I'm sitting here staring at a blank Word template having absolutely no idea how to organize or calm my thoughts and emotions into any semblance of order from my head onto this keyboard regarding Black Lives Matter.
I'm sitting here needing to write something. Needing to reach out and communicate and connect with all of you. Concerned about how you're doing. Desperate to provide reassurances, comfort, support, and love.
I'm sitting here overwhelmed and feeling completely inept.
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Guys...the world is kind of garbage right now.
In the wake of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which I like to think brought many of us closer together through everyone's creative efforts dealing with mandatory physical separation, those of us here in the United States are now mired in an additional crisis. And frankly, a crisis that has always been here. One that we continue to fail to appropriately deal with and see through to meaningful lasting change for the better.
It's upsetting. It's disheartening. It's angering.
I'm angry. And I hope you're angry too.
As geek and nerds we dream of the impossible and make it reality. We imagine incredible worlds and futures that don’t exist.
We believe in the inherent power of good triumphing over evil. That even the smallest or seemingly most insignificant being can make a difference that impacts the whole galaxy for the better.
That, when given the opportunity, we will rise to the call.
We will be the hero, the avenger, the rebel.
Well…the opportunity is here. And the call is loud and desperate.
We must rise to the challenge. We must be the hero. We must stand up and support the underdog.
We cannot be silent. We must take action.
For many of us that means making a post on social media that expresses our support of the Black Lives Matter movement. But that's not the only avenue of action. Social media isn't the best means of expression for everyone, and social pressure can make some of us feel compelled to make inauthentic or ingenuine displays. And I don’t think it’s wrong if you’re feeling that way. Let’s not forget that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, which has done terrible damage to many of us mentally and emotionally. For some, it’s a gargantuan effort to simply make it through each day.
Your mental and emotional health must always come first. Otherwise you're no help to yourself or anyone else. And you shouldn’t feel guilty or terrible if you are unable to make a show of support on social media. I think that "action" means doing anything within your capacity, small or large, to contribute to and support the Black community, whether it happens on or offline.
Because it all makes a difference.
Whether it's through donating to a charity, or buying merchandise that helps supports a charity. Attending a protest rally, or addressing the issues directly with close-minded friends, family, or strangers. At the very least, learning from and listening to your POC friends.
Any of these are actions you could take.
In support of movements like #AmplifyMelanatedVoices, we will not be making any posts to our social media promoting our own content this week in order to help amplify #BlackLivesMatter content. We need to stop talking and start listening. The point is not to simply go quiet and/or stay off social media, but to instead share and help promote the social media content of the Black community.
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It’s okay to not be okay right now. And I know some of you out there are having a very difficult time processing everything that’s going on, struggling to get a foothold on what you can or should do, and getting completely overwhelmed by any and all of it. And that’s okay too.
Just don’t lose hope.
Because as we all know, rebellions are built on hope. Hope is the one thing we cannot, and must not, lose.