When I woke up this morning to see my Instagram feed awash with black squares it couldn’t have looked more different to the usual array of colourful images I’m used to seeing. The visual impact was stark. The message even more so.
I’ve seen many white people, like myself, share that they’re not sure where to start with speaking out on the subject of racism, and being anti-racist. It is a subject which has such deep roots of injustice, violence and heartbreak that it is hard to fathom. And people are concerned that they’ll misspeak.
But it is important to speak up. To use the position we have of privilege as white people, and in my case as someone born in the UK, to amplify the voices of people who have gone unheard.
The discomfort we feel at discussing this topic is a grain of sand in comparison to the opression our Black peers, and people of other minorities, have felt.
George Floyd’s death, and the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of American police officers, has sparked a movement with energy unlike anything I’ve seen before.
As Jess shared in her post here, I feel like I too have learnt more in the past few days about societal racisim than I have done in my whole life prior. My head is swimming with the gravity of it all.
Reading about George Floyd, and the thousands of other racial injustices which have been highlighted over the past few days, has been heartbreaking. What is more heartbreaking is that so many people have felt this pain for decades. That they’re only now feeling the surge of support they should have always felt.
We should stand as one.
As I’ve seen shared often today: I understand that I will never understand, however, I stand.
It is our responsibility to embody love. To teach love, compassion and empathy from the ground up.
As Nelson Mandela shared in Long Walk to Freedom:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
It may feel like your voice will get lost in the echo, but it is only once we ALL start speaking up against racism, now and long past this wave of social media support, that we will become loud enough to create true change.
Become an amplifier. Extend a hand. Be overwhelmingly generous with your love and grace. Lead by example. Be an ally.
Stand up, and stand alongside the humans who have the same beating heart as you do.
Black Lives Matter.
It is my hope that by sharing, learning, listening, and ultimately teaching the generations ahead of us, that we will learn to accept, respect and love one another for the people we are. Not the colour of our skin.
I will, like so many people, be focusing on educating myself. On actively extending a hand to people who need championing and support. This is just the start of the conversation and commitment from me.
If you have resources you’d like to share on this subject, brands you’d like to champion which are led by Black founders, or accounts which are particularly resonating with you, please do so in the comments below.
The Everygirl has a great roundup here, and many articles by Black women sharing their stories too.
Love, as always, Monica x