Black lives matter. Period. The news in our country over the past several days has been nothing short of atrocious. The climate on social media has been the most aggressive I have ever observed. Rightfully so. I am ashamed it has taken so many voices — my own included — this long to make public statements about where we stand, not only regarding the recent ruthless murder of George Floyd, but regarding the horrors of humanity that continue to occur in the United States of America. I have taken days to listen, read, absorb, reflect, and sit in my own anxious flurry of discomfort, biting every bit of my fingernails off, stewing in the privilege I am painfully aware that the color of my own skin affords me.
I have reached out to my closest black friends in solidarity, to pledge that from this point forward I will do my best to be a better ally creatively, professionally, personally, civically, familially…but my best and most sincere intentions feel totally empty. If I were my friends, I would appreciate the outreach, but I wouldn’t believe me. Why should they?
In an attempt to push through my paralyzed stupor and take steps toward doing what I personally have control over in my own life to be better, I have taken small actions this week to keep moving. To make my own to-do list of how to live more compassionately, and to actively amplify and uplift those around me.
I donated and signed petitions. I have read article upon article about how to become better aware of the black American experience versus the white American experience. I have ordered books written by black authors to add to my summer reading list. I have discovered more black artists and creators in the digital space and made it a point to share their work in my feeds. I have filled the home page of this platform with stories about black women who have either contributed their own words, or who I have written about in the recent past. The reality is, it’s not enough. (Click HERE for reading material and resources on how to be actively anti-racist.)
This is a personal diary entry…but I know that this is not at all about me. For what it’s worth, even though I understand why this sounds insincere, I just need anyone reading or following Eleanora to know where I stand on this issue, because I have never taken a stance on any issue ever. I have had the privilege to conceal my personal values and be vague and neutral because I don’t have to fight for my own human rights every single day. I should be fighting for my rights as a woman, maybe, but I’ve even been cowardly on that front too.
From this point forward, I realize that it is my responsibility to help others more. To use my platform to speak up for the people who need the microphone. I recognize that I have been a part of the problem. I have avoided what is uncomfortable. And for that, to all of my friends and followers who need to hear this, I am sorry. I am listening. From this point forward, I am changed. And I stand with you.