Nothing New to Say

Cover for blacklivesmatter

CW: discussions involving violence, racism, and offensive language.

I see those in the vegan community choosing to fight the semantics of a movement more than the system that brought us to this point. Cries of “speciesism” and “reverse racism” are being tossed about while your one black friend (we all have at least one, right?) is left to realize that their fear of being stopped by a cop isn’t as easy to understand as the threat posed by refined sugar.

When a Black Life Becomes a Hashtag, Sep. 22, 2016

I wrote this quote almost four years ago, and it still holds true today to at least some degree. More importantly, the main focus of police brutality and racism remains something that people are fighting against, denying, and trying to grapple with.

Of course, people have been talking about and fighting against these issues for far longer than four years. In the magazine, Dr. A. Breeze Harper spoke about it just under ten years ago. Over forty years ago, Richard Pryor was joking about police brutality without having to explain to the audience what he was talking about because most of the audience (minus perhaps some white people) understood it all too well. Nina Simone sang about it nearly 60 yeas ago. Depending on what history you were taught, the references can go back much further, and I hope you’re aware of at least some of them.

My point is that when it comes to police violence, racism, and other things related to Black people and even the oppression of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), a lot has been said.

So much so that, frankly, I don’t know if I have anything new to say.

And, as a white male specifically, that’s probably okay.

For a number of reasons, I guess I haven’t been super active on my social platforms when it comes to talking about the Black Lives Matter movement and other related things. For the most part, I was focusing on the magazine’s Facebook page because that’s where I feel I have a decent reach. Plus, to be honest, with my old phone and my slowly failing eyesight, Instagram just isn’t that easy to use for me anymore. As for Twitter… well, it’s Twitter. All the jokes hold true from my experience, and it’s basically just crickets and trolls over there.

And then, Facebook censored me for a week. Again.

So, I haven’t felt very effective when I have been sharing things, which has probably led to me not posting as much as I normally would simply because brains like that good ol’ feedback.

Of course, after an intense debate on my personal FB about the use of the term “Karen” for entitled, racist white women recently, even getting feedback has shown me that I’m not quite where I used to be. In the past, I’ve spent countless hours and days debating folks on the magazine’s social about different topics, but during this last altercation, I have to admit that I just gave up.

I’m not putting this out there in hopes of getting a cookie or a pat on the back. I just wanted to acknowledge that I know I’m not using the platform I have as well as I could be, and I’m sorry. At the moment, I just don’t know how else to get people to understand. I don’t know how else to convince people that other living beings deserve respect, safety, equal rights, etc.

Hopefully, I’ll find my way back to pushing things beyond the plate soon, and then when Facebook starts censoring me again, I’ll have the drive to just keep going. Or maybe I’ll get my eyes looked at so I can enjoy Instagram again. That’s probably a good idea, right? 😉

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