"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."
I have to speak up. I have to say something now more than ever because it's not going away. Racism, hate, police brutality. I believed we were better than this. I believed things would get better. I believed we would all step up and remain fighters even when there wasn't a viral video going around. People so easily get upset when Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday, when our favorite stores are sold out of our favorite items, when we see a homeless dog - but they don't get upset when innocent human lives are being taken?? When us blacks, the ones you call your "friends", are being constantly oppressed everyday? I am so hurt and sad and angry all at once. It's starting to numb me but I can't stop fighting. I love myself, I love being black, I love my different hair, I love my skin color, I love my passionate personality, I love my culture. But I am also scared. I live in fear that one day I could encounter the "bad cops" and I fear I wouldn't even receive justice. I wanted to write this post to vent, bring attention to an incredibly serious and painful topic, and to show you how you can help.
I was born and raised in North Carolina. I dealt with racism often, my whole life. As a child, I was so confused. I couldn't understand why I was treated different. I also didn't come from much money which is the case for a lot of black families. Growing up was tough and I often felt uncomfortable - especially as I got older. I would go out and people would get silent and stare. This would happen so often, I hated going anywhere. I normally was one of a few, if not the only black person in the mix. If I reacted, I was seen as a ghetto, dangerous black person. Ignorant questions began to enter the mix. Also, ignorant phrases like "you know, you are really pretty - for a black girl" and "you're not black - you're the whitest black person I know!" These comments were supposed to be viewed as nice and no big deal. They angered and saddened me all at once. I don't understand why being black is always seen as scary and intimidating. I am pretty for any girl. I am the blackest black girl I know and I am so proud of who I am. I am more than a black woman. I am Rachel Covington - a colorful woman full of ambition and love. I am educated and speak well and I shouldn't have to be seen as white just because these things aren't associated with blacks. I don't agree and never will. We are human too. We can succeed too.
Black lives matter vs. all lives matter
I have noticed a lot of non-blacks getting insanely defensive when it comes to the "black lives matter" movement. They always want to throw in "all lives matter!" No one has ever stated that all lives did not matter. But all lives are not being constantly threatened and unfairly murdered. Black lives are at risk RIGHT NOW so we need to focus on fixing the problem. It is selfish to turn it in a way that makes it seem like blacks only care about blacks. Everyone's lives matter and we need everyone to help win this fight.
We need allies. And not just black allies - we need everyone's help. We are not fighting this war so that blacks are the new supremacists. And it terrifies me that some whites fear just that. They want to keep their privileged spots - they don't want a level playing field. We are fighting so we can have the same rights as everyone else. So that we aren't always falling victim to police brutality and constant racism. So that we aren't living in anger and fear. I ask that all allies remain kind to one another. This also goes for blacks remaining kind to those who want to help, who want to understand. Just because someone doesn't know or understand something doesn't give you the right to attack them. WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. Redirect that energy towards helping the cause.
Want to help?
We need your help! A lot of my white friends have posted on social media saying they are afraid to speak and don't know how to help. On one side, because this is naturally who I am, I understand not wanting to say the wrong thing. But on the other hand, I can't understand how you could not know how to help. Are you serious? What would you do if this happened to a fellow white man? What do you normally do when you see injustice? Why are you so afraid of us blacks? Why do you keep seeing us as these inapproachable monsters that you have to tip toe around? Guys, this is hurtful. Educate yourself. Did the internet all of a sudden become obsolete? I could list books, television shows and articles you could read but I had to teach myself too. They did not teach us this in school. So, I urge and encourage you to educate yourself. You don't have to know and understand everything right away - it takes time. But you could take the first step in trying to understand with the many resources available to you. Ignorance is not bliss. Once you know better, do better.
It has taken me a while to even put everything into words due to recent events. I worry everyday. I worry that my younger brother will be pulled over again for no clear reason. I worry that my older brother will continue to be ridiculed for being a gay black man. I worry that one day I will be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I worry everyday. I am speaking out to ask you to join the fight. We aren't just fighting for black lives, we are fighting for justice for all.