This post went viral on Facebook. As I post this, the counts are: 10.4k+ shares, 3.4k+ comments, and 20k+ reactions. Here is the full text. At the bottom you’ll see a video where I answer some of the most common questions that came my way in response to this post.
Hi there, white friends. I want to talk to you for just a minute and I’m going to be using the CAPS to highlight, not to yell.
I see you out there, marching and trying to be better than you were last year, last month, last week, yesterday. I see you trying to figure out how to be an ally to the Black community and to other marginalized groups. I’m doing that, too.
And, then I see you read something from a person who is expressing their hurt and anger, one of our Black sisters, and your old programming comes right back up *bloop* and it’s hard to not just grab those old feelings and put them right back on. Because you’re trying, right? You’re out there, right now, doing what you can and trying to change. So you get angry. You get frustrated. And you say, “Well, why even try then, because I can’t do anything right.” And then you post something like that on your FB wall and you get all the comfort, outrage, and support from your friends who say, “Yeah! You’re a good person!”
Stop. Just stop. Our Black sisters and other marginalized friends have every right to be angry and frustrated and impatient and sarcastic or anything else they want to be. Because they are expressing THEIR LIVED EXPERIENCE. And if there’s one thing you don’t want to do while trying to be an ally/interrupter/co-conspirator, it’s crap on someone who is sharing how upset they are that we, as white women, have been no-shows for centuries and now still have a tendency to make everything about ourselves. This is OLD PROGRAMMING that pops right back up and our instinct is to center ourselves. This does not make you bad, it makes you a white person who has lived in privilege your entire life and it makes you have to pay attention and apologize a lot when you mess up.
The best thing you can do is take in all those feelings coming from our sisters who are hurting and angry and OWN IT. Remind yourself that yes, you’re trying because THIS is how they feel. You’re doing what you’re doing because it’s RIGHT and it’s how humans with empathy and sympathy and a working heart should live their lives once they figure it out. Not because all the Black women are going to magically start appreciating you. They owe you NOTHING. Mark the date on your calendar when you’ve got as many days under your belt being awake as you did being asleep, and then, maybe, start being a tiny bit impatient when others don’t recognize your efforts. My own date is June 17, 2061. I will be 91.
I tell you this with sincere love in my heart because I KNOW you’re trying. Sit in the discomfort of these moments. It’s ok to not feel comfortable. That’s how lots of people around the world live their lives every single day. Comfort is not our goal. Equality is. <3
EDITED AGAIN: Get the Tshirt here.
EDITED: I can’t keep up with the commenting but please know I’m appreciating them all. I had to ban a few people in the last hour who were not here for the vibes I’ve offered. Let me just say clearly that all are welcome unless you hate. Hate is not welcome in this space.
Response Video is here.