Dear Fellow White Woman 1

Kin Women JULY 2018 Blog Images (2)

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m scared of looking stupid.

I’m scared of getting it wrong.

I’m scared of other people thinking I’m stupid.

So I stay silent.

I listen to stories of how systemic racism oppresses and causes wounds, and I stay silent.

I tell myself that my platform is about art, not about issues of race and inclusion, so I stay silent.

I don’t want to upset the proverbial apple cart. Don’t want to “get political”. As if issues of humanity, connection, freedom, and compassion are off limits because someone, somewhere, decided they’re “political” issues, and will get cranky with me for talking about them.

So I stay silent.

But silence ALWAYS benefits the oppressor.

There have been times in the past that I’ve been the one hurting, asking people to hear my story.

And I’ve heard “oh, I don’t want to get involved, it will just make it worse” … or “well, there are two sides to every story”… or even “some people have it SO much worse, you should just stop complaining”.

Responses that not only sought to silence me but which also allowed the person responding to use their own silence against me. Their unwillingness to stand beside me, to speak up for me, benefits the oppressor.

And I’m not sharing this to make this about me, or my experiences. I’m sharing it because as I reflected on those responses to my own pain, I finally took the time to realise how I was doing that to others.

I’m sharing it in the hopes that you will hear me because I’m like you, I look like you. We think that a “racist woman” doesn’t look like us. We think that somehow that excuses us from doing the work. Gives us permission to be silent.

But silence ALWAYS benefits the oppressor.

When we, as white women, stay silent on the ways our white privilege has benefitted us (and yes, dear sister, if you are white, you benefit in SO many ways from the colour of your skin), we are feeding the system.

It’s time we stop it.

It’s time to fear less about our image, about what others will think of us, about how we will probably get it wrong 100 times over.

It’s time to use our voices, our platforms, and our connections to speak up and out.

And all of the excuses that rise up as you read this, they’re not good enough. If you don’t know where to start, look harder, or start here. If you’re scared of getting it wrong (join the club) – apologise when you do, inevitably, get it wrong, and commit to doing better.

Listen more. Follow more women of colour. Read more. Be honest with yourself. Speak up where you need to.

Silence ALWAYS benefits the oppressor.

About liss amyah

Liss was born in Brisbane, raised in Brisbane and currently lives in Brisbane. Her life goals include eventually living somewhere other than Brisbane. She is a calligrapher, obsessed with all lettery things, making the world a little more beautiful and encouraging others to do that too. Liss is a single mum to six amazing people, aged 5-15, who are all just as loud, creative and slightly weird (in a good way) as she is. She is a coffee snob, and believes that parenting is only possible with high doses of quality coffee.

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