Day 20 - You and Being Called Out • *Content warning* If you are black, indigenous, or a person of colour be aware that these posts contain ugly, and painful truths about white supremacy. You may find some, or all of the following triggering. • I am such a pro at hiding. At staying behind the scenes. At not taking risks. I haven’t been in many situations so far where I have personally been called out which speaks volumes to my white privilege, exceptionalism and silence. I haven’t spoken out enough to have been called out much, which is gross, and it will change. I have felt second hand called out through seeing other white women get called out and being so fragile, that it felt like a personal affront. I was called out on my personal account recently and my first reaction was adrenaline fuelled - heart beating, sweating, panic. That fear of not being seen as “one of the good ones” was deep (White Centering/ Exceptionalism). I also felt some defensiveness, before calming the hell down and dealing with it like a rational person by apologising, engaging with gratitude, realising once again that the world doesn’t and shouldn’t revolve around me and my feelings. I’m no longer surprised by my fragility as I see it is a key component in my white supremacy but as I started this challenge I was shocked again and again, at how fragile I am, and how even seeing someone else being called out, could trigger a surge of defensiveness/ “not all white women” feeling, which is so disturbing. It is entrenched. Continued below...
I am a writer. I am an artist. I am a poet. I recently set up a blog to try and combat some of societies issues. To try and raise awareness and cultivate a stronger and healthier culture, in the world around. Societies issues are not the only issues. I, like many, face my own problems and writing is often what I turn to as a form of healing. A source of expression. The pen and paper is what I pick up, before opening my mouth to seek help or understanding. Writing is therapy and as it has been for me, I hope my words are for you. I hope you find comfort, sorrow and elation as you experience this journey with me. (Link to my blog is in my bio).
Day 19 - You And Optical Allyship • *Content warning* If you are black, indigenous, or a person of colour be aware that these posts contain ugly, and painful truths about white supremacy. You may find some, or all of the following triggering. • I’ve realised that anything I’ve done which I thought might have contributed to me being an ally, or “one of the good ones,” has been performative, tokenising and virtue signalling until the past three weeks, because this is the very first time I’ve taken a long hard look at myself honestly, and started doing the work from within - looking at MY privilege, MY silence, MY biases, and so on. So anything I’ve done so far, although it might have led me to this challenge has been empty - like a lot of my other behaviour. I’ve read lots of books by black, indigenous and people of colour this year and I thought I was educating myself but again, I was looking at this education objectively and from a place of being “better than” people who weren’t, all the while not looking at myself - seeing racism as “out there” - in history, in these books in other people, not me. I’ve definitely despaired at the behaviour of white family, friends, and people I don’t know - open White Supremacists for example, and Donald Trump, again complaining about others rather than looking within. I have friends all over the world who are black, indigenous and people of colour, and I thought the very fact that I had these friends showed that I would naturally be an ally, that would never be questioned, which is incredibly shallow, and a pretty pathetic excuse to not look inside, and take responsibility that I’ve taken no real action so far. I was born in and grew up in Malawi and other parts of Africa. I spent a lot of time with the black Malawians in the village we lived next to - there are more photos of me with these men, women and children than my parents! It has been awkward, and painful unpacking this and seeing
I am a writer. I am an artist. I am a poet. Words are my dearest form of expression. One of my main aspirations in life is quite simply, to write. To write on my own experiences, the experiences of others and my surroundings. I created a blog page (etherealtruth.com) with the hope of exposing the unsaid and the uncomfortable. I hope to open people’s eyes to society’s pragmatics. I hope to inspire. Enjoy all that’s to come.
Ethereal Truth. It took me ages to decide on a name for my platform, my blog and my brand. I wanted a name which was unique, but also honest. A name which encapsulates exactly what I’m expressing. ‘Ethereal’: ‘delicate...in a way which seems not of this world’. The topics which I am exploring, are very delicate and hard-hitting. Often we try to pretend that such fragile subjects, are not of ‘this world’. The word ‘Ethereal’ includes the phrase ‘the real’, which is what I want to serve: real, harsh truths. ‘Truth’: ‘the quality or state of being true’. In one of @rupikaur_ ‘s poems, she wrote ‘never trade honesty for relatability’. I don’t write for agreement, acceptance or entertainment. I write to uncover the truth.
So this is what it’s all about. I started informally writing from a young age. I used to go to poetry slams and workshops, and competed at a few spoken word events. Writing, for me, acts as a form of escapism from the mundane and the insane. I hope that through this platform, I’m able to confront and hopefully even begin the process of combatting the long list of society’s issues. Society is a construct, a lie; and so, we must work together to deconstruct the unrealistic expectations and negative stigma, bound to certain groups trapped within the system. ‘Ethereal Truth’ link in bio (the above is my blog ‘about’ page)
Racism is real, alive and growing. Ignoring the problem, does not remove the root of the cause, it only strengthens the issue. Racism is institutional and white privilege manifests from this. I’m not blaming, targeting or attacking anyone for their privilege - it is not a choice, but how you use this power and privilege is. Use the power you have to speak out on issues and try to dismantle the system. Yes, issues like this are still occurring, but they should not be frequenting. Equally, the black community need to work together in unity to combat such issues, to rise above. Taking a back seat, will only coerce a move towards the past. Like Rosa Parks, march to the front and be heard. Stop waiting for others to change and implement this change. As Ghandi said, you must ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. Link to this article is in my bio.
I am a feminist. This doesn’t mean that I hate men or that I want to see men do badly, whilst women progress. In fact, I stand for men, but equally I stand for women. I stand for equality. I’ve noticed that men are often criticised for outwardly displaying their emotions, whilst women are not. Ideally, I want all boys, from a young age, to be aware that it’s okay to be upset and more importantly, to ask for help and support when upset. I want to reach a stage of cultural understanding, where we recognise that one isn’t defined or limited by a projection of emotions. Holding everything inside is detrimental; crying is good for the soul and a source of healing. You can’t live in harmonious alignment through the restriction of emotions, whether that be depression or elation. Tears show pain, not weakness. Stop using the phrase ‘big boys don’t cry’ and teach your sons that it is okay to cry. Link to this article is in my bio.
#repost - @hollywoodunlocked @theonlyjasonlee #whiteprivilege 🙈🙉🙊 There is no way you can justify taking from a #baby / a #kid @mlb get this kid another ball or tale away that ball from that couple ! @lay_stay_loyal @cwayans @hawk.newsome how do y'all feel about this?
I wrote this around Christmas time, after the terrible weather we were facing during winter. Day after day, I saw countless posts about finding shelter and food banks for homeless people and so, I thought my article was relevant. Now these posts have disappeared, the hashtags have stopped and our focus has shifted, and so I’d say this article is more relevant than before. The weather changed, but the situation didn’t. There are still masses of homeless people on the streets, but now the weather is warming up and other hashtags are trending, I’ve not seen anybody post about sheltering the homeless and this is exactly my point. Helping people shouldn’t be a trend. It shouldn’t be something you do, simply because you see others doing. Live authentically and help people because they demand your help, not because you saw a post about it in your news feed. #anythingbuthomeless Link to this article is in my bio.
The phrase ‘treat them mean to keep them keen’ is thrown around too much in our society. It’s become a way of justifying degrading and damaging behaviours, and overlooking the subtle emergence of abuse. We shouldn’t allow boys to get away with any damage towards women, simply because the societal engrained myth encourages us to believe that this is a symbol of affection. Boys are not only mean to the girls they like. They’re mean to the girls they wish to control, dominate and mistreat. This shouldn’t be normalised or accepted. Us girls need to open our eyes and learn to differentiate between what may be a show of affection, i.e a harmless but cheeky joke, and what remains to be abusive. Sorry boys, but treating us mean, will most definitely not keep us keen. Link in my bio
Late last year, CNN footage exposed that migrant slave markets were being hosted in Libya. Black lives were being sold as a commodity, auctioned on the market. Why in society do we accept all life, but black life, as invaluable? Why are migrants ultimately seen as a fraction of a human being? These people were stolen, stripped of their rights; used, abused and sold. Life is not dispensable and human beings are not merchandise. People argue that slavery is a thing of the past. That speaking about it, raises issues which as a society, we have moved on from. Slavery was, by record, abolished in the 1800s, but this has not prevented it’s occurrence in later years. This has not halted the exploitation of black lives. This happened in 2017. We have not progressed. Link to this poem is in my bio.
Celebrities are people. Fully fleshed, living and breathing human beings. We need to stop idolising them, placing them on a pedestal and worshipping them. Their fame and power shouldn’t allow us to overlook their damaging and derogatory behaviour. Abuse is abuse. The impacts of the act don’t change depending on the perpetrators, so neither should the consequences. Celebrities shouldn’t be protected from the wrath of the law and neither should their careers or reputation. Why do we so easily forget the past of the famous, when they release new music or feature in new films? Their power should not grant them protection. They shouldn’t be insulated from any repercussions. Celebrity culture should not evoke silence. Link in bio.
Far too often, we believe the newspaper headlines around migrant ‘crises’. Looking at migrants, refugees and asylum seekers as the problem, establishes a problem. They are calling on us for help. Turning to huge westernised mothering economies for shelter, stability and understanding. And far too often, we turn our backs. We lack compassion and sympathy. Politicians, presidents and the media, convince us that their cohabitation in our society, is detrimental. That their existence is damaging. No one should have to justify their right to existence. No human life is illegal. Warsan Shire wrote an extremely touching poem, entitled ‘Home’. I want to single out and reiterate a few crucial lines (note: Shite doesn’t use any capitalisation throughout the poem - her words are quite literally stripped back to their minimal state): ‘no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark’ ‘you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the and water is safer than the land’ Nobody chooses to seek asylum or to be a refugee and so, we need to stop acting as those these titles are choices, occupations and ways of life. When your country is crumbling around you, then asylum is likely to be your only option. Each and every person is entitled to this option and we shouldn’t shun people because of circumstances (purely by luck) are better than theirs. We should allow them to contribute to society, allow them to integrate and allow them the right to live. Link in bio. (wow - 3rd time uploading, hopefully no more mistakes, soz guys xo)