I have posted on my blog every Tuesday afternoon since the middle of November last year. Without fail. In 5 years of blogging, this is my longest, most consistent spell. And I am really proud.
Not sure if you expected any content from me today, or if it makes any difference that I don’t publish.
For all it’s worth, I did write and schedule a post, but I just stopped that.
I will try to explain why in the best way I can, but before I do, I want to confess I am afraid and have always been, of conflict and controversy, especially online. I usually stay away from any kind of too inflamed debates or discussions online, especially religious, political or gender-related. Of course, I have my views, and I feel strongly about them, but I prefer to share with my immediate circle only.
Moreover, I was very afraid of looking like I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I feel uncomfortable to write this because of this, more than anything.
In light of what is happening in the US at the moment, #blacklivesmatter and the #blackouttuesday, I have been actively educating myself. And listening to the coverage on the radio (my main means of information). And I have been thinking a lot about what I know, what I don’t know, what I feel and how I can do better to be an ally, not just a non-racist.
Although I don’t post that much on Instagram or Twitter anyway, the one place I do own and that’s important to me is this blog.
So this is the place where I can make even the smallest stand, while I continue to listen and understand how I can do more.
What happened angers me and even if I will never be a full out activist, I want to identify what I can do every day to change the way people should be treated. I understand that I will never understand, but I am willing to listen, learn and support.
So, thank you for following my blog and subscribing to my channels and I hope you will continue to do so (I will continue at some point with regular content). But no hard feelings if this offends you and you decide to leave me.
Alex, I so identify with this post. I haven’t posted or commented publicly on this situation at all as I too am afraid of conflict and controversy both in public and to a lesser extent in my private life.
Neither do I want to appear to be jumping on the bandwagon when I feel too ill informed to provide a worthwhile comment or statement. Like you, I will never be an activist but I aim to educate myself better.
Thank you for sharing Sam, it feels so good to have others that are on the same page.
I think this is a start and well done. But have you considered that your need to feel comfortable and avoid conflict is the very basis on which dreadful things are allowed to flourish. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” We all have to reach within ourselves and find that tiny kernel of courage and own the problem and speak out. I am supporting you but encouraging you too!
Thank you Sally, and you are absolutely right. I think it’s online conflict that I have issue with. It’s easy for things to be taken out of context, and for things to escalate into keyboard wars. But I did say to my husband today that I do want to be more assertive in real life and challenge people when I notice racist comments and behaviour. Here’s to being better allies!
I too am listening and learning and intend to do better. Thanks
Thank you for so eloquently putting into words what I suspect many are feeling. I think a willingness to listen and learn will form the beginnings of a foundation and hopefully today will herald the start of a new awareness, with people consciously looking to learn, listen and support. X
The best way I feel one can react to the situation is to lead by example, by this I mean in your every day life treating all the people you interact with regardless of social position, wealth, colour creed etc with respect and kindness, doing whatever you can on making those around you feel better, listened to and supported regardless whether you share their opinions or not.
Absolutely, Agnes! But I have learned that sometimes we need to be more aware of the deeper issues and try to influence the people around us as well. Even with just the little things I have learned in the past week, I feel I have only scratched the surface of my own ignorance, as well meaning and nice that I try to be. So much more to be done! But being nice and tearing people equally is definitely a good starting point!
I think it would be strange for anyone to be offended by your post, or by the notion of trying not to be racist! That said, I also self-censor when I’m online because I have seen examples of how hateful some comments can be, from people who don’t agree with what’s been posted.
Thank you for your comment, Violet! You would be surprised to learn that there have been quite a few unsubscribes. As I say to myself every time, this blog is for people who want to be here and if they are not interested, clearly we are not on the same page. Which is absolutely fine. Thank YOU for reading and commenting though!
As a fellow white sewer, I just wanted to comment (for the first time, I think!) that I see this and appreciate you taking a stance! Another idea for followup education and action: maybe you could write a series of posts on the intersection of racial justice and sustainable fashion? At least in the US, there is a lot of overlap between environmental justice, chemical exposure, and racial inequity. Fast fashion impacts people of color across multiple dimensions and this could be a great platform to educate others about it and inspire them to action!
Caroline, thank you so much for commenting and the wonderful idea! I must confess that although I have been speaking about it with my sewing and sustainability friend Kate from Time to sew, it never occurred to me to write about it. I will definitely do my homework and prepare a post. Thank you again for the wonderful idea!