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It’s Ok To Not Be Ok

It's Ok To Not Be Ok

It’s Ok To Not Be Ok

Hey friends, today I’m here to say it’s ok to not be ok right now. I am not ok right now. I know I will be ok, but I am struggling. I’ve been silent on my blog, but vocal on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’ve been struggling mentally because of the police brutality we’ve seen all over the USA. I watched in horror as George Floyd was murdered in front of our eyes. I wept as I read about Breonna Taylor, shot to death in her sleep. I was disgusted by Amy Cooper and her attempt to hurt Christian Cooper. This must stop!

The photo above is of me with Dave from his sister’s wedding in February, before we really knew COVID was a thing. It’s the last road trip we took before the world changed.

Change Must Happen

Black friends, I see you and I’m with you. I support protesting and uprising. Angry gets shit done. People talk about what would they have done if they lived in Germany when Hitler came to power. I know what I would do. As a Jewish person, I raise my voice with yours.

People tell you that protesting and uprisings don’t work, don’t believe them. If you read history, you’ll see that uprisings have had a lot of success. After Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, people rioted and then we had Civil Rights. Without the Stonewall Riots, led by black and trans people of color, we would not have LGBTQIA rights.

If you need help understanding why people are so upset, listen to this clip from Trevor Noah.

If you need help understanding when rioting is the answer, Time.com explains it.

June is Pride Month

As someone said, “it’s goth as fuck to fight for the rights of every human no matter sexuality, race or creed.” June is Pride Month. We would NOT have LGBTQIA rights, at all, without black trans women of color who fought for our rights in June 1969 during the Stonewall Riots. As a goth bisexual/pansexual polyamorous woman, I feel it’s especially important for me to be involved however I can. If you’re tired of hearing people bitch about racism and homophobia, just imagine how tired people are of experiencing it. Many don’t survive it.

How to Help

Right now, with COVID still happening in the USA, people are putting their lives on the line to protest the police brutality and murders of black people. My friends have gone out every single day since this past Friday to peacefully protest in Tampa. Some of the days the police have shot rubber bullets at them, sprayed them with pepper spray, and driven vehicles into them. It’s disgusting.  All 50 states have held protests for George Floyd. If you are going to go out to protest, please wear a mask. Masks protect you and everyone around you. Please remember that COVID is still very much a threat here in the USA. Record everything.

Not everyone is cut out for the front lines, and that’s ok. There are many other ways to support the protesters. Because of Dave being high risk, and myself at elevated risk, I have not gone out to protest. I have supported the uprising in other ways. I have been a point of contact for friends in case of emergency. I have donated to the ACLU.

Other Places to Donate

To be clear, everyone I know who has gone out to protest has been peaceful. The police have not been peaceful, and in many situations have started the violence. Watch the video clips that keep popping up on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere showing police brutality. Police Rioted This Weekend.

Educate Yourself

No one is born woke. Educate yourself. I grew up in a racist society. I had to unlearn microaggressions. I had to educate myself. I’m lucky that I have kind friends who have helped to educate me, but I’ve also put the work in myself. Don’t ask your black friends to educate you right now. They’ve done so much emotional labor already. As I’ve said many times, speak up, not over your black friends. Amplify their voices. Be teachable. No one is perfect. I’m certainly not perfect. But I’m learning and trying to do better.

TV Shows to Watch

  • Black-ish (Hulu)
  • Mixed-ish (Hulu)
  • Grown-ish (Hulu)
  • Dear White People (Netflix)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap (Netflix)

Books to Read

And please for the love of all that is holy, stop saying ‘I don’t see color.’ I learned that in Church and I think it’s one of the most harmful things I was ever taught. It basically equates to ‘I don’t see you or your experiences as valid.’ You want to be able to see color, to speak up when there are injustices.

Some people get really upset whenever you try to talk about white privilege. White privilege is just that your skin color is not one of the things holding you back in life. When you get pulled over for a routine traffic stop, do you think you’re going to be murdered by the police? Do you get harassed and followed in stores, as if the retail workers believe you’re going to steal something? Most likely the answer is no, if you are white, but yes, if you are not.

It’s Ok to Not Be Ok

I mentioned above that I’m not ok. And it’s ok to not be ok. We’ve had a global pandemic thrown at us, more black people murdered for no reason because of police incompetence and police brutality. We’ve got no real leadership in the USA. We have a push to put everyone back to work with no plans in place to protect people from COVID. We have 25% of Americans, myself included, out of work.

We’ve been abandoned by our government. And when the President does speak up, it’s to tell the military to attack civilians. The President tear gassed civilians for a photo op at a church. Journalists are being attacked by the police. All of this makes me feel like we’re living in a fascist country, run by a wanna be dictator named Trump.

I’m sickened by what’s happening.

White folks, please remember this isn’t about us. We can mourn but at the end of the day, we need to be listening to black voices.

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9 Comments

  • Oooh, my goodness, does this strike a chord with me!
    I’m white, a Southerner, and I grew up in a *very* racist environment. I often heard family (on both sides -uuugh!) say things like “They(insert name of any non-white race here) are taking over!” or “They’re all alike!”
    There was one (1) black student(an honor student, and very popular) in my high school, and my father grumbled that he dressed “like a pimp,” because he wore nice slacks and dress shirts to school. Most of the white guys looked like they’d just slid out from under a car.
    Then I got to college and met many non-white students who were decent, honest, hard-working, clean, and kind.
    I’d always known on some level that “they” were NOT “all alike,” and now I had proof. I think maybe that’s key – we need to get to *know* each other as fellow human beings.

  • Beautiful, and powerful. Thank you for sharing both your personal thoughts, as well as practical links for people to educate themselves.

  • Thank you for posting, Courtney; this post is so well stated .. I agree and support everything you said so very well ..

  • Like you and am angry and I am also terrified by the actions of our President and law enforcement. These are terrible times. But also like you, I am doing the best I can – to support black people in the fight for real equality and justice, to learn more and to be a better ally every day, and to be there for the family and friends who need me. May this all somehow get us to a better world.

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