We HAVE to get this right. The posts I’ve seen the last few days and responses to POC’s (people of color) posts have infuriated me. The lack of empathy and love in our tone and in our words are jaw dropping. I understand that some don’t care to change and have their mind made up. That’s not who this post is for. It’s for those who really do care, who want to learn and willing to see some things from another perspective.
DON’T SAY: ALL LIVES MATTER
Why it’s offensive: Saying all lives matter in response to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is severely lacking in empathy and love for those who haven’t felt like their lives matter based on the history and current events of how they have been treated based on their race. ***Just by saying BLM, doesn’t mean no one else’s life matters.***Those who are saying BLM believe that all lives matter. What black people are saying is that they don’t feel like their life matters based on how they are treated. Saying All Lives Matter is extremely offensive. ‘All lives’ is not the debate at hand.
SAY INSTEAD: Black Lives Matter or say nothing at all if you don’t agree with BLM.
DON’T SAY: I don’t see color or I wish no one saw color.
Why it’s offensive: There’s beauty in diversity. People don’t want you to not see color and the truth is, we DO see color. We can celebrate our differences and appreciate them instead of pretending we don’t see them or that they aren’t there. People want to be seen as equal, not to be stripped of what makes them, them.
SAY INSTEAD: I wished everyone was treated as equal.
DON’T SAY: I have a black friend or family member.
Why it’s offensive: You’re using tokenism as a why to try and prove that you’re not racist. The definition of tokenism is “the policy or practice of making only a symbolic effort.” Your friends and family member of color don’t want to be used as a pawn to prove you’re not racist.
DO INSTEAD: Show with your actions that you’re ready to listen and tell POC that you’re standing with them. Speak up when you see injustices.