and welcome back to your regularly scheduled content 2020 is an absolute shit show. What even is regular, normal, usual anything?
The last three weeks have been eye opening to say the least. A global pandemic had nothing on the smack-you-in-the-face reality that racism is still alive and well in this country, and it’s disgusting.
So yeah, in the social media space, I’ve been pretty quiet the past few weeks. Good or bad, right or wrong, I’ve taken this time to look inside myself and start the learning/unlearning/fixing there. I’ve had thoughtful, sometimes tough and confusing conversations with friends and family. I’ve immersed myself in educational resources, watched the heartbreaking videos, and shed many, many tears. I intend to keep doing these things, for… ever, because change starts within each of us. I truly believe that.
Here are a few of the impactful things I’ve learned so far:
- Systemic racism is real. I found this video the morning after Kyle and I went on a very long walk, deep in conversation about everything going on. This cartoon very concisely explains what I stumbled over for an hour that night. It’s simple: the black life experience is different from the very start. I highly suggest that you spare five minutes to watch this if you haven’t already.
- White privilege does not mean that as a white person you’ve never faced hardships. It does not mean all of your successes have been handed to you. It does not even mean, that you, yourself, as a white person, value white people over anyone else. It simply means that you are very unlikely to ever experience socioeconomic, educational, or career adversity based on the color of your skin.
- Defunding the police does not = getting rid of the police. I too, was confused about this movement, so I’ve taken some time to learn about it. Wherever you stand on this topic, it is important to be educated. The gist? At a city level, the budget for policing could be decreased, and that money would be re-allocated to other social services that would likely stand to reduce crime if better funded. These services include, but are not limited to: education, housing, and healthcare. I found this (slightly left) article and this (opinion) article to be very informative regarding police funding.
- Lastly, but impactful nonetheless, I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn. There’s truly no excuse, but I grew up in a really homogeneous town, and sometimes ignorance is just that: blind, unknowing ignorance. I’m working to replace that ignorance with change for the better.
For me, this isn’t really political. It’s human. It’s that we have to unlearn our biases and use our voices to abolish hundreds of years old oppression that never should’ve existed in the first place. It’s a fight to literally save human lives. Black lives.
I know I’ve likely expressed things in the wrong way here. I know that I will make mistakes as I move forward. But, I also know that I’m trying every single day to be better, know better, and act better. I hope you are too!
A million ways to help (time, money, voices, signatures), listen, and learn, but here are some of my favorite:
Campaign Zero – The comprehensive platform of research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
Color of Change – Design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.
@thegreatunlearn – A community of everyday human beings committed to curiosity for what is possible in the world.
xoxo Leigh Ann