Current Events

What Happens After The Pins, Pink PussyCat Hats, and White Roses?

Recently an article was published on PageSix entitled, These Men Forgot to Wear Their Times Up Lapel Pin to the SAG’s  as if they were finished with their support for the recent shaking up of Hollywood that demands women equality.

Is this really an issue? Because some male actors did not wear a Time’s Up pin that means they do not or have stopped supporting women in our quest for equality?

Seriously?This is my problem when symbols start to overtake a movement. Please do not misunderstand, I understand that symbols matter. I will never forget the joy I felt in my heart to see Bree Newsome scramble up a flagpole to take down a racist symbol like the Confederate flag. I was filled with pride when I watched GreenSpace have Confederate statues removed from their parks in Memphis, Tennessee. And in Kentucky, where I live, I was happy to see that the Confederate statue that resided at the University of Louisville, was taken down. Hold up…relocated…so…

Then what?

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What is happening in this world is bigger than pins, black couture gowns, pink pussycat hats or white roses.

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What happens after the Time’s Up pin?
What happens after the black couture gowns at the Golden Globes?
What happens after the Women’s March?
What happens after you take the selfies of you at Women’s March?
What happens after you have posted the catchy political sign to Instagram?
What happens after the white roses at the Grammy’s?
What happens after you take off the pink pussycat hat?

And there you are, alone, staring at yourself in the mirror with no Starbucks, no catchy signs or would be campaign slogans, no rainbow sticker, no t-shirt. It is just you and your reflection. Your reflection along with a husband that tells you he hates niggers, a co-worker that makes offensive jokes about gay men, a Black woman working tirelessly in your department that you know is being paid 15% less for doing the same job as you, your neighbor that insists Trump is making America great again with his racism, family dinners with conversation that disparages immigrants…

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Then what?

What happens then?

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Because it is easy to get caught up in the symbols and the hype. It is easy to slide on your UGG boots and head out for a “day” of protesting. It is easy to knit a pink pussycat hat to cover your 200 dollar highlights. It is easy to grab a Sharpie and make a political sign with the hope that your sign will be picked up by the masses and garner you Twitter Revolutionary Credibility, but then what?

What happens after the rally high?

Can you stand in the fire?
Can you stand AFTER the rally?
Can you stand with a Black woman that is screaming for justice?
Can you pause and take yourself out of the center of a movement?
Can you understand that while you may have just entered this fight for justice MANY Women of Color have been yelling for centuries and our yells were met with silence?
Can you understand that our GOAL in life is not to SAVE YOU because we are trying to save ourselves?
Can you make yourself lesser so that a Person of Color can be greater?
Can you provide excess resources to a cause that fights against injustice?
Can you make your catchy signs the next time, because sadly, there will be a next time, a young Black or Brown person is killed by the police?
Can you resist the URGE to say, “Not Me?”
Can you admit that you have benefitted from systems that oppress People of Color?
Can you recognize that everything isn’t about you?
Can you acknowledge that slavery impacted and altered the course of Black people in America?
Can you CARE when there is no celebrity endorsement? 
Can you repost a tweet bringing awareness to injustice even if that means you will lose followers?
Can you understand that Black people do not have the time or inclination to be concerned with how our truth can and will make White people uncomfortable?
Can you admit that racism is at the very core of this nation, its policies, and laws?
Can you admit that EVEN YOU in your pink pussycat hat and pin, have been racist towards a Person of Color?
Can you march alongside a Mother of Color that has lost her child to police brutality?
Can you vote in favor of politicians that stand for the advancement of People of Color? 
Can you advocate for immigrants that just want to come to this Native American land to make a better life for themselves?
Can you look your neighbor in the eye and tell them that Black people have the RIGHT to walk around your neighborhood freely?
Can you resist the urge to casually laugh at a joke told at the expense of minorities because your boss told the joke? 
Can you admit that White Privilege is a thing?
Can you use your voice to advocate on behalf of those the world wishes would remain silent?

CAN YOU DO THAT?

Because truth be told, I don’t give a fuck about your hat, your flower, your black couture gown or whatever new symbol will pop up in the next few months.

I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT JUSTICE!

AND JUSTICE DOESN’T RESIDE IN A PIN OR FLOWER.

IT RESIDES IN WHAT YOU DO AFTER THE RALLIES, CATCHY SIGNS, PINK PUSSYCAT HATS, AND TWITTER HASHTAGS.

JUSTICE STARTS AFTER THE IPHONE, ANDROID AND CAMERAS HAVE STOPPED CLICKING AND ROLLING!

1 reply »

  1. I love your list of questions. I love that they challenge and provoke because the kind of self-reflection they inspire can only lead to positive growth. As a non-American/immigrant and as a white woman living in 2018 America, I have definitely found it necessary to dig deep and reflect in just this way so that I can identify the best ways I can contribute to the fight for social justice and equity. I absolutely agree with you about activism and advocacy for change needing people to buy into more than just attending an event or donning a symbol to demonstrate support. I don’t think I am over stating things by stating that it is something we have to live daily and have to mesh into our daily life. And I will admit that there are times when I have felt exhausted and dispirited but I give myself a stern talking to – a sort of equivalent of asking myself your list of questions – and I focus on how much more exhausting it is for people of color, for members of the LGBT+ community, for Muslim people, for undocumented immigrants etc every single day. That recharges me.

    Liked by 1 person

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