I was brought to believe that if you can’t say anything nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. And I believe that however I was also taught that there is right and wrong and when we see a wrong it is up to us to say and do something about it.
I’ve never been one that always spoke up, maybe it was because I was afraid to, or because I didn’t feel my voice would be heard, or maybe it was because I felt my opinion would always fall on the ‘wrong’ side. Whatever the reason, I’ve managed to moved passed it to some degree. This past weekend (2/24/18) something happened that I can’t ignore anymore and I refuse to keep quiet about.
I’ll start with saying that every story has two sides, friends and acquaintances from both sides will have opinions and thoughts and insert them when asked, anywhere and everywhere. And where a situation feels racially motivated, people get passionate and charged up.
We live in a time when most of us realize certain words and phrases are inappropriate and avoid them, because the are demeaning, degrading, bigoted or just flat out racist. When people of a different race are called a racial slur, are pushed or shoved, it becomes a matter of violence which appears racially motivated; and communication comes to a screeching halt and battle lines are drawn.
The story starts with a woman being asked to leave a bar, and once she and her friend does is followed called racial slurs and shoved. Obviously word gets out this has happened, local news runs a story and interviews are conducted, resulting in a local group calling for a boycott of the bar. Conversations on Facebook get heated and well, pretty much show just how deep racial tensions run in this town. So much so that one individual said ” . . . I have friends with big trucks that can jump the curb,” and “no ya need speed to you know really bounce em off the hood”.
So aside from the fact people are advocating for bodily injury or even death of others, is the fact the leader of an organization calling for this boycott doesn’t attend it.
I feel wholeheartedly IF you call yourself a community leader you damned well better behave as one and you lead. If you call for a protest, you attend it, if you ask supporters to place themselves in harm’s way — you do so as well, You stand with the people that show up and stand up. You provide tips on keeping safe and staying out jail. A leader cares about the people that believe in you and your words. A leader does NOT abandon the people that have shown up in a dangerous situation to support their community because it’s inconvenient.
Right or wrong, if you can’t do these things then maybe you should step aside and let someone that truly believes in the cause do the work. Activism isn’t to stroke your own ego, or to put yourself in the spotlight. It’s meant to make change and make the world we live in just a little more just and better for everyone.