I just want to take a break from recipes and printables and address something much larger. I don’t really know where to start with this so I’m just going to jump right in.
I support Black Lives Matter. Carrie Elle – this website, and our online business – supports Black Lives Matter and racial justice.
Words have meaning, but they can also lose meaning. They can be meaningless when not backed by action. Over the past few days, I’ve found myself scrolling through Instagram to see which of my favorite brands and influencers have a black square in their feed for #blackouttuesday. If they don’t have a square, I’ve done some digging to find out why. Maybe they weren’t on social media that day (I almost missed it because I’ve been busy moving and just haven’t been on social, plus I avoid the news so…I almost didn’t know about this!). But also, maybe they chose not to post it. Or maybe they ignored it. Or maybe they posted something else, something less decisive instead.
I’m not here to judge why people did not post a black square on their Instagram. But I noticed. I’ve also unfollowed some people when I read their responses to the movement (we can all have our opinions – and I believe that most of the world lives in a shade of grey rather than black or white…but if you don’t think this movement is valid you need to check yourself, and I say that with love). And then I realized that I needed to make a statement on my FB accounts and in my FB groups – and also here, on my blog.
I lost followers for posting about #blackouttuesday on my Instagram accounts. That blows my mind. We are talking about HUMAN RIGHTS. But also? I’m not sad about losing followers, or pageviews, if someone disagrees with me. Especially about this.
As an old country song taught me when I was a kid, you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.
So I just want to be clear about where I stand.
The next thing I want to address is what I’m doing about racism. I think this gets sketchy because all I want to do is the right thing…but I don’t want to do the right thing because I want people to think I’m doing the right thing (does that make sense?). I want to do the right thing because it’s the right thing. I want to advance the movement, not hold it back. I realize that white people can say and do a lot of wrong things when it comes to race, even unintentionally.
Here are things I know I can do (feel free to check me if I’m wrong, I am so, so, so open to learning – I was born to learn):
I can support businesses that support BLM. I can avoid businesses that DO NOT support BLM or donate to organizations I don’t agree with.
I can learn. There are many ways to learn. I can read. A book that I think I can safely recommend here, even though I am waiting for it arrive and have not read it yet, is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism.
Another way to learn: I can attend events. We took our kids to a local BLM gathering and guess what? I listened to an 11-year-old girl who went to my son’s school speak in front of hundreds of people about how she was bullied for her race and had to change schools. My son’s school. Where I had absolutely zero idea this was happening. It’s one thing to read (y’all, I read like no one’s business), but stories like this aren’t always out there to read – I don’t think I would have known about this if I hadn’t attended this event.
I can vote. I decided earlier this year that I don’t think I’m going to associate myself with a political party anymore. I’m tired of them all. Instead I am going to associate myself with people who I think are good people, working to make positive changes. I can vote for those people.
I can donate money. I can research worthy causes to find ones that need my dollars and donate to them.
I can follow Black voices on social media and listen quietly. I can direct my questions to Google so I’m not taking time away from the cause with my own ignorance.
I can do the work on myself. You won’t see most of the work. It’s something I’ll be doing in my home, with my family, quietly. I don’t need to post about it on social media.
But also, I can use my platform in a meaningful way. I like to post about travel, food, planners, and my horse. When I learn something about racism or the BLM movement that is meaningful to me and that I think my audience will learn from, I will share it.
I will talk to my kids. I will talk to my kids. I WILL TALK TO MY KIDS. I can have open and honest conversations with my kids.
And most importantly, I will always keep learning.
The whole point of this post was just to say that I (we) support Black Lives Matter. It turned into something a little deeper than that. I just want you to know that while I’m over here making recipes and printables for you guys, I’m also working on myself behind the scenes. You might not see it. But it’s happening. And let it be super clear that I love you all and I am so, so grateful for you.