Black Lives Matter

Hey, friends. This blog has always been about learning and making all the mistakes so you don’t have to. Today, I’m going to share what I’ve learned this week:

It’s the job of white people to educate other white people on racism. Asking Black people to teach you about anti-Black racism only adds to their emotional load and they’re dealing with enough right now.

It’s better to speak out about racism imperfectly than to say nothing for fear of making a mistake. Be open to being corrected. Be gracious when receiving feedback.

Optical allyship or performative allyship are the reasons posting about Black Lives Matter on Instagram feels weird to me.

Whataboutism” refers to citing other irrelevant racial or social issues when talking about Black Lives Matter. Yeah, we need to talk about those things, too, but right now we’re focusing on anti-Black racism.

Digital blackface is the act of using a gif of a Black person as a reaction. It’s super not cool so don’t do it.

As a parent, I should be talking to my kids about racism already. Just having a diverse-looking cast of characters in our bookshelf isn’t enough. We need to start the conversation young so it isn’t taboo.

As an educator, I need to speak up when I see microagressions happening towards Black students. I have no problem correcting kids, but it’s harder when it’s my colleagues. Hair is a big one that still causes a lot of problems in schools.

I need to engage more with Black content on Instagram. Diversifying my feed over the past year or so meant basically nothing as the algorithm hid their posts from me. I’m making an effort to like and comment more so Instagram shows me more of what I want to see!

A lot of the the Black makers I follow have written posts this week re-introducing themselves to their new followers but also wondering aloud if they were just “checking off a box” for people to diversify their feed. If I followed you this week, it’s because someone suggested I check you out, so I did and I liked your feed and wanted to see more of you. You absolutely deserve all of your new followers because you are cool and smart!

I had a principal who constantly told us, “it shouldn’t be an event, but what you do every day” in context of other things, but it applies here, too. I’m going to do my best to make sure that I’m constantly working towards equity (not equality, friends) for Black people.

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