Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter is a movement, a truth and a statement I will always sign. In fact, it is baffling to me that not everyone can or will or want to do that. That not everyone is raised to understand this truth…

I think it’s time we all step up, and state our anti-racism everywhere, more clearly, in case there are any doubters out there.

Black lives matter text with flower image by Courtney of Little Raven Ink on instagram

Racism is not acceptable, because it hurts people. Real people. Period.

But the phrase black lives matter itself is something I had to come to terms with (it was this week – I know, I’m late and I’m sorry about that, but it’s not prevalent as much in Sweden so I didn’t know to inform myself), because I wanted to meet that statement with all lives matter, but that is not the right response. I know that now, and I’m sorry for even thinking it.

Black (not all) lives matter reasoning by

All lives matter might be true, but also totally irrelevant to the current fight that is now (again) being held and talked about in the states (and many other places around the world). Black lives matter, because all lives matter and should matter equally – yet they don’t. I might think they do, but my opinion is not everyone’s opinion. And as long as so many people are raised without this understanding, this knowledge, we need to state our anti-racism more clearly. Scream it out louder. I don’t know how to explain it better than the fact that you need to be kind to others.

Not saying it out loud is not right. Being silent can feel more comfortable, I know, but it’s not the right thing to do.

I do not wish to be a silent void. I have a voice, and I always want to use my voice – as long as I am able.

Here is a radical idea that I would like you to understand: white silence is violence. It actively protects the system. It says I am okay with the way things are because they do not negatively affect me and because I enjoy the benefits I receive with white privilege.
Layla Saad

So I will speak out, as a life-long anti-racist, I will speak out. If you have ever said or done something racist, to hurt a group of people or an individual of color – I can forgive you for being ignorant – if you move forward as a better person from this day forward. But if you keep arguing for closed borders, building walls, the “old ways of your country being destroyed by immigrants” or anything that will limit or restrict a group of people – I will no longer stay silent. I will argue for freedom, liberty and happiness of all people.

I don’t mind if you move on from here because you disagree – but I also, especially, welcome you to stay. To, as they are saying right now, educate yourself. Don’t look the other way, please stay for a bit… Let us hold virtual hands and comfort each other in the discomfort of life. I read somewhere that it’s a privilege to learn about racism instead of having to live through it every day, and it can be. I wrote once about shoshin – the importance of having an open mind when it comes to learning with a lack of preconceptions. That’s something to emphasize right now, especially if you were brought up with racism at home, for example. Study the world on your own, read different things than you were told to take in.

Don’t stay silent

At first I thought I’d better not speak up or say anything since the fight is (mostly) being held in another kind of world than the one I inhabit. In another country, and even in another continent. But then I spend a couple of hours this week watching black people educating us white people on the possibility and the urgency to speak up for them, for all of our sake. To not just black out, but to say something. To use the platform (voice/room/space/feed) you have to say something about the issue of racism. So I thought I would  come here and state my opinion about it, for whom ever it might concern. And it should concern you!

I believe that racism along with nationalism is the evil of humanity. It causes fear and hate that is one hundred percent unnecessary. Without it we would have less (or no) war, crime and much less violence in the world. And I know racism has helped white European people “conquer the world” throughout history, and each time I read about the many atrocities we have committed I want to cry, and I feel ashamed of even being associated with it through my skin color.

In Sweden/Europe we have a growing movement of racism which is frightening, where the targets are immigrants and refugees, the non-swede. It’s that feeling of “we against them” that is just as wrong and saddening in our global world. We’re all here together, and I want to live in a world where everyone feels free and at peace, without fear of harm. That’s why I am a feminist, something I often speak about, but also why I am anti-racist, something I am now feel the urge to talk about. I think more of us need to state it and live by the anti-racist rules.

Don’t shut up, speak up if something is wrong or someone is treated wrongly.

What to do if you’re wanting to help

FYI: I will not link to anything violent, because I can not watch it myself, so I will not seek it out or ask of my readers or followers to watch it. It’s enough to read about police brutality and violence in the news – and in that way know about it, I think. And cry, it’s always okay to cry in my book.

  • Teach our kids - If you have kids (or know kids that you spend time with) you need to work not just on them being decent human beings, but towards them being anti-racist and able to speak up for everyone. You need to help them become advocates for everyone, not just themselves. They are the future, teach them to shape a better one.
  • Educate yourself – I’ve linked a few videos below, check them out. For me, I will be looking for some new book titles as well (Me and White Supremacy and How to Be an Antiracist for example).
  • Donate – If you have a job and are able, please use your money as well as your voice. And if you’re like me, who have no money right now, watch this (and this and this and this) to help without spending a dime – thank you.
  • Follow Pinterst Board: DIY Activism – it’s where I collect the importent stuff
  • Keep it up – I will write this blog post, but also try do be more aware, for the rest of my life, even though I think I was educated and aware before today. I will ask everyone who follows me to state their anti-racism and live by it, for a better world.

Info on six things you can do as a family to be anti-racist - posted by @mommy_brain

I could go on and on and on about how important this is, but I think (well, I do hope) most of you my dear readers are well-educated, loving-understanding people who already agree with me. But if just one person, who reads this, will have a new thought, find new hope, reconsider old bias or re-learn humanity, I think it was worth taking up space to write out and repeating; again and again and again. Racism is ugly, but kindness rocks!

A Rattlesnake, if cornered will become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is – a biting of oneself. We think we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves.
E. Stanley Jones

Also found Emmanuel Acho via instagram, and I’m including his message from youtube below because I think it’s a good one. He is talking in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today in the US.

Watch Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man on YouTube, as Emmanuel Acho has named his video – and maybe share it on to more people if you can. I think it was interesting to listen to this guy, an american athlete who is using his reach and influence for good – to do the talk.

PS: Someone on instagram also linked to a first ever talk by a woman called Dyonna – availaandco on insta – and I think she has a lot to say that you too just might need to hear. It was her morning talk (to me) what made me tip over to do this blog post. Thank you for the indirect help and support Dyonna.

All blogs and web sites should have an anti-racist policy plastered to their front page. I guess this is mine. Sorry I didn’t post it before.

Also a reminder: while there is sadness all around, we need our creativity to solve problems and our art to sooth our minds.

In today’s climate in our country, which
is sickened with the pollution of pollution, threatened with the prominence of AIDS, riddled with burgeoning racism, rife with growing huddles of homeless, we need art and we need art in all forms. We need all methods of art to be present, everywhere present, and all the time
Maya Angelou

[Tweet “All blogs and web sites should have an anti-racist policy plastered to their front page! @iHannas”]

9 Responses

  1. Very thoughtful post, Hanna, and one I agree with. I appreciate the suggestions of things we can do to help. Thank you for posting. It’s despicable we in the U.S. have such a racist leader who foments so much hatred of skin color and national origin.

    • Thank you Marcia!

      I wish I could challenge all big time bloggers to post something similar. There is power in the masses and us coming together in piece.

  2. Thank you so much for speaking out about this Hanna! The collective weight of our many voices is powerful!

  3. I love you Hannah for writing such a brilliant post! Thanks a million for expressing you so bravely . All anti-racist people need to stand up and tell what they have to tell to and do what they have to do to help and protect our black sisters and brothers, we are all one!Bless you my dear girl!

  4. Great to read your post Hanna! As a white woman who lives in a colonised country where the First Nations people suffer the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, where more than 400 have died or been killed in custody since 1991 anti-racism is the most important work here. It underlies the work we need to do for the climate crisis as well. Here in Australia, racism extends to our mistreatment of immigrants and refugees too. I would also like to share the problem of systemic racism which is imbedded in the global systems of fast fashion, ‘cheap’ food & the mining & petrochemical industries. I try to start by uncovering & trying to stop all the ways I am racist. Resmaa Menakem says anti racism work is like muscle: it gets stronger with practise. Reading your post has been a help to my practice. Thank you.

    • Knowing about your work makes this a tiny drop / blog post in the vast ocean of the internet in comparison, but I felt it important to say as the US news makes my heart so so very heavy.

      I appreciate you coming to visit and all you do! xo

  5. Hanna, I have just seen this post. Thank you for speaking up and posting so many resources. Like you, I was brought up to be anti-racist, but I know I still have many things to learn from people who live with the effects of racism every day.

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