A lot has happened over the past few weeks/days that brings me to this point. I’m a big advocate of the Black Lives Matter campaign and not just because I’m black, but because of what it stands for. As an influencer and a black influencer, I have a platform where I can speak out, and that’s what I plan on doing, starting RIGHT NOW.
My daughter wrote a post titled “Enough Said“, that I happened to share on my Facebook page. What went from an innocent post snowballed into catalytic proportions. I had to call out a few people to check their privilege. Whites, or as I should say, the uninformed whites do not understand what Black Lives Matter means, and they’re not trying to make an effort to understand. However, when you come at me with the All Lives Matter slogan, it shows that you do not genuinely care about the plight happening to blacks in America.
Black Lives Matter is not saying that your life doesn’t matter. As a matter of fact, it’s not referencing you at all. We know that all lives matter, but at this very moment, we’re talking about Black Lives. So let me break it down for you what it means to be black in America now for me and my black husband and sons and daughters, and then maybe you can tell me if you also share the same issue. If you don’t, then that’s considered “white privilege.” White privilege does not necessarily mean that you’re racist, but it does mean that your skin color gives you an advantage over a black/brown person. So here’s what it means to be black.
BEING BLACK MEANS I have to have “the talk” with my son before he’s even ten years old, before he’s able to drive, because I don’t want him getting shot by the police. However, even if he’s polite and does the right thing, there’s still that chance that he can be shot.
BEING BLACK MEANS we have to name our children “regular names” because it’s the only way to get their foot in the door for a job interview, because “black names” are deemed ghetto, thereby stifling our originality. A job they studied hard for in college. However, it’s perfectly okay for the Apple’s, the Chicago’s, and the Stormi’s since their names are deemed cute and unique.
BEING BLACK MEANS that even if we get our foot in the door, we may be immediately dismissed because we don’t represent Corporate America. Our natural hair isn’t straight enough, and braids and cornrows are not acceptable.
BEING BLACK MEANS that the color of our skin defines which “good neighborhood” we can live in unless we’re celebrities and millionaires, because we may be the “wrong crowd.” If we are able to move in, we’re mostly made to feel unwelcomed.
BEING BLACK MEANS having to work twice as hard to get into the school of your choice, although our academics have proven otherwise. If you’re white and poor, you have a higher chance of being accepted than if you’re black and poor.
BEING BLACK MEANS being followed and harassed while shopping in a store because the clerk thinks you’re going to steal something, even though we have our wallet in our hands.
BEING BLACK MEANS being followed by the police because you’re driving a “nice car,” so it must be considered stolen because there is no way that a black person can afford a luxury vehicle unless they were dealing drugs, of course. And if it wasn’t stolen, then it must be borrowed or leased.
BEING BLACK MEANS having to code-switch and speak as “professional white” because our black voices can be misinterpreted as the “angry black person voice.” Otherwise, we’re considered uneducated and inarticulate.
BEING BLACK MEANS stereotyped as a thug, so they clutch their purses in the fear that they’ll be robbed, no matter how nicely dressed you are.
BEING BLACK MEANS having to wait longer for a table at a fancy restaurant or being ignored in luxury department stores because of the assumption that you can’t afford it.
And if you think I don’t have it as bad because I’m an influencer. Well, let me break that down for you as well, what it means to be a black influencer.
BEING A BLACK INFLUENCER MEANS that I’m consistently passed over because I’m not what the brand is looking for, because of the color of my skin.
BEING A BLACK INFLUENCER MEANS that I am paid significantly less than my white counterparts, once again, because of the color of my skin.
BEING A BLACK INFLUENCER MEANS that brands don’t think I’m good enough even though my stats stay otherwise.
Surprisingly when it comes to monetary spending, blacks spend significantly more than whites.
Do not assume that all blacks are gang members and thugs who grew up without fathers in the projects. It may surprise you that many blacks come from a 2-parent household, myself included. My parents were married for over 50 years before they passed away, and I myself am married. But that’s another story.
Would you, as a white person, trade shoes with a black person? If you know what’s happening, you also know you don’t want it for you. So why are you so willing to accept it or allow it to happen to others.
If you’d love to learn how you can support your black community, I wrote a post on how you can go about doing that.
So before you take up the mantra that all lives matter, check your privilege and remember:
All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.
I SAID WHAT I SAID!