Time to Stand.
The other day I shared a post to my Instagram about an amazing podcast by Project Love and Nova Reid on white supremacy and racism. I lost a whole bunch of followers. This little microcosm demonstrated in a very small way the challenges that our society has with looking at some of the darker aspects of our present time. I have been wanting to write about this for a while but felt inhibited by my identity. I am a white middle class woman; who am I to speak about race and class and intersectionality? What if I get it wrong and overlook a particular group and cause someone emotional harm? What if I misunderstand something due to the lens through which I view the world? And yet - despite being part of this privileged class who have so much representation, I still have a unique perspective to share; my own.
What’s worse than taking a risk and maybe receiving a negative backlash for the things that I write is to not stand at all. To allow things to go on as they are and never speak up about the injustices of the world.
I commit to speaking out against racism and white supremacy. I commit to learning when I get things wrong; to taking time to pause, reflect, listen and understand and I commit to doing the work to expose and challenge my own internalised racism. Though I am only one voice I will use it to draw attention to things that matter and to making my friends, colleagues and acquaintances uncomfortable by challenging racism when I see it. I would rather try and learn than stay silent and complicit and allow us to slide further into a dark, dark place.
In these modern times it is easy to feel powerless; we are ruled by a government that no one voted for with a prime minister who’s views are more aligned to the previous generation’s ideals. We have an American president who puts children in concentration camps. It would be easy to sink into apathy and to feel that we cannot affect change. But don’t. Refuse to.
I will start by trying to influence what I can. I will continue to use my voice and to promote those who use theirs to stand up to power. Brene Brown said in a podcast that she believes that we are witnessing the ‘last stand of white, male power over’ and I hope that she is right. I hope that we will see the pendulum swing back to peace and love and justice and inclusion and fairness and equality. And in the meantime I will speak up.