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  • Kayleigh Shuler

I'm Uncomfortable Doing Anti-Racist Work. I'm Doing It Anyway.

Updated: Jun 16

For the past few years, I felt like I was quite active in the Black Lives Matter movement. I marched, I followed, I signed, I called, I voted.

Taken at a protest in Brooklyn, NY.


Recent events have led to me learn about not-so-recent events (AKA real American history).

The more I dig, the longer back I go and the more I realize: the past few years? While well-intended... If the Black Lives Matter movement and all that it stands for are a sculptor chipping away at a block of stone to reveal a piece of art, a better world... I’ve been scrubbing that block with a tooth brush. Gently. For a few years. Doing something. “Just enough.”


I don’t mean to say that marching and signing and voting don’t mean anything; they DO. I’m saying, that until we really understand WHY we are doing that, until we start to understand the history enough to have a vision beyond the stone, it’s not enough.


I was certain I wasn’t a part of THAT system.

That one in which cops wielded their micro-scrap of power over already oppressed people to affirm themselves; that one in which people believed cops could do no wrong; that one in which our society focused more on glorifying a killer than humanizing a victim. I wasn’t a part of THAT system.


... But had I also watched and liked shows like ‘Blue Bloods’?

Yes.

Had I ever seen ‘13th’?

No.


I'm not saying we cancel 'Blue Bloods' and the like. I'm saying let's be educated enough to see the inherent issues and falsehoods in them.


And so, I’m here to share that I’m committed to doing my own anti-racism work, and standing up to racism not only online but in my whole life.

That includes confronting it within myself.

I don’t share this for gold stars; the idea that any one should get a gold star for simply not being racist is laughable and wrong. I share it to encourage other white people who are doing this work, or considering doing it... to do it, and dig deep. I wish I had sooner. It’s humbling, embarrassing, confusing, & hard work, but I know I'm better for it.


Intent is not enough. It is a wish on the wind, a whisper in a sound proofed room. I want to make noise & change.


If anything I said made you uncomfortable, email me at misskayshuler@gmail.com and let's talk about it.


PS - the day I wrote this, Monday, June 15th, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Law protects gay and transgender workers. This is a huge, historic, and monumental moment for the LGBTQ+ community. While there is still so much to fight for, it is a much needed win. A beautiful, momentary balm on the hearts of all people who believe that love is love; that Black Lives Matter; that all people really are equal.



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