Dear White People: Now Is The Time To Use Your Voice

I’ve rewritten this countless times. And the truth is, it will never be perfect. Because there is no perfect way to articulate the inhumane, horrific, senseless, and heartbreaking current events. To those who live with white privilege alongside me, please continue to read, I wrote this for you.

Silence kills.

My biggest fear was saying the wrong thing. I have learned that silence is not only the wrong thing, it is the worst thing. Silence kills. I have also learned that uncomfortable conversations will change you. They have changed me. The discomfort is so small in comparison to how big and important this conversation is. To every person who has challenged, corrected, and (productively) called me out, I want to thank you. We can’t learn or grow from comfortable conversations. And we, white folk, have so much learning and growing to do.

Get uncomfortable and talk about it.

I used to think, “talking about this on social media won’t do anything.” And for a long time, I stayed silent. Not because I didn’t care, but because I believed it wouldn’t have an impact. As I reflected on all the content I have re-shared (i.e. a chance to win a vacation for two) I felt deep, immense shame. The truth is, I wasn’t worried about the impact. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to offend or trigger anyone. I also didn’t feel comfortable advocating on a topic that I didn’t feel well-educated in. Well, there’s my first problem and biggest opportunity: a commitment to become well-educated in anti-racism.

Your (social media) voice is important. Use it.

Use your voice in small and big gatherings, in the work place, at family Sunday dinners, Friday night’s out with friends. Use it. And be loud with it. Be really fucking loud.

It is our responsibility to call out the injustices. We need educate ourselves and then we need to educate our (white) community.

If you are choosing not to engage in this conversation, you are being ignorant and choosing not to use your freedom and time to talk about this urgent fight for racial justice.

Before I go, let me leave you with my commitments.

I am committed to volunteering and donating where I am able. And then, I am committed to calling on those to donate and volunteer who are also able. I am committed to creating the space for important conversations to happen, on and offline. I am committed to calling out injustices. I am committed to holding my white community accountable. I am committed to continuing to educate myself and other white folk on our conscious and unconscious biases. I am committed to letting go of my personal fears, doubt, and discomfort. Because they are small, and this is so big. I am committed to being a loud advocate for change and an anti-racist.

What are you committed to?

About the author
I believe there is great power in storytelling - we have the ability to inspire others and disrupt societal norms by the stories we share. Follow Braelyn on Instagram or read more articles from Braelyn on Thought Catalog.

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