I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM.
I’m not even going to try and deny that I’m not part of the problem. These last few days I’ve taken it upon myself to read, listen, learn, donate not just money but my time into educating myself and signing up to volunteer at different organisations and communities. Do I want a pat on the back or a ‘wow you’re so amazing’ for it? No, honestly keep it to yourself because I don’t want to hear it. Up until now my privilege led me to ignorance. Ego tells me I’m a good person because of the few times I did a good thing but my true self questions that and says, ‘yeah but what about all the times you never said anything when you knew it was wrong? Or the times you stood by and watched it happen?’
If you look at this post (or anything currently floating around social media) and it hits you in someway OR better yet makes you uneasy and forces you to question yourself, your values or beliefs, then I urge you to sit with those feelings of discomfort. Pull a part the very values and belief systems you have grown up with that has led you to believe that there isn’t an issue right now. That people are just over reacting. That America is just a fkd up country. Because if you wake up and actually open your eyes, this shit happens in your own backyard. Every. Single Day.
When we defend ourselves with the statement, “It’s just who I am,” it’s in response to something we or others view as a negative aspect of our being. We resign ourselves to being whoever we are in one fixed moment. These negative traits are often born of traumatic events or ignorant upbringings. We may feel stuck in this mindset because it doesn’t affect us directly most of the time, which leads us to develop negative behaviour patterns that seem like they will always be part of who we are. We feel that these patterns are beyond our control. And that’s a load of shit. Because your reaction to any given situation is the one thing that is in your control. So instead of assuming these negative traits are something outside of our control, we should ask ourselves just one simple question: “Who do I want to be?”
Once we decide who we want to be, it’s up to us to put in the work to become that person. Change doesn’t happen in an instant, and it doesn’t come easily, but isn’t it worth it to know that we are creating and becoming a better version of ourselves and a better being in society?
It’s my responsibility and only mine to learn more and unlearn those bad patterns or behaviours.
And it’s our responsibility as privileged white people to do more and be more than just a black square on our Instagram feeds.
For those who want to start somewhere I’ve added links of helpful resources I’ve found in my bio.
Start somewhere. Then keep going and don’t stop.
If all lives did in fact matter, we wouldn’t have to prove #blacklivesmatter and #indigeniouslivesmatter