Listening and Learning | Black Lives Matter
I've always been scared to talk about political matters or topics that can be sensitive. I was always scared that I would be judged or that I would get it wrong. I am learning that there is no need for me to be scared of that. There will always be people who judge, who complain, who disagree with what I say. That is okay, they have that freedom! And so what if I get it wrong? If I am wrong, someone will correct me. That correction will teach me. From there I will be more educated on the matter and continue from there.
Lately in the news and covering social media, people are using their voices and speaking up for members of the black community who live in fear every day, scared to be free, living in a world of injustice. It is something that shocked me a lot more than I care to admit.
I've lived a life of privilege. I am white and I have never once feared or questioned my freedoms. I could walk the streets quite relaxed. I've had friends of all races and never did I think twice about it. Everyone was great in their own way. They all had their own beliefs and values, and I could respect that.
Growing up in school and watching movies, we witnessed racism in many forms. I understood it was part of the past, but I never experienced it in my lifetime, so it seemed fake, rare, or just plain non-existent. Due to people raising their voices the last couple days and weeks, I am quickly learning how oblivious to the world I truly am.
Everyday black people struggle to embrace their freedoms because of fear they are doing something wrong, even if they are doing something completely mundane, like walking down the street. Because of their skin color, they have to question what they wear, how they act, who they encounter, and so much more, for fear of being judged and never given a chance to explain.
This topic is hard for me because I am still learning. I am still educating myself so I can properly understand the lives people live the best I can. The first thing I've learnt, however, is to encourage people to pay attention. To not ignore the world around them. Do not ignore the information that is being blasted through our phones and television. Listen. Learn.
If you are scared to speak, that is okay. Read. Listen. Watch. Educate. Learn for yourself, so that you can understand. Spread that understanding to your family, your friends. Maybe eventually you will feel educated enough to speak out more about it.
We are given freedoms. Let's try to use that freedom to change our societies. It is time. It was time a long time ago. We are so educated on so many matters, that racism should not be a problem anymore. But it is. Though we often quiet it. We quiet it because we do not want to believe it. It is time to believe it. And make it loud. Do what you can. Every voice and every action will make a difference, even if it feels like you are doing nothing.
Let us all stand together. Loud and proud. Fight for the lives that need help being heard. We cannot change our pasts. We cannot change the stories that cloud our history books. But we can stop it. It doesn't have to continue like this forever. We cannot just accept that this is a way of life because it doesn't have to be. Injustice doesn't need to exist. We can stop that and change the way our society runs.
Please listen to what is being revealed. Please, for all the black lives lost and the ones continuing to fight for their rights, educate yourselves so that you better understand. Please use your voice and use your actions the best you can. We can rise together and create a better life.