There’s a thread going nuclear. I don’t want to link to it directly for this exercise. But it involves two women of colour. One is black. One is not.

Cultural appropriation is being cited.

And a few people are starting to wade in. Mainly in defence of the non black individual and her desire to write pieces that support the BLM movement and ideals.

But all of these people wading in appear to be white and there are no other black voices joining the fray.

I am concerned by this.

I struggle with feeling like I should be silent on all things BLM. I think a lot of non-black people feel this way.

I am horrified by the use of the penal system to replace slavery, class warfare and another black man tazered, shot and killed last night. Because his car stalled. Fuck.

I realize I need to educate myself. I am working hard at this.

I also understand that my silence is taken as support of the subjugation of my fellow humans who happen to have a certain skin colour.

So I am speaking up. Damn loud. Reading like mad (the New Jim Crow is horrifying but brilliantly written and researched).

But here is where I am struggling.

Is my role as a white man only to retweet and share the authentic voiced concerns of black people?

And if not, what are the safe spaces short of cultural appropriation?

I get that writing a story with a black character is crossing the line or at least questionable. But I see people being attacked for speaking on black history. And I take the silence of my black friends in these instances as support for that attack.

I’m asking in earnest. And please feel free to tell me to go educate myself more. I will. And also please don’t hesitate to send me a private message or not respond at all.

Clay Rivers Orisirisi Gemma Kennedy Ezinne Ukoha Tremaine L. Loadholt

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