I didn’t even consider adding to the noise around this movement but recently I thought if I can offer any food for thought then why not?
As a white person, I acknowledge and understand my privilege that comes with that. It’s not right, but it’s there, and I am aware.
Some white friends of mine were discussing the black square posting that was trending on social media. (I was being updated on this as I do not have social media and so was pretty oblivious to it all). They expressed their concerns about whether to participate or not. On one hand they felt if they didn’t they would be seen as racist. If they did, they felt like they were following a trend. They would be damned whatever they did.
Then along comes all the companies and celebrities ‘doing their bit’ for the movement. But I question how sincere they are? Are these companies posting about how they support BLM and how they are hiring more black people because they truly support the movement and they want to see the change happen or are they feeling the pressure to do something and appear supportive? Would they have become inclusive if they hadn’t been pressured to do so? And does it even matter how they came about their changes as long as it happens? So many questions!
I’ve noticed the BBC has started hiring more black people to seem more inclusive. But this has only happened now because the most recent wave of the movement. If the BBC was truly inclusive surely it wouldn’t need to be pressured into hiring black people. And is this not just positive racism? Being hired because your black does not solve the problems they face. A black relative of mine said he would be embarrassed if he was to be hired because he was black and not due to his credentials.
I’m in two minds, on one hand having so many people jump on the bandwagon for whatever reason, even if it’s a shallow attempt to get a cool protest photo to post online still gives the movement momentum. But is it enough? Perhaps the majority doing their little bits is enough to propel important figures with in the movement to be seen and heard and it gives them a solid backing and support.
I just hope the momentum actually keeps going and we don’t get bored and get distracted by the next trending thing.
During the latest BLM wave, a company in the city I live in was outed as a Nazi ran company. Who had previously employed a black woman who came out 2 years later saying she was verbally abused. This company was supposed to be a very trendy, hip, vegan doughnut place and as soon as this news came out the shop was vandalised and ‘cancelled’.
Cancel culture worries me. I believe it might be the motivation for companies and celebrities to appear involved and supportive of these kinds of movements because as soon as they say something ‘wrong’ they are ‘cancelled’.
I am unsure of how to conduct myself within these movements. I talk to black people asking for their opinions and take on the situation, I ask what do they want from white people and I aim to do it. I may not be posting my support on social media, but I am out here doing my best to support the movement IRL.