We hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe during these troubling times. If you haven’t read our last blog post, I posted about some mental health resources and self-care tips that might be helpful given our current situation. Please check them out if you haven’t yet; you can find the post here.
But this week, I wanted to share some thoughts on the situation as well as things that I’ve been learning throughout the past week or so. We at Lucent believe that the killings and abuse by the police, as well as the systemic racism that disproportionately impacts Black people, are unjust and need to end. We hope that people are educating themselves so that Black people may be treated as equals, with the respect and dignity that so many already have the privilege of having. Black Lives Matter, but “matter” is the minimum. Black lives are worthy and needed. Of course, I am unbelievably angry that this keeps happening, and that it ever happened in the first place. I’m even angrier that some people are morphing a human rights crisis into a political issue.
I actually saw an analogy on TikTok recently that I think explains the situation clearly to those who might be having trouble understanding. Here’s the link: https://vm.tiktok.com/EsmYX6/. The woman in the video is talking about a conversation she had in which one of her friends said, “I just can’t support this because all lives matter.” The woman in the video then explains a hypothetical situation in which people are sitting down to eat and everyone gets a plate of food except for Bob. Bob is hungry and wants a plate of food, but Karen, with a full plate, says, “We’re all hungry, Bob.” Bob doesn’t have any food, though. “I deserve food!” Bob says. Everyone else keeps eating. Do we all deserve food? Yes! But saying that doesn’t change the fact that Bob still doesn’t have any. This next part really stuck with me and I hope it will stick with you too. The woman says, “Do all lives matter? Yes! But saying it doesn’t change the fact that Black lives haven’t mattered for years. Don’t be mad because you don’t have a movement. Be happy you don’t need one.” The time for us to step up has been long, long overdue.
As a white woman, I am aware of my privilege and have been viewing each day as an opportunity to educate myself and confront the systemic racism that has burdened our country for over 400 years. Privilege is educating yourself about racism instead of experiencing it (@sirjohn on Instagram). Privilege is being encouraged to vote instead of being turned away from the polls. Privilege is feeling sympathetic for the people directly affected by this situation instead of truly empathetic, because as much as I educate myself, as often as I sign petitions and donate, I will never really know the pain and suffering the Black community is feeling right now and has felt for centuries.
Maybe you’re wondering how you can step up. Maybe you’ve seen posts online about protests, step-by-step guides on how to be actively anti-racist, or books and movies that bring awareness to the reality of being a Black person in America. Maybe you’ve seen bail funds to donate to or petitions to sign. We have our work cut out for us. Maybe you’re feeling pressured to do everything, which simply isn’t possible for one person! If I’m being honest, the sheer influx of information I have been seeing, while incredibly helpful, can get overwhelming after a while. But as long as we collectively keep our foot on the gas and make a habit of doing something meaningful that benefits this movement every day, that moves us in the right direction. Do whatever you can to make a tangible difference. Here is a compilation of resources for accountability and action for Black lives:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xa9Av-NfuFsWBHlsMvPiqJHdNedZgnCRW56qAS-7PGQ/mobilebasic. Also, you can still donate without actually spending mone (check this out for more information: https://www.instagram.com/p/CA7xa-gJ6To/?igshid=1q83y0muclfsg ) . But please keep in mind as more time goes by that this movement is not a trend. We have created great momentum and have to keep it going!
Check-in on your Black friends (here’s a guide if you don’t know what to say: https://www.instagram.com/p/CA-hlZwlz9s/?igshid=h05fdz84gm2). They are carrying an enormous weight on their shoulders. And to the Black community: We see you, we hear you, and we are here for you.