This week’s link love comes with a heavy heart. And, truthfully, it’s been a long time coming. Instead of my usual collection of links from bloggers I love, outfits I want to copy, and clothes on my wishlist, I’m going to share some highly recommended reading about the state of Black lives in this country. I’m also going to share some of my own thoughts, because even though I’ve shared them elsewhere (specifically on my podcast
, if you’re interested), I’ve got this platform and it’s far past time I use it for something that takes up so much of my heart and consciousness.
Before we get into the links, I want to lay a few things out:
1. Black lives matter. It has to be said because too many people don’t believe it, and because those lives are ending at an alarming rate.
2. Black people are protesting around the country because of the blatant disregard for their community’s safety. Asking for safety and equality is not a threat of violence; it’s a desperate plea to be heard, and our country needs to start listening.
3. When law enforcement refuses to protect someone who is aligned with Black Lives Matter or has spoken out against police brutality, whether it be a football player or a Beyoncé concert, those officers are not doing their job
. Yes, law enforcement is a dangerous career, but it’s one that is chosen. An officer can take their blue off whenever they choose; a Black person cannot change that they are Black.
4. We live in a country where everyone has the right to a fair trial. While the majority of the recent incidents of police brutality have occurred when no crime was being committed at all, it is unlawful for an officer to end someone’s life over a suspected theft, failing to use a turn signal, etc. Among so many other things, our law enforcement is in dire need of a lesson on deescalation tactics.
5. Children should not have to grow up fearing what might happen to them if they’re at a playground, in a convenience store, or simply living while Black. They should also not have to fear that they’re going to lose a parent because they had car trouble or “looked like a bad dude” to someone who should not be given a gun for their job. But this is the current reality and we have got to do something about it.
6. Even more important than using my privilege as a white person to speak out against police brutality and violence against my Black brothers and sisters is to amplify their voices. Only they can share their experiences, their truths, their needs. It’s my job to listen.
If you’re ready to listen, here’s some truth:
Here’s how many Black people have been killed by police since Colin Kaepernick started protesting (as of 9/20)
25 reasonable, practical, achievable solutions for police brutality
Black health matters
“Terence Crutcher can’t stand for the anthem, so neither can I”
Riots are the response of human beings drowning in systemic injustice
An extremely powerful story from a teacher at Terence Crutcher’s daughter’s school
The 5 things white people can do right now
How to support your Black loved ones after incidents of police violence
I have so many more things that I’m feeling that I can’t yet even put into words, but I couldn’t let that stop me anymore from saying anything at all. Hug your Black brothers and sisters and tell them that they are valuable. Have those uncomfortable conversations with your friends and family who “don’t get it.” Don’t be silent, but more importantly, don’t forget to listen.