Hi, hello, how are you? Wonderful I hope. I hope you took some time over the last week to be quiet, to reflect, to amplify Black voices, to unlearn some of the things you have been taught in this life, if you are white person anyway. That’s what I did. I also protested, donated money and time to the Black Lives Matter movement, and I followed many new people on social media in an effort to better understand the movement, the revolution that is happening, and how I can learn to be a better person. And while I was doing all of this, I made some mistakes. Some big ones. I want to address some of them now and I want to tell you one of the things I learned from listening this week. The rest will come in little bits here and there because y’all know I process at a slow rate.
First, I need to apologize to the Instagram and Facebook spheres for giving you wrong information. I listened to the creators of #AmplifyMelanatedVoices do a wrap up yesterday (you can read more about it on my previous post) and I realized I didn’t do exactly what they wanted. I got my information second-hand from other white women and certainly the “telephone tree” missed some important points. The point of the challenge created by @blackandembodied and @jessicawilson.msrd was to mute white activists and let the Black activists have the floor. It was not to mute ourselves. We should have been sharing Black activists work/art/words/stories as well as taking the time to check other white people. I did that in my Stories, but I did not do it on my page and for that I apologize. I am committed to working on that and making it part of my normal life now. I apologize to anyone who was following my lead.
I am more conscious of my place in social media, especially places like Instagram where I share my space with so many Black women who are working hard to create open dialogue. I need to let them do the talking, especially when it comes to race. This is my space here, and while I will be sharing more that elevates both the conversation on structural racism, white supremacy, and how white people can unlearn what they know, I will also be sharing my lessons, thoughts, and stories like always. The point here is that life is not “back to normal” around here. It can’t be. It never will be again. The Goodnight House has turned a very important corner, and there is no looking back.
In the midst of my mistakes I did receive grace from a few people. In fact I read often, especially from Black women, that mistakes will be made. They will be made in the early days and in the later days. We are learning and they do not expect us to be perfect. They do, however, expect us to be present and continue to be present. To hold other white people accountable, to teach other white people as we learn, and to continue to support the movement. And just so we are clear, for those of us who can, supporting the movement is not just making our picture profile say, “Black Lives Matter,” it means to donate. And I don’t mean time here, I strictly mean money. Cold, hard, cash. Again, I’m talking to those of us who can. Donate money to the cause, donate it to the movement, donate it to the activists. Subscribe to their Patreon pages. Buy their books, their art, their time. Learning isn’t free, so put your money where your mouth is. You know I love y’all, but we have to do better.
So there it is, mistakes will happen. But we need to learn from them. “Know better, do better” said Maya Angelou. Every, damn day.
Speaking of donating (I think you brought it up), I’m leaving you with a photo of some postcards we made and passed out at one of the protests we attended over the weekend. We protested for four days straight, but more on that later. These postcards have organizations you can send money to right now. If you can’t donate money, think about sharing the names of these organizations, or making your own postcards to pass out. Because now it is time for action.
At the protest Jackson and I walked up and down the line of people and passed them out. He explained that they could donate, then they could send the postcard to someone else who could donate as well. We passed out a total of 40 of these, because we didn’t get the idea in time to do more! There were nearly 300 people at the protest and people wanted them when they saw them, so please know that people will DONATE if given the opportunity and they will SHARE the message. It was a small gesture on our part, just the cost of postcards and stamps, that resonated with people so much that they were finding us afterward to thank us, tell us what a great idea it was, and that they would donate and make their own postcards! We were happy with the outcome.
Please note that these are all Georgia organizations, mostly Atlanta-based, but a simple Google of similar organizations in your area can be done if you want to support local as well.
Remember, we are all learning here. We, as white people, can hold each other accountable, and we can help teach each other. Please do not bother your Black friends, and certainly not Black strangers, with your questions. I’m here as a resource, and so is Google. Today, reflect on your mistakes, take action, and donate. Tomorrow we will work our way through another way to help.
Stay safe out there, y’all.