Why White Influencers are Being Asked to Speak Up
“If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to speak up and speak out to do something about it.” – John Lewis
This post and sentiment are not meant to divide, this is meant to show you how this looks and what’s going on. Why your followers might be questioning you right now. If you don’t believe in BLM, don’t support anti-racism, and aren’t actually working on your own education around racism…of course, this isn’t for you. But if you are working on anti-racism, do care about humanity, then you need to state it.
If you are white and haven’t spoken up, but share these values…say it. Ideas on how to say something.
- I denounce white supremacy.
- I’m working on my own education about racism and antiracism to grow, be better, and fight racist policies.
- The actions on Wednesday on the capitol by white supremacist terrorists were heinous and I am worried for our country.
- We all need to do more for humanity and equal rights for all.
If you don’t say these things, you’re telling your followers that you don’t care. You may think “hey that’s not fair. I’m not racist, you can’t just assume that.” Whelp, sorry, but that’s too bad. That’s the world we live in. Especially if you’re continuing to post like everything is normal and not acknowledging the egregious actions of this past week (and centuries). This is history being made. Which side will you be on?
You’re here. You are sharing your life with us. You’re sharing photos, recipes, what to wear, how to decorate your home, etc. these things you share are YOU. And we as your followers want to know your values. It’s okay if your values don’t align with ours, but it’s also okay if people (your followers) ask you for your values. People will unfollow for a million reasons. Isn’t it better to make your values known and let your followers decide if they want to stick around?
But the cries of “please stop trying to make me post about this” or “I’m not the news” need to stop. Sure, you’re not the news, but this is a national crisis. And we want to know what side of history you are on, as it states your values on HUMAN RIGHTS. Not about political parties. Human rights. I know plenty of people on both sides who have denounced white supremacy and the actions on the Capitol. So why is this becoming such an issue with white influencers? Is it because you’re uncomfortable? Is it because “fellow white people” are the ones calling you out or asking you to be held accountable?
We, as white folx, were asked by Black influencers and activists this past summer to be the ones to question each other and hold each other accountable. It’s not their duty, but ours to work on the solutions for racism and our racist systems in America. So, we’re doing our duty. Speaking up. Asking what your stance is. Calling out the BS when we see it. Saying “listening, learning, growing” or “love and kindness will save us” or “this isn’t unifying us it’s dividing us” is not enough or the right message. I will no longer tolerate intolerance or those who ignore it…therefore supporting it.
Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated “There is no “healing” from this without accountability. And there is no “unity” with white supremacists”.
So, if you’re white…influencer or not, take a moment. Stop posting about life, recipes, cute clothes, etc. tell your followers where you stand. Share your VALUES with them. Encourage others to speak up. Silence is violence. And not speaking up is a privilege that you have because the color of your skin. Post in your feed so the sentiment can live on, and you’ll get less DMs about it since it will be in your feed and not gone after 24 hrs.
And if you aren’t someone who feels comfortable writing your own post, repost someone else’s and give them credit. It’s okay to not be a writer or feel like you know enough to write a post. Yeah, you should post about this stuff regularly. Maybe not this specific topic, but sharing your own and your brand values is important. But also, whenever something that threatens humanity on this large of a scale… you should be willing to talk about it.
Mental health and selfcare are important, but ignoring these issues and not using your voice you’ve been given…literally by the people following you, is problematic. So, speak up and speak out. Sure, take care of your mental health and logoff if you need a few days to process. But continuing to post as if nothing else is happening is careless and thoughtless. Your followers want and deserve more. Some of your followers might not care…so you think, well they don’t care, so why should I? This is just showing you that those followers who don’t care, also fall into the category of careless and supporting ignorance.
And if you don’t want to post, then don’t. But by saying nothing, you are saying everything. You are saying you are okay with racism and domestic terrorism. Don’t be upset by people asking your stance. Do not be upset that they are upset that your values don’t include caring and protecting all people. Don’t be upset if they unfollow. Your account is public. People can have different opinions, but these aren’t opinions, these are values and morals.
We don’t have to unify over divided ethics. This isn’t about you and you alone. It’s about our ability to come together as a community to protect all people in our country. If you truly believe “all lives matter”, then speak up. Stand up. Share your values. And don’t complain people are asking you to support human rights…they are after all, human.
“There comes a time where silence is betrayal” – MLK