Sometimes it takes moving through difficult times to see people’s true colors. As the world moves through the current pandemic, weathering illnesses, deaths, anxiety, high unemployment rates, upcoming election seasons, and an outpour of outrage, unrest, and support towards efforts to bring awareness and change against the racial injustices that have taken place in different communities, I’ve noticed the dismantling of many relationships too.
People have taken sides. Some have expressed hurt, anger, and disappointment about some of their friends, family members, and colleagues who have chosen to remain blind, silent, and dismissive regarding the different protests and Black Lives Matter movements taking place. And others are unfollowing, unfriending, and blocking some of their former followers via social media, followed by lengthy rants and posts expressing their frustrations while trying to understand how some people could be so cruel and cold when it comes to defending different groups who have been oppressed and marginalized because of the color of their skin. I too have noticed the silence.
From friends I’ve chilled with. From colleagues I shared lunches, laughs, and great talks with. And from former peers I’ve attended school and church with. Some have been supportive and caring and reached out and checked in to see how I’ve been doing, which I appreciate. Others have continued to carry on with their lives acting as if this issue is not their issue, and while that is incredibly painful to process, my advice to those of you who are upset with anyone in your life who has chosen to remain silent during this time is this:
Be okay with letting people go.
I know this will be hard. But their silence or refusal to speak up, take a stand, and acknowledge what is happening in the world says more about them than it does about you. You have a right to be disappointed, but don’t stay there. Just make the intentional decision to reevaluate who you allow in your life moving forward. Learn something from this and be selective about who you connect with or remain connected to. If you don’t think you’ll be able to maintain certain relationships with people you have met and known while processing through this time, pull back, and if needed, just let them go. You can meet and make new friends who are willing to hear you out, understand where you’re coming from, and be willing to educate themselves about the different challenges and situations happening in the Black community.
You will get through this and you will be okay. Just give it some time.