Silent Friends and #BlackLivesMatter
Last week was A LOT! Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, protests, marches, #blacklivesmatter, Dallas.
By the end of the week I think we all were overwhelmed and exhausted. Disgusted and in pain from having to watch two black men being shot by police officers. But a lot of us were still sure to march, post pictures, #saytheirnames, keep the conversation going and #blacklivesmatter trending. I found a lot of posts on my timeline by people frustrated at the silence of their friends. Some even threatening to unfriend or unfollow said friends. I agree that seeing selfies and latte art while ignoring the black dead elephant in the room is disturbing but I found ways to deal with it without deleting any friends from social media accounts.
First, I recognized that there are layers to this. There are different reasons people remain silent.
1. Those that are too hurt
Some people shut down when they are hurt and even isolate themselves. It’s not that they do not care, it is just how they deal with things. I do not condone this way of coping, but I recognize that it is a challenge for some to express themselves when in an emotional state.
2. Those worried about image
I think some are worried about their “social media” image. They don’t want to rock the boat and lose followers. This is the corniest of all reasons. I was happy to see publications with huge followings take a stand, so you all with your 500 or even 1000 followers should do the same, and if people walk, chuck the deuce back at them.
3. Those who feel the war on black lives is not their concern
I think these people are the most frustrating. They do not recognize the killings of black people and police brutality as a national issue that affects the entire human race. They think it is okay to go on about their lives without feeling the burden of fellow Americans who because of their skin color are profiled, harassed and even killed by people who are paid to protect us. Let me be clear, THIS IS EVERYONE'S PROBLEM!
4. Those who do not know what to say
Some people have trouble finding the words. Maybe they worry about saying something inappropriate or offensive or not eloquent enough. This is the easiest one to solve. At the very least you can say “#AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #Blacklivesmatter”.
Regardless of the reason, I decided not to delete anyone from my social media friends lists. Not even those who post #alllivesmatter. I refuse to let anyone live in their bubble of ignorance. Maybe one day something I post will lead to them becoming #woke. Maybe one day those looking for the right words will hit “share” on something I post. Maybe not. But as annoyed as I am at people posting their baby pictures like it's a regular #throwbackthursday, I will continue to subject myself to their ignorance in hopes they will soon feel convicted. As the pastor at a church service I attended yesterday said "everyone has some power". He used his church stage and microphone to speak against racism. I'm using this blog and my social media accounts. I do not see the benefit in only preaching to the choir, so those following me who have not yet joined the congregation, I hope you stay tuned.
The way I'm dealing with friends lack of posting about social injustice...post more! You may not like it or share it, but I know you see it!