Listen.

by , under personal, Pirate, racism, representation matters

141209-listenMy last blog post… I’m not happy with it. It was a reaction, and I was upset. I don’t normally blog about things when I’m that upset. I’d love to delete it, but pretending I didn’t write it isn’t fair.

I’m writing a follow-up instead, one that won’t make me feel like I’m overstepping boundaries.

For those not in the black community, listen. If you don’t believe that things are this difficult, listen. You can’t comment until you understand how it really is. Hell, I’m hispanic and know that racism exists in this world… and I can acknowledge that what they deal with as a community is not my own life experience. So listen to someone who is going through this, instead of making assumptions. (Over on Twitter #AliveWhileBlack is a hashtag well worth browsing)

Over on Tumblr, I reblog a lot of stuff about Ferguson, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice- as well as media coverage about those events. People sharing their opinions. Striking images. And tips for white people who want to join in the protests.

Most of the posts geared towards outsiders include this suggestion- listen. If you don’t believe that this is the world we’ve always lived in, listen to those who assure you that this really is the way the world is. If you want to help and go protest? Listen to the black protestors, because this is their cause, not yours. Let them lead. You’re there to support.

And if you are or if your loved ones are in law enforcement, don’t reply with “NOT ALL POLICE OFFICERS.” We know that not all police officers are racist. Just like when feminists say that men need to do something, they aren’t referring to all men, but problematic men. But if you’re busy defending you or your family members who aren’t part of the problem, you’re ignoring that someone is telling you that there is a problem out there– and it’s a problem that law enforcement needs to tackle head on. Because it isn’t something the public will let them cover up or hide. (Also, if someone is criticizing white people and you’re offended and want to defend white people as a whole… just stop yourself.)

Listen. Learn. Ask yourself some tough questions- and then react.

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  • I should not be surprised, but I am, by the number of people on the internet who feel 100% justified in having an immediate, forceful opinion about situations they know precious little about.