularly liked this statement:
We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.Black Lives Matter
I thought this tied in nicely to the quote I had seen, attempting to explain why it is wrong to turn this movement into ‘all lives matter’
If you are a Christian, and can’t hear #BlackLivesMatter without feeling the need to respond with a criticism that “All Live Matter,” then crack open your Bible and hit up Luke 15. Don’t have it handy? Let me summarize.
There are 100 sheep, but one goes missing.
Jesus leaves the 99 and goes after the one.
The 99: “But… what about us? Don’t we matter?”
Of course the 99 still matter, but they’re not the ones in danger.
The one is. I’ll say it again, #BlackLivesMatter.Jared Price Inspired by the original post by @manny_arteaga from Twitter.
Whilst I understand that this passage is used in the bible to talk about redemption, I think it is a helpful analogy to use to talk about how we need to change our focus from looking in to looking out. It also speaks about Jesus valuing each and every person individually, which is what we HAVE to do.
I have purchased some books for my kindle
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
I read this article by Barak Obama https://medium.com/@BarackObama/how-to-make-this-moment-the-turning-point-for-real-change-9fa209806067 who discusses the need for protests AND politics.
The Obama Foundation has a page dedicated to actions that can be taken: https://www.obama.org/anguish-and-action/
This article (Anguish and Action) highlights some groups that are campaigning for change, including Campaign Zero
Campaign Zero campaign for change as well as conduct research. They collect data into which states have implemented which policies into law.
Did I do the right thing (by not posting yesterday)?
I don’t know. However, I know that I didn’t have the right words to say. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I also didn’t want to post a black square without explanation as it was. For me, that wasn’t going to be the right decision. For me, this goes beyond one day, one black square on a grid.
I had a conversation with a [white] friend of mine who lives in Minneapolis that made me think more about current events from a different perspective. We discussed how bad things were in the city. We talked about heightened feelings and anger about the issues the black community face and frustration at the people who are destroying the peaceful protests by looting. From talking to her, I got a glimpse at some of the feelings of residents in the city. I got a glimpse at the frustration at people posting ‘beach selfies’ (like I did on Monday) while this devastation is happening.
Whilst I understand and know that posting a black square shows solidarity with the movement and I am not criticising ANYONE for posting one. I just felt like it wasn’t true to myself and how I normally conduct myself or my Facebook/Instagram. I wanted to make sure that I had the right words to say and the space to say them.
If you are one of the white people thinking that this time, it’s enough and want to invoke real change, sharing an Instagram post, and quoting Martin Luther King is NOT enough.Dr Ateh Jewel
Dr Ateh Jewel quote from: https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/how-to-support-black-lives-matter
Is a blog post enough?
No, not at all. However, I am going to read those books, keep reading articles and keep learning.