Throughout the years I have found myself living in various stages of the term. I decided to put paper to pen and write about the different stages that I have found myself in/ seen in others!
Stage One: Ignorance/Denial
You don’t really know what the word means but you like to slip it into political conversations with friends and so far it has been met with reassuring nods of agreement.
It also makes a pretty cool Instagram caption with people commenting with the ‘power fist’ and ‘100’ emoji.
If you were to guess it has something to do with seeing from your third eye?
Isn’t that what that Childish Gambino song was about? You’re shocked that Donald Trump won the presidency but you don’t think about it too much. After all racism isn’t really a thing anymore.
Stage Two: Newbie
Your friend sat you down and you discussed police brutality. Or maybe you heard about Brock Tanner and have finally understood how deeply ingrained institutionalised racism is where you live. You’re angry and frightened.
Was your cousin/friend group always that racist?
You change your Facebook header to: ‘Stay Woke’
You also stop using emoji’s that aren’t your skin colour.
You want to help but don’t know where to start but you’ve managed to unlock level 3 of Twitter; political twitter.
You don’t have the vocabulary to join in just yet but you watch from the sidelines, cancelling who they tell you to cancel when needs be.
Stage Three: Freedom Fighter
Cancel culture is a myth.
You are fueled with determination and fury to change the world.
You RT and share every article you can find on injustices to the irritation of some ‘friends’ you no longer speak to.
You have this superpower to segway any conversation into politics. You sign petitions, you go to rally’s, you tweet and write about racism. You even confront some problematic relatives and bigots on twitter.
You stop listening to that Childish Gambino song.
Stage Four: Tired
You can pick up misogyny, homophobia, anti-blackness in almost every single conversation. But instead of engaging you think; is this worth my time? Is this person an active listener? Do they actually care? Am I getting paid for my time and energy?
When asked to back up your stance on twitter you respond, “google is free.”
You still read around topics however you’re not as active anymore due to revelling in nihilism.
When your friend writes about how everyone should stop using plastic straws you understand that this will disproportionately affect and shame disabled individuals. And how the focus is on individual action even though the world’s richest 10 per cent have carbon footprints that are 60 times higher as the poorest 10 per cent.
But instead, say nothing because we are all going to die in 20 years anyway.
Bonus Stage: Error
You believe eating certain plants cures cancer.
Homosexuality is western indoctrination and your race is superior.
You believe biologically and scientifically speaking, mermaids would have been white.
Believe that there is no reason to worry about climate change because there is always Mars.
Don’t really see the problem with billionaires but get especially happy when they’re black.
ZUVA is an award-winning Leeds based spoken word artist, poet and freelance writer. Click here to join her weekly mail list to get her top 10* tips on editing like a pro!