Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere at the bottom of the ocean, you will know about the recent events surrounding racial discrimination and police brutality. These events have caused a societal uproar across the entire world, physical and digital. We are using our voices, our platforms more than ever before to bring attention to an issue that should have been abolished long, long ago.
I have said this before, and I will say it again:
SILENCE IS NOT NEUTRALITY.
Sign petitions. Donate. Support black-owned businesses. Educate yourself and others. Have meaningful conversations. Participate in peaceful protests. Send an email. Say the names of the ones who have undeservingly perished.
There is simply no singular, correct way to approach activism, and I would like to emphasize this:
THERE IS NO SINGULAR, CORRECT WAY TO APPROACH ACTIVISM.
Recently, I have been seeing so many accusatory posts about this situation, and I think it takes away from the meaning of the movement. In order to effectively seek change, I do not think we should call people out for “not doing something right” but instead recognize the intention behind each of our attempts to support. If you see something wrong, kindly tell the person what is wrong and how he/she/they can fix it. Do not resort to aggression. You do not have to post on social media to be active if you are not a fan of social media. You do not have to donate to be active if you are not in the place to. Just because someone does not display their thoughts publicly on the Internet, does not mean that they aren’t doing anything in the real world. Instead of accusing those people, communicate, talk to them, know that they are trying. There is an infinite amount of ways in which you can take part in this movement. As long as you are doing SOMETHING to help out, you are doing your part and contributing to this movement.
In no way, shape, or form am I trying to say, however, that there isn’t a wrong way to approach activism because there definitely is. Yesterday, June 2, was #blackouttuesday. As you know, many, many, many people posted black screens in respect to the #blacklivesmatter movement. Yes, I did see the intention behind the movement and recognized the significance of it. However, if you participated in this movement without having spoken out for Black Lives Matter before or educated yourself about this situation, SHAME ON YOU. Yes, I know I just called out some for being accusatory and am being hypocritical, but performance activism is just plain wrong. Shame on you. If there is a singular, wrong way to approach activism, it is this.
Another thing that is wrong is contradicting Black Lives Matter by saying “All Lives Matter.” Yes, all lives matter, but the point is that black people are unfairly discriminated against more than it can be called a mere coincidence. They have faced terrors that some of us cannot even imagine. As an Asian-American, I understand that I will never understand, but I stand with all of my black peers, friends, and fellow human beings. Our country has many, many problems that need solving, but this has to come first.
Know your privilege, speak up, and do your part.
Lastly, I want to say that I know the world is in a very scary place, and it is okay to step away from social media and the news. Take care of yourself, but understand that black people are faced with this fear every day and see other black people being treated unjustly day after day.
Below I have included the link to a master doc that one of my friends made. It includes amazing resources and is definitely worth a nice, long look.
Let me know what you’re doing to stay active down in the comments, and hopefully this will give others some more ideas on how to help out. Thanks, and I’ll see you Saturday with a new blog.