This is my week to manage the Miss Demeanors blog, yet I’ve found myself struggling to find words. Or the right words. Yesterday I read this post by Agatha, Anthony, Lefty and IPPY award winning author Kellye Garrett. I thought it so profound, and she was kind enough to say that I could repost it.
My Guide for Non Black People Upset about Racism and Prejudice in America.
This is all my opinion. I don’t represent all black people. I guarantee there will be black people with a different opinion.
So I’ve been getting a few messages of support from nonblack people. And though I know you’re doing it with good intentions, there are other ways for you to handle what’s going on and deal with your own feelings about it.
I’ve been black in America for almost 42 years now. Assume I’m upset about what’s going on and feeling overwhelmed.
If you truly are upset and truly want to see change, instead of apologizing to your black friends, there are things you can do to truly help.
This happens to me personally a lot when I speak up on crime fiction issues. I get people who privately message me support but don’t say anything publicly. Yes, I know I’m brave. Yes, I know (Jerk’s Name I’m Ranting About) is a jerk. I need you beside me, not in my messages.
And that’s just a teeny, tiny issue that’s nowhere near as important as what’s going on today.
You especially need to speak up when you see black people being mistreated, whether it’s by a cop or your friend.
We all know a lot of you have racist family and friends that say horrible things and you just laugh it off as “Ooh, that’s just Uncle Bob.”
As I’ve learned now, WHITE PEOPLE LISTEN TO WHITE PEOPLE. I have had instances where I say something and am ignored. A White person says the same thing and suddenly the person “gets it.”
It’s never a black person’s job to educate you. If you have a question, ask Google. Lol Seriously, research things, especially before passing on false info or supporting something.
Be as Proactive as you can: Protest, donate, write legislators especially in Republican-led areas, sign real petitions
I know with COVID-19, not everyone can protest. If you have the money, donate to some causes helping those who are speaking up and who are protesting. (Though as a website I saw said, don’t donate to Shaun King. Lol See above research note.)
I’ve seen even the most well-meaning allies say some unintentionally racist stuff. I have dubbed it well-meaning racism. An example, someone says someone is looting and your response is to defend the “black looters” because you’re assuming the looters are black.
We all make mistakes. So if you have a person call you out on something, don’t get defensive. Don’t make that make you decide to stop speaking up. Apologize. Really listen to what they’re saying. Make sure you don’t make that mistake again.
Don’t make this about you
Honestly, I would rather have you say nothing at all than do things like try to tie your vacation to fighting for what’s right. Sticking a #blacklivesmatter at the end of a post that is just an excuse to post a cute pic is not it.
Going on and on and on about how depressed and upset you are right now means people need to export energy on making you feel better. There are other things they could use that time and energy on.
Never use #AllLivesMatter
#AllLivesMatter is essentially the new blackface where I’m like “Why are people still doing this? Are you that clueless to racism?”
#AllLivesMatter is problematic. It negates the black experience because as I once read, “Yes, all lives matter but we’re talking about the black lives now.” It’s also used by a lot of racists too.
Don’t say generic stuff like Can’t We All Get Along and Violence is not the answer.
If you’re more concerned with the (relatively few) people of ALL races who are looting stores over black men and women being killed and targeted, then that’s another huge issue you need to address within yourself.