A lot has happened in the past week. People have chosen sides and have trouble understanding the other. I have been searching for something I can do to help, something I can say to counsel those who are feeling hurt and loss. Some articles that I found spoke only of changing my point of view to accept people of color and let them know I care. Others recommended informing our friends and family about how important these matters are and how their words are nothing but pejorative.
I feel like this is not enough. I feel like awareness and open ears is only the first step toward healing. I feel like we need serious change.
But we aren’t there yet.
Why is it that these people are asking nothing more than a listening ear, or compassion, or support? Why is it that they want us to help them? Isn’t it possible that we can enact change in this society?
But we aren’t there yet.
Before any change is made. Before we reach the finish line. We must take the first step.
And the reality is, this movement needs us.
Akilah Hughes underlines the exhaustion she, and many others, feel from defending the Black Lives Matter movement and combating modern racism in this satirical video entitled Racial Discussion Fatigue Syndrome. Many black people have unconsciously become the spokesmen of their friends’ and community’s black rights movement, leading to overwhelming sensations of an uphill battle against racism that never ends. The sensation of having to defend black rights single-handedly is overwhelming, as many minorities have found for their individual causes.
Why does Black Lives Matter continue to address the subconscious racism in white communities? Why do black people keep battling against All Lives Matter and seek to inform white people of how we are harming them?
Because they can’t do this alone. Because there still is a “them” and “us.” Because we are one people.
Black Lives Matter isn’t about blackness being the ultimate race. It’s about all races working together to make institutional racism fiction. It’s about us all working together, not calling names, not blaming “the other side.”
There is only one side. And that side is humanity. Whether you are for Black Lives Matter or against it, whether you are holding the gun or the protest sign, we are all the same. And if you are willing to lower your weapon and extend a hand, you will not be crucified.
BLM is not looking to put you down. It is not asking for you to feel guilty. It is merely asking for you to listen, to say “I’m sorry,” and to work on a solution.
So what will you do? Will you hold onto your anger and resentment as long as you can? Or will you help those who need it?
It’s all up to you now. What will you do?