Around the nation, racial justice educators, leaders, and organizers are holding space for new allies and are also experiencing rapid and exponential growth in followers and readers.
While I remain deeply humbled by your tremendous support, I also realize that this support is an outgrowth of a lynching and the protests happening around the nation. This reality is hard to make space for, but I want to honor my own journey and yours as we move forward.
Personally, I am overwhelmed, tired, angry, sad, and scared. I think a lot of us are. As educators, we have fears about retaliation in the forms of physical violence, swatting, and other terror tactics. As educators with new followers, we recognize that so often during these times, we are viewed as resources rather than human people that deserve kindness and care and respect. As a person in a loving and committed interracial marriage, I am also aware that whenever there is a spotlight on racialized violence, people often feel increasingly bold in saying harmful and often hateful things to me and my husband.
I am grateful and so happy to welcome new allies into this space, but I am also increasingly aware that with an influx of followers and support comes the risk of experiencing antiblackness.
That being said, I respectfully ask that if you identify as a white ally and you are sharing my posts, respectfully encourage your friends not to DM me, text me, or email me for free advice.
Instead, ask them to direct their questions to you. There has been an inordinate of Black emotional labor done and the resources are out there. Direct them to my Racial Justice Resources for Educators. Seek out the resources I or my fellow educators have already created. If you have a question – try Googling it or asking another white ally. Lean into one another.
In addition, I humbly ask that if you are using resources created by Black or brown educators to pay them for their work. This is one way we can honor one another – by acknowledging that each other’s work is worthy and valid. If a Black person is asking to be paid for their intellectual and emotional labor, honor their request. Anything else amounts to, in the words of Layla Saad, “the theft of intellectual and emotional labor.”
Love and light,