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Privileged Exhaustion

The murder of George Floyd snapped me awake. I know I am not alone in this feeling. I remember Trayvon Martin. I was angry then too, but I was barely twelve when his murderer was found not guilty. I was still young and sheltered, unaware of my privilege. My parents did not have to teach me how to behave around police officers, I was allowed to ride my bike around the neighborhood unattended without a worry in the world.

In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd I was on fire. I attended a dozen protests in a month, I read So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and started reading How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. But I didn’t finish it. As much as I have conversed with my friends, argued with my family, and posted all over social media about how BLM isn’t just a hot topic, it is a movement that will NOT go away when it stops trending, I have fallen into hypocrisy. I still haven’t finished How to Be an Antiracist, even though it was incredibly informative. I watched 13th on Netflix but haven’t been able to bring myself to watch When They See Us. Weeks ago I shared with my mom how guilty I felt at my exhaustion. I had been going to protests and trying to organize a movement in the area I lived, but I was bone tired. I began to explain to her why I felt so guilty, imagine how people of color must feel, but she stopped me. She understood my perspective but told me it was important for me to take care of myself because I was no use to anyone exhausted and unable to take part fully. I took a day off, felt much better, and went right back to learning and protesting. But this is different.

Where do I go now? Where do we go now? How can I live everyday using my privilege to pave the road for those oppressed? I can’t be the only one feeling this way. I understand opportunities will arise for me to call out inequity at my school and in my job, but I don’t want to wait. I want to bring the hierarchy down NOW. I want to know everything there is to know about BLM, the history of the LGBTQ community, how to end and reverse climate change, and I want to know it now. I want a clear path to victory with step by step actions to take. But this isn’t how it works.

For those of you who hear my words and sense you are in a similar place, do not give up the fight. For those of you who are of color, or oppressed for another reason, do not count me out of the war. I am still here, awaiting the next move.

November 3rd. Election day. If you’re using a mail in ballot remember that you must mail it in prior to election day. Click Here to see what your deadline is in the state you live. While Joe Biden is not going to magically fix all our issues, he at least won’t show open support for white supremacists. Getting Trump out of office is a major step in aiding the BLM movement, LGBTQ rights, and ending climate change (since Trump doesn’t even believe it exists), but we must also turn our attention locally. If you are finding yourself in a lull of fervor for activism, take some time to learn about your local officials. Voting in local elections is extremely important, and you must be informed to do so.

If that doesn’t spark your interest, there are other ways to stay involved. If you haven’t already scoured the internet for petitions here is a link to more ways to support BLM. Make yourself watch that documentary, you won’t regret it. And if you haven’t read either of the books I mentioned, download the “Libby” app and you can virtually check them out from your library for free.

If you have any other ideas or links on ways to get involved, please, please, comment or reach out to me. I am here to learn, to support, and to uplift. We are the change people. We will create the America that can stand and be proud to live in.

If you live in Greenville, NC join my group for social justice on facebook.

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