This morning, I woke to a post my cousin made saying in regards to Black History Month:
“If you feel compelled to do something in support just because it’s BHM that you wouldn’t do any other month of the year, you need to sit down and have a hard think about that.
Don’t be a performative ally, be a real one.”
She couldn’t be more right. Even I had to reflect on this and check myself to make sure I am doing enough to be a true ally and not a performance ally.
Even if you read this and asked yourself, “Am I doing enough?” only to quickly answer, “Yes,” there is still room for you to do more.
There are always places where we can fight harder, and be better for those we love and care about in the BIPOC community.
We cannot forget what happened this past summer and we should not be slowing down in our efforts to fight against racial injustice.
Systemic racism has not let up, and neither should we. It is up to us to change the present so we can influence a better future for others.
My cousin’s quote came just as a timely reminder for all of us—that simply posting something or sharing something or saying you’re an ally just isn’t enough.
We need to always do more.
Her quote also arrived as BLM was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Much of which is being complained about by the same group that took part in an insurrection.
These are not the same issues, nor are they driven by the same motives.
As we go into this month, I hope we all hold ourselves to a higher standard than before, supporting our BIPOC brothers and sisters in every single way imaginable, even if it scares us or makes us uncomfortable.
We have no right to complain about being uncomfortable or scared after what we saw in 2020. We need to be open to being wrong and making corrections as we work together to end racism.
And let us keep in mind what Rosa Parks had to say when she helped pave the way for racial equality. Like her, people are tired of the injustice.
Her words back then are not so far off from what we’re experiencing today.
“No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
“Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.”
“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would be also free.”
“I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.”
“All I was doing was trying to get home from work.”
“My only concern was to get home after a hard day’s work.”
“Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.”
Which person do you want to be? The one who pretended to care? Or the one who actually cared and did something to influence change?
Systemic racism still exists.
People are still tired of it.
We still have work to do.
We can do that work together.
Learn more about Black Lives Matter by visiting their website.
You can join the movement, support other associated causes, donate, and stay updated with recent news that invites you to join calls for change and justice.