June 2020 Ruminations

I haven't posted on any of platform in a while. In case you hadn't noticed, there's kind of a revolution going on. Posts about my miniature cakes seem a little irrelevant right now.

This new Black Lives Matter movement is spread on the wings of social media, and because of that I caution my readers not treat it like a trend. 
I did. I posted my pointless little black square on Instagram for #blackouttuesday, because everybody else did and I didn't want to look like I didn't care. I "liked" all the right posts. As everybody posted links- petitions to sign, organizations seeking donations, videos to watch, lists of victims' names- I frantically reviewed each resource, because I felt like if I didn't, I was part of the problem.

I've come to terms with the fact that I don't have anything new to add. No knowledge or wisdom to offer.
I feel like anything I might post or publish "in solidarity-" in this case, a blanket term for keeping up the appearance of caring without actually helping the cause- would just contribute to a social media clogged with counterproductive white noise.

I don't know what oppression feels like, and I'm thankful for that. But that doesn't mean I, and everyone else who's grown up privileged and unoppressed, can't be a part of the movement for equality.

The other day my friends and I sat for an hour in the back room of my house, ruminating on the protests, their aims, their drawbacks. Lazy spring rain dripped outside, an edge of Tropical Storm Cristobal, and my mom was baking cornbread on the other side of the house, but despite these very southern touches, I felt the four of us were pensive students in a Russian novel, in Crime and Punishment, relaying our credences and fervently agreeing with one another and wondering on potential futures. 
So that was fun.

Some takeaways...

Ways to be a part of the movement when you feel like you have nothing to offer: Talk about it. Ask about it. Listen to other people about it. Don't let it fade like a fast-fashion trend. Don't be afraid to challenge other people's opinions and don't be afraid to challenge and change your own.

My friend said this: Not all cops are "Bad", but if you have 10 "Bad" ones and 90 "Good" ones who don't do anything about the "Bad" ones out of fear or apathy, then you might as well have 100 "Bad" ones. I think that this extends beyond the police. Every person must be actively pro-equality, not just passively nonracist.

The internet "real estate" we take up when we post could be used for waste or for progress. I read a quote- I can't remember the exact quote or who said it- saying every time we post a picture of our breakfast or of ourselves posing by a pool we could be posting something that inspires people or helps them. I don't think all recreational (for lack of a better word) social media is pointless. It's fun to casually share our experiences with each other online. But there is no reason why everything we post can't at least face towards positive progress. Eliminate prejudice and hate in our rhetoric, stop taking for granted what we have, stay open to everything. 
Also, live outside of social media. That's where the real change will take place.

I think I could type and type until my keyboard ran through but I would stray into vague metaphors and all kinds of silly things. Instead, I've leave you with a couple of cool Instagrams for education and ways to help:
freecilantro : humanitarian foodie, thought-provoking writings, ways to donate. I like her account because she brings to my attention perspectives I had not considered
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater : primarily African-American modern dance company, inclusive, a lot of its pieces focus on the African-American experience


If you agree/disagree, or have something to add or correct, please let me know in the comments below, via email, or on Instagram or Facebook.

World peace and love,

Heather <3

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