Our world is hurting and it’s no secret that it’s been hurting for a long time. I feel like I can’t have this small platform and not say something. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know it’s not a secret that I’m a feminist (if ya don’t, hi, hello, yes I used the “f” word). But I realized that even if you’ve been following me since the beginning, although I have celebrated women of color, I have never stated how I truly feel. As the world speaks up (and hopefully continues to speak up), I have to do the same.
I’m white (I mean, pasty white lol). A lot of the people I know are white, but many of the people I love are not. I was taught from a young age about the horrors of slavery, of the injustice of segregation, and how black and other POC are the same as me, we just look different. I truly thought that besides hurtful slurs and evil words, black people were treated the same in the country I call home. I chose to be color blind because God made us the same, right?
Then, in 2014, Michael Brown was murdered at the age of 18. I was a reporter for my high school newspaper and I was writing about the protests and I felt in such deep despair, questioning what I could do as white girl without a high school diploma. I wrote the article, then did nothing. Samuel DuBose was murdered by police in my city in 2015. I did nothing. Shooting after shooting the people I knew (including myself) would all cry and say “this is wrong” but we did nothing.
That time is over and it’s got to be over permanently. God did not make us the same, but He made us equal. God made us all unique and vibrant, He poured care into every detail of your heart, your mind, and your face. We are supposed to be celebrating one another’s differences instead of assimilating to an idea of a person society tells us is best. If we want to be like Jesus, we not only need to celebrate the differences, but acknowledge what the differences mean. Jesus loves everyone. God hates injustice. As Christians, we are called to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Jesus flipped over tables and spoke up when He saw others wronging His people. We must speak up, educate, and advocate because we are all God’s people.
One way we can all advocate right now is to sign a petition to get Breonna Taylor justice. Black women are statistically less likely to get justice over black men. Breonna was in her home with her boyfriend when police mistook their house for another’s (the person they were trying to arrest was already in custody, by the way). Her boyfriend called 911 fearful for their lives and she was murdered by the police after they broke down their door and threw a grenade into their home. Look through the petitions in this link and sign to get justice, I will be doing the same today.
The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have ignited a movement, white people (obviously including myself) need to use this movement to try to understand and continue to fight alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ long after people return to sharing their lives again on Instagram. It’s our job (speaking to the white people out there) to educate ourselves, we can’t ask POC to educate us, we must be willing to put the work in ourselves. I have been finding a lot of amazing resources through social media and research. There are so many systems that must be broken down, but here are a few ways to start and continue to advocate today:
- Investigate your county’s police procedures.
- Do they require the use of body cameras? Are they required to be on the minute they leave the car? Do they have sufficient deescalation trainings?
- Investigate your state’s legislature:
- What are the laws surrounding your state government on mandatory minimum sentences or non-violent drug crimes?
- Join/research the following groups:
- NAACP, your local Black Lives Matter chapter, United Negro College Fund, Color of Change, Black Youth Project 100, Dream Defenders, and so many more.
- Look into what companies are using prison labor… stop/limit buying from them (and yes, Amazon is one of them).
- Research your local prosecutors! What are their views?
- Watch/read movies, TV shows, plays, books directed, written, or starring by black men and women. Here are some I’ve seen/read or I’m planning to soon:
- Movies: Blindspotting, If Beale Street Could Talk, 12 Years a Slave, Selma, The Help, BlacKkKlansman (a personal favorite), 13th, I Am Not Your Negro, Hidden Figures, Just Mercy.
- TV Shows: When They See Us, Blackish, Insecure (Issa Rae is quickly becoming one of my favorites), Dear White People.
- Books: “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo, “Why Are All of the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- Looking to support some Cincy/NKY black-owned businesses? Here are a few!
- Alabama Que, blaCk Coffee, Bol Acai Bowl Bar, Boom Box Buns, Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey (a personal fave), Dada Smokes BBQ + Catering, Eddie’s Southern Style BBQ, Endzone Pizza, Gigi’s Kitchen, Honey Child Artisan Pops (this place looks amazing!), Maize, Pata Roja Taqueria, Revel OTR Urban Winery, Sugar, Sweet Petit Desserts.
There’s so much more to be done than just the things I’ve put on this list. But if we can start looking into our local government, our local organizations, and get involved, change can come. We just each have to make the decision to not let this be a trend, but continue to move forward every day and support our black brothers and sisters in Christ in the way they want us to.