Staying awake while woke
I’ll keep this short and, though not sweet, it’s straight.
A few things have been on my mind since the emergence of black injustices to the forefront of the world’s conversion.
There are a few dangers those of use within the black community can easily fall into during this time.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself as a black person navigating the conversation today:
1) Am I Thinking Freely?
Blindly following anything is a bad idea. Although much good is being achieved by the conversations being had right now, independent thought is still important.
Critically thinking for ourselves is how we exercise our greatest freedom that can never be taken, our minds.
Intuition is King and following the twitter news trail can lead you down a subtly biased path.
Why (now?), who (is leading), where (is my money going?) should be our first port of call for everything we read and action.
Push for the positives in this movement, but for a start awareness re political agendas and financial beneficiaries are food for thought.
Take time to read, critically assess and decide for yourselves exactly what you agree with and stand for in this movement,
Just because you agree with part, does not mean you will agree with it all. if assume agreement you will be easily manipulated. check sources. read the fine print.
The virtue of our loyalty can be used against us by aligning with individuals, movements, organisations, just because one area of theirs resonates with us. Look at it all.
2) Am I Giving My Power Away?
If we accept a victim narrative we restrict our own lives and give our power to others.
No matter what privilege or prejudice another has against you, you have the power to create your life.
We should not let ourselves believe that others dictate our paths or destinies. “Acknowledge what happens to you, but refuse to be reduced by it.”
During the lockdown many of us were refocusing on our plans and dreams for life and how we would navigate and capitalise on opportunities once we were back out in the world, do not let go of that vision or optimism.
If you serve a higher power remind yourself that they are supreme. If you don’t, know that the power of all things lies within you, you are a supreme being.
We do not need pity, or handouts or guilt.
3)Am I Healing My Own Wounds?
We cannot heal the world while leaving our own wounds unhealed. Do you truly love yourself? Have you internally reversed the negative connotations spoken over your blackness?
Remnants can remain in us. Honestly ask yourself: Do you prefer to go into business with other black people or are you inclined to be more confident about an opportunity with a partner from another race?
Do you naturally like buying full price from owners that look like you?
Do you find those with a similar or darker skin tone to yours attractive?
Do you only love black people with similar views to you? Would a lost black life matter less if another black person took it?
We can’t avoid or negate the self work required to heal our own pain and uproot our own prejudices against one another.
4)Am I Causing Further Division?
We all have a different role to play in eradicating injustice. If we are all trying to be the arm with no head to lead, we’d be walking in circles. If we are all striving to be the head with no heart to power the body, we’d be immobile.
Sadly there is so much judgement towards our own community at this time; those speaking up judging those who they feel are not saying enough.
Those quietly doing work behind the scenes judging those speaking up for being too loud and assuming their fight is to be short lived.
Unity does not mean we all have to be doing the same thing. Our activism does not need to mirror each others to be on the same page.
The performative grief of the “pics or it didn’t happen approach to activism” is just as dangerous as the “I refuse to do that because they are all doing it” hard headed individualism.
We need to accept and embrace our differing roles, views, styles and personality to free us all to fight in a way that is genuine to ourselves, not in a shallow way simply to gain approval from others.
The only people we should be checking right now is ourselves.
Would I still march if I couldn’t post on the gram?
Would I have posted before seeing my non-black work colleagues had posted too?
Would I still only share passive views if I weren’t worried about making my in-laws uncomfortable?
Make sure you are coming from a genuine place and give others the benefit of the doubt that they are sincere too.
5)Am I Being Muted by Positivity?
Are you denying addressing truth for fear of creating ‘low vibes’. The good vibe trap is real.
If you are spiritually inclined it can be easy to either publicly and/or privately want to distance yourself from spreading negativity or triggering content.
This makes sense, but there is a middle ground. A way to have conversations, share knowledge, acknowledge harsh truths in such a way that isn’t carelessly damaging.
Pretending all is well and acting like nothing is happening in the name of ‘high vibes’ is not the answer, because it is disingenuous.
Your gospel becomes fake. The reality is many are hurting, suffering and mourning.
Though we all wish it were not true, the fact is there are those who still harbour hate in their hearts based on race and yes there are some systems in place which are biased to benefit particular groups of society.
We need to be true to ourselves and give ourselves the freedom to speak truth, in your own unique and genuine way. If not for the benefit of the collective, then at least for yourself.
Whether you agree or disagree you free yourself to speak and trust good vibes will be created from honesty and alignment with your truth.