Baby, Welcome to the Party
"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon."
I don’t have a big following.
I'm generally okay with that, comes with being an introvert. As such whatever I say, I know will only reach a select few folks in my social feed. If I'm not mistaken there's, like, a standard 3 that even see what I post, those whose algorithms have me marked as relevant. Time of day plays a major role, of course. And sometimes I’m lucky in that that someone will think what I've said is important enough to comment or share (hooray 🙄).
So maybe I should post this message every day, or at least every other day, so that I am doing my part during this revolution:
Don’t stop fighting. Don’t stop having these conversations of inequality. Don’t stop severing ties with toxic racists or racist enablers. Don’t stop sharing your stories. Don't stop learning the stories of others. Don’t stop spreading knowledge. Don’t stop defying the status quo and choosing discomfort over tranquility.
It’s exhausting, this year 2020—I know!— for I’m all about being mellow and chill and staying securely inside my bubble. But now that it’s been popped I can’t just go back and behave as though nothing has happened, and neither can you. Gone are the days where I only post pics of the new shoes I just purchased online with my COVID Coin, some delicious looking dinner I cooked with my quarantined downtime, or super cute Snapchat filtered selfies.
In between, while granting myself permission to return to living a quasi-normal pandemic life, I have to continue to share thoughts on the effects of racism and how slavery plays largely into how we interact today. I have to continue to share articles that I’ve read for my own education and deemed valuable for others. I have to continue to share images and story snippets of those who died as a result of an act of police brutality while imploring myself and others to #saytheirnames as a reminder to the world that they did exist.
We have to do this—we have a responsibility to the next generation to do this— because moving on and ignoring it won’t make it not exist, that’s why we are in this position today. Relying on teaching little ones to be nicer and, unrealistically and unnecessarily, not see color isn’t the easy answer it seems. Ignoring color is just another form of passing along racist customs. So what of the big ones that are subconsciously passing down these rituals of hate to their little ones? Do we simply stop attempting to educate them?
A broken system can’t be repaired by ignoring the problem away.
Aside from that, most of us don’t even have the luxury of pretending the issue doesn’t exist. Most of us don't have the luxury to simply decide that we've had enough with discussing racial issues amongst all the other topics we'd rather avoid, like, I don't know, pandemics and politics.
Baby, welcome to the party.
Those not directly affected get to come in and wreck shop, get sleepy, and go home to rest peacefully wrapped in the privilege of not actually being black, while the rest of us are left to clean up the mess, take all the blame, and bear the same burden of unjust responsibility that our lineage has for centuries. If you didn't want to see it through, you shouldn't have accepted the invite. You're here now, there is no turning away.
A broken system cannot be repaired by ignoring the problem away.
The collective at the bottom must continue to be the tiny pebble that nicks the glass and applies pressure 'til eventually the whole thing shatters. How else do you expect to change the minds, hearts, and at the very least, oust the culpable parties at the top?
It’s not easy.
It’s not quick.
It may not happen in your lifetime or mine.
But nevertheless, it’s necessary. Otherwise, what was it all for?
Photo by Carl William
Miki Starr is an author and digital content creator by profession. She has published 9 novels and co-authored a book of poetry. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she now resides in Hopkins, Minnesota with her composer spouse and their cat-babies, Hendrixx and Ella.