Open letters to the world, Black people, white people, police, angry people, and leaders on the topic of racism.
Firstly, I feel like I have to address this issue I’m seeing of all lives matter versus Black Lives Matter.
I believe all lives matter, which is why I’m willing to stand up for the lives of those who have been discriminated against. I’m not Indigenous, but I stand up for them. I’m not Black, but I stand up for them. In fact, I’m a bit of a nobody, but how can I say all lives matter if I won’t stand up for theirs?
If you say all lives matter, ask yourself why you aren’t willing to stand up for specific lives that have been lost here on our home soil, but instead comfort yourself with the knowledge that your life matters too?
If your family member loses their life to police brutality or racism and you want to protest, I will stand up for you too, no matter your colour or identity. I’ll be there for you like I’m here for these people now. ❤️
Some of you even seem to feel that Black Lives Matter is racist because it doesn’t include the words All or White. Be thankful if that’s the biggest discrimination you’ll ever face in your lifetime … And it’s not even a discrimination. Let’s be completely clear nobody is saying your life or other people’s lives don’t matter. This is about everyone, all lives, coming together to support the lives who need it.
I ask you, world, to remember that Black Lives Matter is not a threat to you. It is not asking to take away your space, it is not asking for special privileges. It is demanding equal space, equal privileges, and equal justice that every person has a right to but is not currently getting. We are fighting for a world where nobody has to wonder if the most important thing at a job interview will be the color of their skin rather than their actual skillset. We’re dreaming of a world where skin color is not seen as an admission of guilt. We want a world where people are not murdered over $20 or for the crime of going outside for a jog. We want everyone to feel safe and protected in society equally.
I am so happy to see so many humans standing together against racism lately. Racism has been around for a long time, and it will probably still be around for a long time. I’m hoping that in light of recent events, things will get better.
Racism is something we all need to work together to fight against. After this all dies down, a lot of us will have the good fortune of being able to forget and go back to our everyday lives. Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color will not have that luxury. Please watch all of this video from Casey.
For people of color, racism exists every day. When they go to a job interview, the thought crosses their mind, “I wonder if the employer likes people of color.” If they get a job they wonder, “Did I get the job just because of my color, or am I truly skilled enough?” When they go out for a walk they wonder, “Is that person racist? Do they want to hurt me? Are they going to yell at me, shoot me, or call the police just because I’m going about my daily business?” When they travel, they wonder, “How many people are going to check my bag, but not my white friend’s bag, because prejudice?” When they go shopping, they wonder, “Are they going to think I’m stealing because of my skin color?” Even when they’re sitting inside their homes, they don’t always feel safe. Ask the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor.
The tragic murder of George Floyd was horrible to watch. It touched every human who saw those images. How could it not? And with it came a new breaking point where we all stood up and said, “Enough is enough.” This is not the first breaking point we’ve reached, and it is likely not going to be the last one. So when you go back to your daily lives, please remember one thing: we must all fight racism actively together every day.
If I have one message for you today, it is that your silence hurts. Please speak up in whatever way you can to condemn racism and support justice for everyone equally. Your silence is betrayal, your silence will not change anything.
What can you do to help?
You can vote. Vote for someone who is going to make life better for minorities. Vote for someone who stands for justice and equality for everyone. Please vote.
You can protest. Putting your health and safety at risk for people of color says so much. It means that you are willing to experience for a few moments what a lot of minorities experience daily: danger just trying to do the right thing.
You can donate to causes that are helping raise awareness of the crimes committed against people of color, or groups that help minority community members get back on their feet after hard times.
You can share the messages of anti-racism on your platforms. You can speak to your friends and family about it.
We want a world where all lives matter equally and we no longer have to remind each other that Black Lives Matter.
I know you’re worried about the health risks of coronavirus. I know you want to keep your citizens safe.
Let me respectfully tell you that being Indigenous, Black, or a person of color is a daily health risk in itself. This is the whole point of our protests. Where were you this whole time? Why weren’t you keeping them safe from racist police?
Please address the dangers they face daily, and none of us will need to risk our health to tell you this is a problem. And if you can think of a better way for us to protest, tell us! Support us to organise it even. Or just simply, listen to us!
Dear Peaceful Protesting Black People,
First of all, please know I support you, I stand with you, and I will stand up for your rights however I can.
I’m writing to you to ask you to please be kind to all the white people among us who are trying their best to support you in whatever way they can. They want to stand up for you, but they’re scared to be politically incorrect in the process. Be kind to them.
I’m asking you to understand that they’re coming from a place of wanting to do better and make change. Please talk to them directly if you disagree with the way they’re going about it. Don’t trash them or their business on social media. I’m seeing too many businesses being spoken badly of and ruined after trying to put out a message of support for the Black community.
Instead of pressuring them to do more, thank them for coming this far with showing their support. Invite them to do more by signing your petitions. Let them know about causes they can donate to if they wish. When you do this, you encourage others to voice their support without fearing that their effort won’t be enough or will be seen as wrong.
Please remember that these people are your allies who will listen to you if you talk to them. So talk to them. Not about them. Help them understand what it is you would like from them, but approach them with love. Have a conversation with them. They’re there for you. They just may not know exactly how or what to do.
And most of all, stay safe. Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate like society does. Protest peacefully and protest with social distancing. Please keep yourselves safe and healthy because we need you all here. We need your voices now and in the future.
Dear Allied White People,
I want you to know I appreciate each and every one of you who is standing up for people of color worldwide. I want you to know that your lives and your voices matter.
Thank you for understanding that the Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter movements do not take away the value of your life at all. Thank you for giving the Black and Indigenous communities a space to be heard, perhaps for the first time ever. Hearing their voices will help us all to understand their pain and start a healing and change process so we can move forward and make all lives matter equally.
Please understand that minority communities have been spoken for by others for decades. They really want and need to be able to lead this movement. As much as you’re passionate and want to create change, I encourage you to try your best to consult with your local Black and Indigenous communities and with all communities of color when driving this change.
This isn’t about discrimination against you, it’s about empowering minorities who have for years felt powerless, silenced, and overlooked. I’m asking you to take a step back and empower. Take on the role of supporting them and let them lead the change. After all, it’s about them, isn’t it?
To all the good police out there, thank you for doing your jobs. Thank you for keeping us safe. We are not anti-police. We are anti-racist behaviour.
I understand that this would be a scary and emotional time for you as well. Please take action if you see colleagues doing the wrong thing and hurting peaceful protesters. Please take action when colleagues use unnecessary force in their daily jobs. You can help by being an advocate for all lives every day. Turn in your fellow officers if they show brutal or violent behaviour against ANYONE.
I understand and thank you for standing up against violence and rioting. But when it comes to peaceful protesters, if you really care about the people in the communities you’re serving, please allow them to protest with social distancing. Don’t push them together in small groups. Don’t force them to run frantically down streets. Don’t pepper spray them or tear gas them when they’re protesting peacefully. And for the love of god, don’t push them out of the way just so one man can walk to a church and pose with a Bible.
Dear Angry Violent White People,
I am glad that you haven’t had to experience the sort of discrimination and fear that minority groups have had to experience daily. You are lucky that you aren’t forced to see the relevance of this issue.
But I’m asking you to open your minds and your hearts. If you were the ones suffering systemic discrimination, I would gladly stand up for you as well. I don’t understand how anti-racism can possibly be seen as a bad thing or a threat to you. I don’t understand how justice and equality for everyone can possibly be a bad thing.
We’re saying Black Lives Matter. We’re NOT saying only black lives matter. We believe all lives matter. It’s just that certain lives need more help right now. Help us make all lives matter.
I know you’re concerned about your health in this COVID crisis and I know where you’re coming from when you say all lives matter. Of course they do. But when one group is consistently being murdered for crimes they didn’t commit, we need to stand up for them. I know coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, but racist leaders, racist police, and racist laws do.
Please understand that both sides of this DO care about all lives (on the whole). We’re all trying to make the world a better place. And just because there’s a health crisis at the moment, that does not mean that we should be silent about the systemic discrimination faced by people of color and minority groups in society.
You have a right to your own opinion. And I encourage a dialogue between you and minority communities. But for your health and safety, if you can’t voice your opinion peacefully, please just stay inside. Don’t risk your own health by beating up other people who might have the virus. If you can’t be calm and civil, everyone, yourself included, is much safer you just stay away.
Dear Angry Violent Black People,
I understand that theses are emotional times for everyone. We’re all upset and we’re all angry. I understand that you feel you need to get violent when your peaceful protesting isn’t getting heard. In a way, it makes sense. But please try to show the world how intelligent, thoughtful, gentle, and loving people of color are.
Violence gives racist people a platform to condemn this movement. Violence proves to them that they were right all along. Violence gives leaders support when they want to come down hard on protesting.
Right now, you are not alone. We’re here for you. Make yourselves heard peacefully. Don’t let their aggression and hate drag you down to their level. Don’t hurt the movement. Help us help you.
Be strong. Be powerful. Be peaceful because Black Lives Matter ✌✊