The uprising we could all see coming – BLACK LIVES MATTER

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" MLK Jr.

Sharing is caring!

“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.” Letter from Birmingham Jail by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 16 April 1963

For the past couple of days, I’ve been struggling to find the words to articulate my thoughts on the black lives matter movement for equality in the US as protests sweep my home country. My desk is littered with unfinished notes, yet no words seem to fit or right to share. I was afraid to say the wrong thing. I was afraid of saying something that could be perceived as racist, so I just didn’t say anything MEANINGFUL at all.

But then the realization hit – this isn’t about me. 

MY silence is just as bad as any words of outward racism. In the silence of the white moderate, of white girls just like me, lies the true killer. This silence in which I have been complicit in what has allowed POC to be persecuted, hurt, threatened, and killed for centuries. Silence is the knee on the throat, suffocating human lives.

I’ve been breathing the air of racism my entire life.

I am racist. Fuck, that was hard to write. Something I’ve learned is that in reality, we are all either racist or actively anti-racist. There is no middle ground.

Just like the three policemen who stood by and watched Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd and did nothing about it, we cannot stand by and continue to be silent while our fellow humans are dying.

As the great and indomitable Maya Angelou once wrote – “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

I won’t be patronizing and say easy fluff words like “I’m sorry or I see you, and I hear you.” Fuck that. Who cares? It means nothing. Instead, I’m committing to showing the fuck up alongside POC to upend the system (in which I’ve been complicit) that intentionally suppress basic human rights.

When your government fails you, you dissent. When your nation kills you, you fight back. When your country doesn’t follow its own constitution to provide “equality before the law,” you hold them accountable. When your “leader in chief” threatens violence, you vote him out.

black lives matter

This doesn’t end with protests. This ends when black people and POC live and are treated equally and with dignity.

My heart breaks that I can’t be in the US to protest in person right now, and truly do the hard work of showing up. I may be stuck halfway around the world behind a closed New Zealand border with no passport but I will do all I can to show up and be an ally and truly support the people who need it the most now. Are you committed to showing up too?

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

SAY IT WITH ME ONE MORE TIME, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Places I’m donating to:

Books I’m reading to un-learn my racism:

  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo 
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander 
  • Freedom Is A Constant Struggle by Angela Davis

Names of victims I’m honoring:

  • George Floyd
  • Breonna Taylor
  • Eric Garner
  • Ahmaud Arbery
  • Freddie Gray
  • Bothem Jean
  • Atatiana Jefferson
  • Amadou Diallo
  • Jonathan Ferrell
  • RenishaMcBride
  • Stephon Clark
  • Jordan Edwards
  • Jordan Davis
  • Walter Scott
  • Alton Sterling
  • Aiyana Jones
  • Yvonne  Smallwood
  • Mike Brown
  • Tamir Rice
  • Philandro Castile
  • Trayvon Martin
  • And thousands more.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by The New York Times (@nytimes) on

About the author

15 Comments on “The uprising we could all see coming – BLACK LIVES MATTER

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Liz
    As a white male who prides himself on a lifetime of color blindness,I sincerely identify as non-racist BUT I’ve come to realize that I can do more. Your very inspired blog hit home. There’s a difference between being understanding and acquiescent. No citizen of this country should feel insecure or frightened of those who are supposed to protect us…including the Commander in Chief. We can all do more.

  2. Have you changed enough to share the comment I posted to your recent “When paradise in New Zealand becomes a ghost town” about when I experienced racism in NZ. Because I checked and it’s hidden. You being selective and not sharing my comment then was racist too. If you really changed in these few weeks in between your posts, I would hope you spread some light that racism exist everywhere, even in NZ.

    1. Hi! Thanks for pointing it out, I found it in my spam folder only by searching your email, maybe because it was so long, and I hadn’t seen it. I get a lot of spam comments. It must have been really frustrating to have taken the time to share your experience and what it meant only to have it not be visible. I’m so sorry, and I really appreciate you taking the time to follow up and not just give up 🙂

      And yes you’re totally right. And I’m so sorry you’ve experienced racism here. That is o unfair and you don’t deserve it. NZ has a lot of issues with racism, just like everywhere in the world, principally around Maori and pacific islanders but also in recent years with the massive surge in international tourism, especially from mainland China. I’ve already been working on some writing about it, and I can’t wait to share more once I make sure I am doing it in the most respectful way possible. I hope you stick around and read it 🙂

  3. Thank you. You’re absolutely right. I am here in the US and going to a peaceful protest tonight. I will be asking our sheriff’s department members to take a damn knee against murder. It’s the least they can do.

1 2 3

Related Adventures

css.php
shares