Right now is an incredibly difficult and emotional time in our nation and around the world. The countless deaths of black people at the hands of the police and others is a constant reminder of just how far we have to go as a society, in seeing everyone as equal and worthy of the same things in life—including the right to exist.
For black people having to reconcile with these injustices simply because of the colour of their skin, there’s even more weight added when people say all of the wrong things.
“Are you ok?”
“How are you feeling?”
These seem innocuous and although they are said (hopefully) with the best of intentions, the answer should be obvious. This is a time of mourning. When you’re mourning, maybe you want people who care about you to send a small gift or just a simple reminder that you matter to them. Maybe you want your friends to not insert their own personal struggles by attempting to say that they understand when they, in fact, do not and cannot.
Or maybe you prefer that people not message you, at all, during this time—because you’re overwhelmed and exhausted from feeling like you have to explain every nuance of what’s happening right now. And you don’t have all of the answers either, and shouldn’t be expected to have them.
For me, I always ask people to consider how they would feel if they were in a depressive state. What would you need from someone if you were grieving or experiencing heightened anxiety?
So I am enlisting you, the readers, to help our white allies know how they can help. What questions do you wish they would ask, what do you wish they would say or do?
Feel free to post in the comments and we will be sharing them in a new post tomorrow.