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Added: Kenyon Heavener - Date: 27.01.2022 11:08 - Views: 41249 - Clicks: 4081

My name is Kat Vellos and I am alive today. And queer. And a woman. And from another country. Maybe you are some of these things, too. I'm different in a lot of ways that the dominant white culture in America says makes me less than. Some would even like to see me dead, just because of the things that make me different from them.

But I have a bunch of privilege, too, which I always aim to use for good. If you're not Black and you're reading this, I'm writing to ask for your help. Today, my heart is heavy. Friendship shows its true depth in times of real need. The oppression of Black people goes hand-in-hand with the oppression of every other underrespected population in this country: Indigenous, Latinx, Asian-American, queer, disabled, and more. This would be more than friendship, it would be allyship, accompliceship. Today, I am thinking of all the kids I worked with during my seven years doing youthwork, and all the kids growing up today.

I think about all the kids whose parents aren't talking to their kids about race because they think that will make them racist research has proven repeatedly that the opposite is true. I think of how desperately and how frequently we need adults to have the courage to talk to kids, so their kids don't internalize and perpetuate the dangerous beliefs that create the situation we're in today.

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Today, I am asking everyone who is reading this who cares about justice, equality, respect for humanity, and yes, the belief that Black lives matter — that my life matters — to move beyond caring and to move into action. Taking action will. Today, I am tired of having this conversation. I already get it.

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I need my friends and fans to have conversations about this with other non-Black people who need to be engaged into action. I need everyone who is not Black to hands and to fight for us the way you would fight if the same kind of destruction was coming for you. There are many ways to fight back. You can set up recurring donations at organizations who work on this issue. You can give money to people who are working to support others who are held back by this unjust system.

You can call and write your politicians. You can do everything in your power to prevent voter suppression. You can work to defund and demilitarize the police. You can read books to get past whatever internal blocker has prevented you from having these conversations with people in your life so far. Speak to the people who you think it will be hard to talk to, especially the ones who secretly or not-so-secretly harbor racist and prejudiced views that contribute to making the world continually unsafe for Black people and other marginalized groups.

I know these conversations are hard.

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I've had some of them myself this week. It may give you jitters but please do it anyway. For every social media post or you send regarding race, make a list of 5 non-Black friends and initiate a real conversation about race with them directly. Don't only tell Black people how much the news bothers you, tell non-Black people. The more powerful, financially-resourced and well-connected those people are, the better. If each of those people initiated five more conversations, it would be 25, conversations about race that never would have happened and potentially 25, more people making a commitment to anti-racist action in on an ongoing way.

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As it rippled outward, it could seed millions of opportunities for meaningful change where it matters most: with the people who are not already engaged Don't just say stuff like "Wow, things are so bad. Aren't you shocked, I'm shocked. This is unbelievable, this has to stop…". Here are action-based resourcesself-education resourcesa media list with discussion guidesand an antiracism newsletter to get you started. Many of the books, podcasts, articles and resources on this list will help you figure out what to say. The more you say it, the easier it gets. That question never has an easy answer and the answer "fine" is garbage.

It also puts the person you're talking to in the position of having to explain themselves to you. It's a way for the asker to take something that the other person may not feel ready or open to giving. Black people who are angry, sad, afraid or grieving are likely being inundated with that question and it can be triggering to hear it repeatedly from non-Black people. But by all means, offer your support. If you know their love language, give them something they would appreciate.

If you send a text or DM, don't be offended if you don't get an answer back or if you get a very minimal answer. The person you're reaching out to may be feeling overwhelmed and not up for talking. I'm sorry that I haven't shown up for you fully around this issue in the past. I'm dedicating myself to fighting racism. I set up recurring donations and am doing XYZ as well. I welcome you asking me direct and hard questions on this topic in the future. If there are other things you think I should do, I'm open and ready to hear. No need to reply unless you want to.

Thank you for your patience, and for your friendship. I love you. If it's not true, have some hard conversations with yourself about why. Also, some people won't like this strategy since it puts some of the focus on the speaker instead of the person they're reaching out to, but I like it because I literally don't know which of my non-Black friends actually take action to be allies, and which of them just post on social media and think that's enough.

When I learn that a friend is doing more than I thought they were, it really means something to me. Ask your Black Black looking for right now what would be supportive for them. Feel free to keep it brief. One great example I got from an Asian-American instagram friend yesterday: "Thank you for your emotional labor in sharing these tips.

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No need to respond if you don't have energy or capacity. If the purpose of the call was to talk to you about something else, definitely do not catch us off guard by launching into a long venting session about yourself and how many Black friends you have.

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Ask for our consent to enter this conversation with you, and offer to listen to your Black friend first before you start talking about yourself. Ask if there are things that we do or do not want to hear about right now. In the future, some good replacements for "How are you?

While it may feel awkward or tiring to have conversations and make commitments like this, consider how tired we feel. Black folks don't get to take a break from being harmed by racism so you shouldn't take a break from trying to dismantle it if you're truly opposed to it. And if you get any pushback from people who say they're tired of hearing about racism, tell them: "If you're tired of hearing about racism, work to abolish racism. Don't take action because you feel sorry for me, or because you feel sorry for Black people.

Do it because you know that as long as we're not free, you're not free. MLK Jr. Creating this resource took multiple hours of work and emotional labor during what are exceptionally challenging times. I want to be helpful—and my work is worth something. Donate on Venmo at katvellos or at paypal.

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Color of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. Donate then up to volunteer. Please amplify this piece; I want it to help as many people as possible. If you want to, you can encourage people to donate if they find this guide to be helpful. We Should Get Together. Cart 0. How to help your Black friends and your non-Black friends today. Today 2 min read Today, my heart is heavy.

How you can help 1 min read There are many ways to fight back. Make a list, check it twice 1 min read For every social media post or you send regarding race, make a list of 5 non-Black friends and initiate a real conversation about race with them directly.

Moving forward While it may feel awkward or tiring to have conversations and make commitments like this, consider how tired we feel. Thank you for being a friend. Kat Vellos and one last thing… 1. Thank Kat for this piece. Donate to Color of Change. Request to re-publish or syndicate this piece. Kat Vellos June 2,

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How to help your Black friends and your non-Black friends today