Thursday, February 9, 2017

On Fear, or Black Lives Matter

I have been quiet on this topic for too long.
Partly from a desire to hold comment until I had all the information. On a social level, we have become a product of the 24-hour news cycle in that outrage and indignation are frequently voiced before we even have a clear picture of what happened. I hesitate to participate in that kind of snap judgment and mob mentality because I've had my own personal problems with jumping to conclusions and lashing out. As I've gotten better about that, I have also tried to find patience with sometimes infuriating news stories. To be honest, however, I am coming from a very privileged place as it pertains to systemic racism, so I've had the luxury of patience.
The other part has been nothing more or less than fear. What will people think when I raise my voice? Will I be derided as just another bleeding-heart liberal that's trying to make an issue out of nothing? Will I be written off as just some woman who doesn't know what she's talking about? Or even worse, will I, in my effort to lend space on my stage to those whose voices are so frequently ignored, pave the road to hell with my own good intentions and end up upstaging them or hogging their spotlight, stealing focus and confusing the message?
That fear is still real, and it means that as much as my heart wants to rise up, I can't bring myself to attend marches and protests. I don't much care for crowds in the first place, but add to that all the tension and anxiety that is part of protesting in general and... well, I just don't see me being helpful in that particular medium.
But I won't be quiet anymore.
Black Lives Matter.
I want the people I know that have had to live with this reality to know that I want to help. I want my help to actually be helpful. So I will do what things I can. If you have suggestions, I am open to them.
And while I will gladly have reasoned discourse with just about anyone about just about anything, if you bring any racist or sexist bullshit into the comments, there will be no warnings. There will be no second chances. I will drop you quicker than the Falcons dropped SuperBowl LI. This is the only warning you're getting, so heed it well.
Tl;dr: Black Lives Matter, and I'm done being quiet about it.

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