black lives still matter: how to talk about it

(via @glossier @chili.dia)

I am not black but I care about black people. You are not black but you should care about black people. Yet another huge thing is thrown into 2020 and the whole world lit up last week after George Floyd's death to talk, share, listen, learn, march, protest, rally and come together to fight systematic racism and end police brutality. I've been having deep conversations and looking up resources to continue to improve my awareness on this topic. As a woman and a minority, I can empathize but can't ever fully understand the microaggressions that black people face everyday. Microagression is: a term used for brief, daily verbal, behavioural actions whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, negative prejudice towards a certain group (usually a minority group). 

You should donate, sign petitions, register to vote, educate yourself but most importantly you should start by talking about this. Talk to your partner, your siblings, your parents, your friends and if you have a platform, then talk on there too. It wasn't a social media trend or a black spirit week. This is a movement that sparks with conversation that turns into action that turns into change. 
These are my main lessons learned. These are my main speaking points:

Lessons learned: 
1. First thing's first is just because people are not sharing things on social media, it doesn't mean they don't care or haven't done anything to help. This goes back to one of my philosophies: if you're purely doing something kind, you're not doing it for show. Example: people may be donating and not share that they did. People may be protesting and not share that they did. The movement has many different lanes.

2. Don't be afraid to speak up and join the conversation. If you've never said anything before about this, now is the time to start. If you don't know anything about this, now is the time to learn. This is the time to listen to the black community and share their stories.

3. Privilege is incredibly real. You need to recognize that first.

4. Go out there and do anything you know how which can make a difference. For me it's simple and starts with conversation.

Speaking points:
I watched Uncomfortable Conversation With a Black Man w Matthew McConaughey last night before bed and I wanted to share some powerful speaking points along with my own.

1. You have to acknowledge that there's a problem. You have to acknowledge internal biases and microagressions. Are you more scared of a black man than a white man where you view them more as a threat? Would you hire someone with a more white sounding name over a black name?

2. It starts with individual conversations. Individuals affect the families, families affect the cities, cities affect the countries, countries affect the laws.

3. A great analogy against all lives matter statement. Right now, we are facing the coronavirus pandemic and people around the entire world are working really hard to fight this virus and stop this pandemic. It's not to say that other diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease or als don't matter. These are all important too but right now the coronavirus is killing people daily, so we must focus our attention on it before others. This is exactly the same thing for black lives matter. Right now, we are facing the black lives matter movement and people around the entire world are working really hard to fight this issue and stop the racism. It's not to say that asians, hispanic, indigenous or white people don't matter. We need to fight this issue first which can then help us fight the other ones.

4. Matthew McConaughey talks about "white allergies". Things that we do as humans which we aren't even aware of because they are so normalized or deep rooted in our subconsciousness. Where we are raised, how we are raised. Prejudices we have that we don't even understand ourselves. We need to acknowledge these things and learn to improve.

5. Whites and blacks can both have it hard. But whites have never had it hard because of the colour of their skin. That is white privilege.

6. Stop with backhanded compliments. "You don't even talk like you are black, you don't even dress like you are black". "You're so pretty for a black girl, you're so smart for a black girl". "You're so white washed, you're like a banana" is one I'm too familiar with. Stop categorizing people of colour and stop assuming everyone from a minority is the exact same.'

7. Why do we love and celebrate black culture but not black people? We listen to their music, we watch their athleticism, we copy their hair, we take their style but can't respect them.

8. Stop touching their hair, stop asking people of colour "no but where are you actually from though?", stop saying the n word when it's not ever your place, stop exploiting their culture when you can't even respect them.

9. No human being is born hating another one especially because of their skin colour. Racism starts at home so now that you're much older and aware, it's time to educate your family or parents if they don't know any better.

10. It is your responsibility as a non-black person to help solve the issue since we created the issue. It's not their responsibility to talk about it and educate us. We must take initiative to learn about everything ourselves and listen when they're ready to share their own stories.

11. “There is only one race, the human race. Different races don’t exist” counterargument from my friend Hannah:

This is extremely diminishing to black people’s (and all POC’s) culture, heritage, and also their experiences in such racist societies. Even though it is true that human’s have ‘created’ the concept of race to divide and inflict oppression on others, we cannot just say it doesn’t exist anymore. It's like global warming. The problem didn’t exist 400 years ago, but now that we’ve created it, we must acknowledge that it exists now.

Link to help in various ways: blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/


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