Silence is not the answer, silence is the problem, and I’m sorry. This post may be a ramble of words but TL;DR Black Lives Matter and I know there’s so much more to learn beyond what I think I already know.
I sincerely apologize that it has taken so long to write a message in solidarity with anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s not that I don’t care and it’s certainly not because I didn’t want to offend those who are against this matter.
I applaud everyone showing support and using hashtags recently. I was foolish to believe it wasn’t right for me to post an image on social with a message and throw in hashtags. Not because it didn’t match whatever aesthetic I have on my feed (I don’t have one) or that it seemed as if I’m following “the trend”. I felt like typing a few words wasn’t going to be as effective compared to taking action; supporting Black communities and businesses, signing petitions, donation to Black causes. I came to the realization that silence can cause more harm than good, just like in any other case.
I will never experience what a Black person goes through, what goes on their minds everyday, and the personal challenges they face. Yes, racism exists no matter who you are, where you are. As a non-Black POC, I too have been faced with racism but NEVER at the level of a Black person. To be consciously aware of every single movement, to feel fearful of a watcher, to have to teach every generation after them exactly what to say and do when approached by an authority figure. It is not fair that they are being viewed and treated as less than others simply because of the colour of their skin.
These people are my friends, my neighbours, my former classmates, teachers and professors, my colleagues, and all of their families. It breaks my heart to discover this is what they experience everyday. I blame myself for not realizing the challenges they face. They deserve EVERY right to be angry and expressing their pain and blaming the rest of the anti-racism society for not doing more to protect them.
To every Black person in the world:
I’m sorry for not standing up,
I’m sorry for not speaking out,
I’m sorry for not doing better as an ally to help.
I’m sorry if I ever hurt you in any way, it was never my intention and I hope we can privately discuss my mistakes.
There’s so much more that I can say, I may not be making sense, and I may never have the right words but just know silence is not the answer. “I understand that I will never understand. However, I stand.”, I stand in solidarity with the Black community in this fight against racism and injustice. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
There are many threads on Twitter that I’ve come across (and retweeted) with resources on how to be an ally, please feel free to share links in the comments below.