Fighting words and fierce love.

July 7, 2016

I went off the grid for seven days to escape sensory overload – the byproduct of a hyperconnected life. The election coverage, the LuLaRoe sales pitches, and the news of daily tragedies were wearing me down. My break was refreshing. Ignorance was bliss.

The instant I flipped my devices back on, a video autoplayed in my feed. Another black man being shot. Alton Sterling. Another black man being shot. Another. Another. Another.

Every ounce of my being wants to shut it all down again and to retreat from these images – I don’t want to believe that it’s true. But every ounce of my being knows that while I am able to retreat, many of my friends cannot. Just because I have the privilege to turn it all off for seven days, doesn’t mean the world stops spinning in my absence. Quite the contrary, actually.

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is love that is never acted upon.

As a white woman, I can distance myself from hate by turning off my TV and deleting twitter from my phone. Hate doesn’t follow me. No one tails me in the department store, I am never pulled over without cause, no one assumes that I’m carrying a weapon with the intent to use it. I get to exist in the world pretty effortlessly. That’s privilege. 

I am so, so, so sorry that this bullshit still happens. I am sorry about blindness and colorblindness. I am sorry that you’re often met with phrases like, Well, it’s a lot better than it used to be… we’ve come so far.

It’s bullshit. And I’m sorry. My heart hurts while knowing that I’ll never feel the same ache you do.

My friends squeeze their beautiful brown babies and warn them about this dangerous world. Here you go, baby, an instruction guide on how to avoid getting shot.

I won’t need to have this talk with my hypothetical children, just because they will be born with paler skin.

Statistically I will make more money in my lifetime, I will be given more opportunities. I will not be feared. No one will question my intelligence. Because I’m white.

This is the world we live in, y’all… and it’s not working. It fucking sucks and I’m over it. How can I change it? How can I move the needle? The only answers I can fathom are this:

Use me. Use my whiteness. Use my privilege. Let’s take our love and make it loud. Someone has to hear the roar of our voices – privileged and not.

All I have are fighting words and fierce love for you. Please, right now, take the love. I promise, when I find the words, I’ll use them. I’ll use them to educate our next generation of leaders – black, brown, white, and everything in between. To teach them to how to think critically, to pursue justice tirelessly, and to be a voice for the silenced. To act out of love instead of being quieted by fear.

You matter. Black lives matter.

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