How Long Will You Remain Silent?

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Every time I go on social media (which is very often), it seems like there’s a new episode of someone losing his or her life for being black. Being black in a foreign land means watching these episodes and thinking “that could have been me” and then losing sleep over the thoughts. But certainly, if sleep is all I lose, then thankfully I’m one of the lucky ones! Floyd and thousands of others haven’t been so lucky. 

Can we come to terms with living this way? Never! Will we be quiet and pretend everything is okay? Impossible! However, if only black people fight this fight, the bitter truth is that we’ll never win! What then can you do? What do I expect you to do about it? Well, here are a few suggestions:

As a non-black person,

#1: Educate those around you

The killings you see today didn’t begin with a non-black person just saying ‘today feels like a good day to take a black life’. Actually thinking about it now seems totally plausible but in most cases, it begins with a subtle hate speech. Every time your friend tries to find a more decent seat on the train because that one right in front of you has been black-infected, a seed is sown. Of course, you would have sat beside the black girl anyway but you’d rather make your friend feel more comfortable than say a word about it? Then guess what? You’re just a few more seeds away from supporting those who take black lives for granted. Every hate speech or action you leave unaddressed today could cost a black live tomorrow! I repeat: Every hate speech or action you leave unaddressed today could cost a black live tomorrow!

#2: Stop assuming your black friends are overreacting when you haven’t felt an ounce of their pain

Agreed, all lives matter and everyone (black, white, or gold) has their own hurdles to climb but pause for a moment and try to imagine what your life would be like if the tables were really turned. That’s right! YOU CAN NOT IMAGINE IT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT BLACK! Different people have different coping mechanisms for different situations but don’t try to suppress a pain you’ve never felt. There’s nothing empathic about that. I’m sick and tired of my friends telling me I’m overreacting and trying to compare this feeling to anything else. Even if you genuinely feel like you could have handled the situation differently (which already sounds ridiculous to me), provide more support and less criticism.

#3: Give everyone a chance (don’t judge automatically even from a bad experience)

Every human being is a completely unique individual so please treat them as such. You can’t hate Mr. Black B just because of the bad experience you had with Mrs. Dark A last year. How can you ascribe one character, one experience, one scenario to a whole race?

#4: Check on your black friends

Some of them really can’t breathe and you’ll never know if you never ask.

Dear fellow blacks, this article addresses you as well!

As a black person,

#1: Please I beg you with every bit of me to BEHAVE!

Sounds harsh but it’s the truth. I constantly remind myself that black people are NOT allowed to make mistakes in a foreign land. We are fighting for equality and the ability to access the privileges available for everyone but whether we like it or not we are NOT there yet. We still have to cross all our T’s and dot all our I’s. We must do everything in our own power to make sure we don’t give anyone the slightest excuse to treat us wrongly.

#2: You, as an individual, represent black people everywhere

If anyone has had a horrible experience with a black person, then it’s your duty and mine to change the narrative and make them understand that black people are not always horrible. Even if we have to go the extra mile and be extra good. Remember, you do this not just for yourself but for the millions of black lives all over the world that matter!

For everyone, sign as many petitions as you come across. This really only takes a few seconds of your time and it could go a long way. Start by signing this for #JusticeForFloyd. Donate if you can. Share with your friends too and encourage them to do the same! Before completely ignoring this article, ask yourself “how long will I continue to remain silent and do absolutely nothing” and if you’re already doing something ask again “am I sincerely doing the best I can?”

I’d love to hear from you as always. What else do you think people need to do at the moment? Don’t just read this article and look away. How long will you be silent? Your opinion matters! (even in the comment section)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A. Lema

    Dear Didi, though we do not know first hand what those of you in foreign countries face, the pain is mutual for anyone with a sense of humanity when things like this occur. We do not know when things will become as we hope, but we continue to move forward, praying that we would soon get out of the tunnel and meet the light.
    Thank you for this post, the world needs a lot of this.

    1. Dikachi

      Dear Lema, thanks a lot for reading. Hopefully one day racism, like slave trade, will be a story of the past

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