Dear fellow white (and non-black) people,
What took us so long? What took us so long to be outraged by the systemic racial injustice against black people? Against black trans folx especially? What took us so fucking long? I say "us," because I've been a part of the problem too. I cannot write this without acknowledging my own faults. Sure, I've been saying that black lives matter for years, but I haven't been living it. I haven't been outraged by every racist joke or slur or video that surfaces of police brutality. I became so used to it that it was white noise in the background of my life. And I've been racist too. I've made racist comments, and I've let others' racist comments slide. That's not ok.
But I am so thankful for quarantine. I am thankful, because it has allowed us to focus on this. Let's face it, if Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and David McAtee's murders had surfaced before quarantine, we wouldn't have noticed them in the same way. We wouldn't have been furious as a whole. We maybe would have posted a half-assed #BLM post on Facebook about one of them and moved on. Or maybe we wouldn't have posted anything at all.
We go through most of our lives not thinking about our race. It comes up from time to time, but it's important to recognize that we can go through the day without acknowledging our whiteness (and by extension, our privilege). Many of us are wondering what we can do. Is it appropriate for us to post about Black Lives Matter now? Is it just seen as optical allyship? Is it better to share online or offline? Should we focus on educating ourselves or others? To that I say... yes. Post. It may be seen as performative. Share online and offline. Educate yourselves and others. It's the least we can do. For black people, this is something they live with every damn day. They don't have the option of not dealing with it. They are bombarded with racism at school, work, the grocery store... in the news, in their favorite TV shows, by their friends... We simply need to do better. We need to do the work. And we need to not expect any thanks for it, because it's what we should be doing as human beings anyway.
I saw a lot of enlightening posts in the past week. One of the ones that stuck with me said that justice can't exist until the people who aren't affected are just as upset as the people who are. Think on that. Think about what you are going to do moving forward. What will you do in your own life to make a permanent change? Because this fight isn't a fad. It's ongoing, and we need you.
Below is a video that my friend Alex Michell posted on Instagram. He's also a bomb actor. Check out his website here. "If you've been called out, don't be discouraged, be encouraged."