I wrote this post yesterday but chose to publish it today – Wednesday 3 June, 2020.
It’s no longer #BlackoutTuesday. I still care, but I’m still angry.
Today is Blackout Tuesday, a day-long “blackout” in response to George Floyd’s death last week. The initiative began within the music industry with the three major record labels promising “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community”.
Very quickly, the message worked its way across the world and into the mainstream, with corporations and influencers alike all sharing their intention to pause from posting.
I have been intently watching the news and reading up on what’s going on in an effort to educate myself. At the age of 32, I still feel like there’s so much in this world that I am shielded from and completely disconnected from. But that shouldn’t be the case.
This is my responsibility to do better: do it because I care; do it because it’s the only right thing to do, and not just do it because it’s ‘on trend’ and everyone else is doing it.
So, while all this is going on, why do I feel angry?
I’m angry that it takes a high profile murder of an innocent black man to reignite the conversation in the mainstream media.
I’m angry that I feel helpless. I feel disconnected from a very apparent reality; a reality that often doesn’t feel like mine. This reality, however, is mine and one that needs to be discussed and changed.
I’m angry that I felt pressured to post. I had chosen to observe the day and not post across social media. I had also decided that I wanted to learn more, gather the facts and arm myself with information before sharing with my audience on social media. As I saw all the posts come in on my feed, I panicked. I panicked that my silence would speak louder than posting something that took me 3 minutes to do. I wanted time to read, I wanted time to understand and I wanted time to discuss.
I’m angry that we are still having this conversation. It’s 2020 and it feels like we’ve gone back in time.
I’m angry that this has to be something that we educate ourselves on. Why is this still happening?
I’m angry that I’m cynical about the intentions of other creators. This is not a one-day conversation. This is not another #Ad campaign. We need to be constantly discussing this and this needs to be the new normal. It cannot just be something that we post about when we feel pressured to do so because others are doing it. We all have a responsibility and not just for one #BlackoutTuesday.
I’m angry that I felt like I had to post this article. I had so much going on in my head and I didn’t know what to do with it. I felt like the only thing at this very moment was to share how I felt. Perhaps I was wrong.
I’m angry that the elected officials in power do not represent the people.
I’m angry that so many people that protest have chosen not to vote.
I’m angry that this post will anger other people. Despite reading this over and over, I’m sure I’ve said something which makes other people feel uncomfortable or that makes me appear to be clueless, out-of-touch or disconnected. But I need to be part of the solution and not the problem. So if in angering you, I’ve made you think about your own actions and mentality, I can accept that.
I’m angry but I’m ready. I’m ready to continue this conversation, and I’m ready to be part of the solution.
As an individual, I am doing what I can to be present in this conversation, to listen and to decide how I can best make a positive impact.
As a business, I am evaluating how I can be more inclusive – from the content I share to the brands I work with. This will take time, but it’s happening.