What You Can Expect From Me Moving Forward | #BlackLivesMatter

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My commitment as a white ally

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I’ve been noodling on this blog post for around three weeks, and I’ve tried and failed to write this post half a dozen times.

But, today I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to close my laptop until it was WRITTEN. And, if it’s written imperfectly, I could go back and make updates, edits and changes.

Below, I’ve shared what specific changes and updates I’ll be making to my ~content creation~ efforts in support of social justice.

This isn’t meant to be a post to get me gold stars for being a #GoodAlly. Rather, I hope to share this for accountability – and also to give other folks ideas.

First Off: Let’s Measure What Matters

I talk about this online a lot, but I want to point out that if you’re trying to create real change in the world – you’ll figure out a way to QUANTIFY it. Obviously, we can’t attach a number to everything, but we can get specific about what our commitments are.

Example: Instead of saying, “I’ll read more books on social justice” try “I will spend 1 hour a week reading books on social justice, specifically starting with book (x).”

Another example: “I will shop from more Black owned businesses” try “I am taking the 15% challenge, and I will diversify my discretionary purchases by finding a Black business that sells mascara, pet products and home decor items, specifically, pillows.”

By getting specific, you make it easier to get stuff DONE.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBiw249gSw1/

What I’m Doing

Okay, so now that we’ve discussed metrics, here’s what I’m up going to do:

  1. I will spotlight 2 Black content creators on my public platforms each week. I have set calendar reminders to do this on Sunday and Thursday evenings.
  2. I am including a Black-owned brand in all of my roundup posts on The Huntswoman. If I can’t find a Black-owned brand, I will publicly post and ask if folks know of any. I will note in the post that I am looking to add a Black-owned brand.
  3. I purchase clothes for photoshoots (woohoo!), and I will make 15% of my clothing purchases from Black-owned businesses.
  4. I will post 2x a month to Instagram with a caption that is specific to discussing allyship, US history as it relates to social justice, etc.
  5. I will continue to publicly ask brands to release diversity numbers.
  6. I will continue to try to be a resource to white people who are trying to be better allies. I’ve been DM’ing, messaging, chatting on the phone, etc. There’s not a real way to quantify this.

Your (Other) Fave Bloggers

I’d also encourage you to ask your (other, lol) favorite bloggers for a list like this! Let them know you want to see this content! A lot of content creators are a little bit fearful on how to move forward, and hearing from readers that you WANT this type of commitment is helpful! <3

Errr… Bloggers Posting Swimsuits & Social Justice Info? Is that… okay?

One of the main concerns I’ve had about posting more about social justice on Instagram is how exactly to do that when I also post…. photos of me scampering around in plus size swimsuits.

I wrote a whole thread on Twitter about how I’ll be trying to do this. I know from my work in marketing that reposting screenshots of Tweets and graphics gets old, and I know that people skip over posts that are just text.

I’ll be trying new creative ways to create media around social justice, that is inclusive – without doing something offensive, example here.

Resources for My White Readers!

I’ve created some handy resources for my white readers, and I hope we can continue to have chats in the DMs and on posts about allyship.

  • I made a highlight with tips on what to do when you mess up as a white ally (on my Instagram)
  • I wrote a post on mistakes I’ve made as a white ally. I found that talking about my own mistakes as an ally is an effective teaching tool for others, and it makes other white people less defensive when I “call them in.”

I’ll also be writing posts for the blog (filed under “Queer Living”) on allyship. Posts like how to game the system on social media to get more reach for your social justice posts, what I’m reading, etc.

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Alrighty, faves. Bring it in. I’d like to share with you how I’ve messed up as a well-meaning white ally. . I’m seeing a lot of folks sharing articles and memes, which is important to do! At the same time, only sharing resources and facts often creates a dynamic where people don’t listen or read – no one likes to be lectured. So, I’m sharing some of my (many) failings and lessons as a white ally, in the hopes of educating other people – and showing how being an ally requires self-education and, well, some embarrassment. . 1. I used to tell people, “I don’t see race!!” I meant well. I wanted people to know that I wasn’t racist. But this phrase actually removes accountability, and it makes hard (impossible) for people to call out racist behavior. It’s like saying, “I couldn’t possibly be racist or do anything racist, ever!” We grew up socially conditioned with some not-great beliefs, and we absolutely *do* see race. Our job is to catch those biases, and adjust our behavior when they pop up. . 2. I used to call black women “girl.” As in “Hey, girl!” Or “Girl, did you hear about (x)?!” I meant to create and build friendship, but that’s the opposite of what I did. Slave owners and racists in 2020 call Black adults “girl” or “boy” as a way to infantilize them. Racists do this to show that they don’t think a Black person can make adult decisions. A common pro-slavery argument was that Black people were “childlike” and couldn’t be trusted to take care of themselves. Using “girl” perpetuates this. Once i learned this, I stopped doing this. . 3. This next lesson has been a more gradual evolution. As I’ve learned about personal finance and money, I’ve learned about how financial systems have been used to keep Black people disenfranchised. From small biz to home loans, to even being able to open an account, money is the nexus for a lot of social justice issues. I make it a point to share what I’m charging with other people, so that they can better judge what their salary should be or what they should charge. Glassdoor is helpful, but knowing what someone else’s salary is much more powerful. . How have you messed up as an ally? . ?: @lydiahudgens

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