THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN REPOSTED FROM PATTERN BREAKERS
On the afternoon of Saturday, May 30 the streets of Salt Lake City, Utah were flooded with people in a peaceful protest marching for the justice of George Floyd and the countless other people of color (POC) who have been murdered by the unjust police systems across America. You could hear the echo of the voices down the blocks of our city, “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!!!” Thousands of people storming the State Capitol screaming, chanting, and asking for change, justice, and reform. Asking or rather demanding that innocent POC stop being the victims of violent behavior or being murdered by police forces across our country.
Within a matter of hours this peaceful protest turned violent. The State Capitol has been graffitied with words like, “FUCK THE POLICE”, “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE”, “I CAN’T BREATHE”, “WE THE PEOPLE” and acronyms like, “BLM” (Black Lives Matter). Cars over turned and burned, local business suffered with vandalization like busted windows and graffiti. Scooters like BIRD and LIME could be found tipped over, busted and broken throughout the city. Broken glass from windows of cars, businesses, and bottles glittered the sidewalks and streets like the sad after glow of the events that took place.
A peaceful protest turned violent, leaving many injured, over forty people arrested, with no deaths during these events.
As the weekend went on many other states had similar protests from Nebraska, Colorado, and California to name a few. Many of them were peaceful protests and did not end up becoming a violent riot that was witnessed in Salt Lake.
Violence is never the answer. When peaceful protesting, taking a knee, social media posts, calling your politicians, education in schools, and enacting discrimination trainings in police forces don’t work what else is there to do? When no change has happened and innocent POC are still being arrested or worse, MURDERED it is not hard to understand why people became violent. I do not condone that behavior, violence is not the answer but if my father, mother, brother, or sister was murdered when innocent by a system that is supposed to protect the innocent, I can honestly say I do not know what I would do. My emotions would take hold and I’m not sure how rational or peaceful I would be either.
Racism is not going away anytime soon. Unfortunately, no one in this country is free until we are all free. If we want change in this world, we have to start taking radical action. If we want to liberate our local communities, our nation, or brothers and sisters from the evil racist institution that is the foundation of this country we need to start taking radical change.
Being part of the Pattern Breaker movement is more than just taking care of yourself, it is also taking care of your community, taking care of those who are unable to take care of their-self. It’s a radical act to take care of others. To assist those who’s voices are being silenced, to stand next to someone who is being discriminated against and saying, “I will not stand for this”. To shut down and stand against racist comments, jokes, and actions. To acknowledge that our country is founded on slavery and racism, to acknowledge that we have made progress but not enough, to accept that a lot of America’s policies and procedures are broken or even non-existent. To say, “America is broken, not all men are created equal, but we have the power has a nation to change it.”
The power to change this institutional nightmare is in all of us, it takes courage to activate that power but I honestly believe that we can change if we can let our ego’s go for a moment and accept that we are part of the problem.
As a white person I have something known as white privilege. White privilege is the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people in some societies, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstance. White people have the privilege of no racism, non-discrimination in places of education and employment, of being ‘colorblind’, white people can escape violent stereotypes, the list goes on and on.
As a white person I can sit back and enjoy my privilege or I can join the movement and become part of the solution and not part of the problem. For all those out there- regardless of race- that are silent in the conversation of racial injustice you are part of the problem. If you feel that, “this is not your problem” then you sit on the side of racism. Period. Your silence says, “I don’t see a problem”.
Your silence speaks volumes.
How do we create the change in the world? How do we break the patterns of social injustice? It starts with learning how to be an ally.
The Guide to Allyship has four steps to become a better ally for POC.
Being an ally is work. We can’t simply preach equality online and not participate when it matters. We need to put some skin in the game. As allies we will make mistakes, say the wrong thing, we will have to dive deep into ourselves and recognize our privileges, our history, where we could improve and accept that we are not perfect. Regardless, we have to continue to try and try again to be better.
Change will not happen unless every single one of us participates in the conversation.
Wake up, speak up, and act out. Self-care is about loving yourself, and creating a practice of bettering yourself. In conclusion, I would like to leave a quote from Rev. angel Kyodo williams from their introduction in their book RADICAL DHARMA
If the fruit of practice is not a desire to respond to the world if it just remains in response to your own needs, “me” is all you are seeing. “I want to feel better. I want to feel like a spiritual person. I want to be seen as right. But I don’t want to actually be responsible for the world that I’m in.” Then you haven’t woken up yet.
Daniel Jacob Hill
NOTE: I am not perfect. I am still learning daily about how I- as an individual- can become a better ally. I am using my platforms to educate and advocate, I will continue to provide more information on how you can become a Pattern Breaker of social injustices. I included some resources below to get you started (which they all have even more resources in them). I speak as an ally. POC, if there is vital information, I got wrong or missed please let me know and I will make corrections. I am doing the best I know how to and I recognize that, that is still not enough.
How White People Can Be Better Allies to the Black Community https://witanddelight.com/2020/05/how-white-people-can-be-better-allies-to-the-black-community/
Guide to Allyship https://guidetoallyship.com/
Me and White Supremacy https://www.meandwhitesupremacybook.com/
Radical Dharma: Talking race, love, and liberation https://radicaldharma.org/
THE GEOGRAPHY OF HAIR
The Geography of Hair is devoted to share experiences and stories in cosmetology and how it has affected people, myself, or us as a society.