If silence is consent, what can I say to support #blacklivesmatter? As a white woman who lives in a white upper-class neighborhood, how can I speak from my place of privilege? I’ve struggled with what to say because I haven’t been intentional about listening in the past. Because in my ignorance, I’m scared I won’t say the right thing. Because I didn’t feel like this was my cross to bear. —How wrong was I! To sit this one out, above the fray, is white privilege. To think “this doesn’t effect me, so why stick my neck out?” is contributing to the oppression of People of Color. To “just stay out of it” is compliance with the systemic racism machine.

So, I’ll start with saying this: I’ve seen protesters branded as anarchists, looters & extremists. Yes there are parasites, fringe instigators hijacking the movement to spread violence & chaos. Even still, we should be supporting our fellow citizens who are getting out there to peacefully protest, rather than villainizing them. It is our constitutional right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. —Let us never be intimidated out of exercising it!

Yes, there is risk but how do you change the system without disrupting it? Show up. Support. Occupy. March. Picket. Hold up your hands and shout! Respect the emergency curfew, avoid mindless vandalism, don’t fight fire with fire, but absolutely do not be manipulated out of advocating for what is right.

I’m not the poster child for activism but also no stranger to it, either. I’ve shown up for political rallies, town halls & marches to the Capitol — with my children, even. Still, what’s going on downtown is too volatile for me right now. There’s no denying the environment is less than safe. However, groups are starting to organize out here in the suburbs. Walks, peaceful gatherings, family-friendly, even. Meeting at the corner coffee shop in the daylight hours to walk together in solidarity. Asking signs refrain from bashing the President or the police. This is my way to participate at this point in time. —How are you showing up for our Black brothers & sisters right now? It’s a heavy consideration, Mamas: treading out of our comfort zone but keeping ourselves safe. #blacklivesmatter

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