This week, Ulyana Sergeenko (designer) sent flowers and a note to her friend, Miroslava Duma (founder of fashion and lifestyle site Buro247.com). Duma then proceeded to post it on her Instagram stories (see below). It was later deleted after much backlash.
Screenshot via bryanboycom
But you know what’s even more disheartening and frustrating?
The sheer amount of people rushing to defend them and their use of the n-word. These people fill the comment sections of Instagram posts with racist and ignorant remarks, as if their life depended on it. All you have to do is scroll down on Bryanboycom‘s post and you will see what I mean.
Or worse, they resort to what they think is “satire” to either make light of the situation or show their solidarity with the offenders.
Exhibit A (this was eventually taken down)
For me, it always starts with shock. Anger quickly follows and the first cycle of emotions is complete with a mix of confusion and sadness. I have to take a step back and ask myself, what year am I living in? Is it really 2018? And for what seems like a broken record I just want to chuck out the window, do we still need to explain why black face and using the n-word is not only unacceptable but deeply rooted in racism?
For the commenters, my only question is: what would your defense be if your keyboard didn’t allow you to type racists/bigoted remarks? *Dear phone and computer makers of the world, maybe this could be your next tech innovation. It could literally make the world a better place.
Sure, I could easily avoid the comment section. But it is necessary to take a look (every now and then) because it shows how far we are from being an inclusive society. It shows the work that needs to be done.
I could go on but I want this space on the internet to be one of hope, optimism, and positivity.
So here it is…
My wishlist for the world
1) The people who have made mistakes will not only mean it when they apologize, but they will speak out against the bigoted remarks from people who defend them. How refreshing and groundbreaking will it be when instead of just apologizing for saying or doing something wrong, they also encourage those who defend them with hate to stop. The defenders won’t listen to someone like me, they will only listen to the ones they put on a pedestal.
2) People with large social followings will not stay silent when a well regarded public figure does something ignorant. If we truly want change, we have to call it out when it happens, not look the other way. Pretending we don’t see it, doesn’t make it go away. I just think of all the young absorbent minds that are being shaped by how people respond, apologize, and defend.
3) More empathy. The ability to understand how someone could feel pain from words, actions, or inaction is deeply important. We can all agree that stubbing our toe is painful but when can we agree that racism, bigotry, and ignorance create pain and suffering too? Until then, it is not possible to have a better world, a kinder world.
What will I do?
I will use my voice and my space on the internet to speak my truth, spread hope, and speak up for what is right.
This is all I have to say for now. Thanks for stopping by.
See you in my next post!
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