The Power of Your Voice
Yesterday I was sent a message regarding a racist comment that was posted by someone that I know on a ABC News article on Facebook. The article itself had to do with the story of the judge in Ohio who taped a black mans mouth shut during his trial because he wouldn’t be quiet in court. The comment that I posted went as follows “ Another black persons thinking they are better then anyone else. How about you just shut you're fuckin mouth! Maybe other black popes should learn, cause you’re all fucking annoying”. (I will not be posting a photo of it again unless my attorney states that it is OK for me to do so, and after he is done conversing with Facebook over their blocking my account for 24 hours).
The comment was made by a young gay man in Minneapolis. He looks as if he is of hispanic heritage, at least that is my best guess, I have never asked, I am only going by what I see when I have been in conversation with him or on his profile pic back before I blocked his account a year ago because he was simply not someone I cared to associate with due to his behavior. He almost has a stalker like vibe to him that made me uncomfortable, but that is neither here nor there, he has now blocked me since I unblocked him yesterday giving him the chance to correct his behavior and racist comments.
Now, I know many of you that are actually reading this are rolling your eyes saying to yourself “Why doesn’t she ever let shit go? Why the drama? Why do we have to keep hearing about this?” Let me explain it to you, and explain to you how dissapointed I am in more than one of my so called friends. You can stop rolling your eyes and you can also stop reading this, we have nothing in common anymore.
We have a voice for a reason. It is the most powerful tool you will ever own. Your voice can make someone feel better when they are down, or you can make the choice to make someone feel bad when they are happy. Your voice can fight injustice and racism, or it can cause it. Your voice is your weapon, your super human power, your one quality that you can make or break someone with. It can be your reasoning factor, your gift if you use it correctly. Most people seem too afraid to use theirs. I am not.
Yesterday when I reposted the comment that was made, I did so because it hurt me so deeply to see anyone make such a comment, I couldn’t imagine reading those words if I were of a different skin color. I am a white woman in California. I have very little to complain about. I am not discriminated against, I have yet to get pulled over while driving here even though I am often speeding, I don’t feel judged, I feel fortunate. I do not take that for granted for one damn minute.
I use my voice to speak up. I use my voice to call out racism and hate speech. I have used my voice in the middle of marches and protest, and I have used my voice in whispers to comfort mothers after their children have been taken from them due to police brutality. I use my voice to compliment strangers because I feel it is vital in this world to point out the good things to people, it might be the only smile that they share all day. I use my voice to sing in the shower badly. I use my voice to yell when I am mad, to talk shit when I am frustrated, and to fight racism when I see it. I am human. I have a voice. So are you and so do you.
It broke my heart to see the comment that was made by this kid. It hurt to realize that someone I know as an aquaintance was that racist and I didn’t realize it until yesterday. I have sat with this kid in public, and I would never want anyone to associate me with that type of behavior. We are the company we keep. But what broke my heart even more was the fact that I know damn well several of my friends say my post and just kept scrolling. Not giving it more than a simple thought or glance. They didn’t take the time to comment their disgust in what was said, they didn’t take the time to place that little angry face emoji that Facebook gives you when you are supposed to show how upset you are. They chose to do or say nothing.
Here is what I have to say about that, and I will be very firm in what you are about to read. If you did that, if you saw my status and read it and just kept going, unfriend me. If you read my status and the comments made by this kid and his boyfriend trying to state that he didn’t “word” his comment properly and that it was his “opinion” and he had the right to have it, unfriend me. You are not someone I care to have in my life. Yes you might do good things, maybe you save the animals, maybe you donate money to charities, maybe you don’t do anything but sit your ass at the bar and drink more than you should. I don’t care. If you can not take the time to stand up to racism and at least comment when you know damn well what you are reading is a direct violation from someone in your community against an entire race, you are a part of the problem in my eyes.
I am disgusted by the very community that I once loved and cared about. I am disgusted in people that I thought were my friends. You saw me verbally attacked after I shared this kids racist comments and you did and said nothing, and you know what that means? That means we are not on the same team. I am looking for a team that supports the same beliefs that I do and that is not afraid to use their voices, even if they are shaking, and even if it is the unpopular thing to say.
I learned yesterday that a lot of people that I thought were friends are not. They are aquaintences. I have enough of those, I don’t need any more. I also learned that I do have brave people in my life that are not afraid to stand up to injustice and share the post or place a comment with their opinions about how wrong it was. You people are god damned heros in my eyes. You used your voice for good. You called out injustice in the face of hatred and you helped take the hood off of a racist. I commend you.
Your voice has power, and I am telling you now, if you are a white person in this world and you see words like that and do nothing you are supporting racism. You can deny it all you want, but the truth is you have a certain level of privilege that others do not, and if you take that for granted, well I hope one day Karma shows you exactly what it is like to be on the other side.
To the people of Minneapolis and the Twin Cities that reported the post to Facebook, that shared the post with the very racists it was against, and that tried to play the middle man just so you could report what I had to say back to the kid who posted the comment and his boyfriend, you are the reason that I never care to come back to Minneapolis. You make me sick. I feel so sorry for you that you care more about how popular you are more than doing the right thing.
This world is big, and racism is bigger. It is our job to use our voices to stand up for the very people who are oppressed, and if you can’t do that, if you don’t have that decent bone in your body where you know damn well it is the right thing to share and out a racist, than I don’t care to ever hear your voice again until you figure it out.
Mark Zuckerberg and his team invoked their white power to shut down my Facebook account for 24 hours after sharing the racist comments and calling this kid out. I have been in Facebook jail since last night, and I am sure soon it will be back up and running again. I am also sure that it won’t be the last time I am blocked by Zuck and his racist bots on Facebook. At this point if it wasn’t for the fact that it is a platform tool to expose people like his kid, and to use my voice, I wouldn’t care about logging back in. I can’t guarantee how long I will stay on the platform of Facebook considering all things, but I can guarantee you that as soon as I log back on I will be cleaning up the list of people that are my so called friends.
Use your voice for good……the world has more than enough bad in it already.