During these times of protest while being in quarantine, it seems as though it’s hard to find the right way to express your care and concern for what is going on in the country. I’m hearing so many different opinions about how people should help, how white allies can get involved, and the best ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s so hard to know because what some black people find helpful, other black people find problematic. There is no way to please everyone, so how do we support this movement? Social media has always been a popular, efficient, and easy platform to express support. I grapple with the idea of how helpful it can be since posting alone doesn’t do much, however since everything is on social media, this can be a useful tool to share support.
This still leads to the question of how to best get involved? Is posting about injustice impactful, is having tough conversations the right way, or is simply voting enough to create change? Something I’ve been hearing a lot this time around is that silence is not the answer. It’s not enough to not be racist, but you have to be anti-racist in order for change to occur. How can one show that they are anti racist? Can this be done by posting a black screen, or arguing in the comment section of an all lives matter statement, or by going out and risking your life to protest against the injustice? It all depends. It depends on the type of person you are, and how you want to get involved. If certain acts of resistance resonate with you, then that’s what’s best for you.
If you want to post on social media for justice, do it because it resonates with you, not because everyone else is doing it. Part of the reason injustice has lived as long as it has is because of people doing what everyone else is doing, not thinking for themselves. When people absentmindedly follow the crowd, they don’t tend to understand why they are partaking in a certain movement. They are not learning why racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc is a problem, they just know that it is one. In order for people to understand why something is unjust, they have to dig a little deeper than just following the latest trend. They have to dig a little deeper than posting a black screen, and screenshotting things that other people have done.
We have to stop being followers and start being leaders. We have to accept that the only way change will happen is if we do things because we want to do them, and challenge those who are drinking the ignorant kool aid.