I used to be the kind of style blogger who didn’t speak on issues out of fear of the repercussions of what ‘others’ might say. I was a ‘style’ blogger; no one wanted to hear what I had to say when it came to politics or religion. I should’ve been talking about the newest matte lippie or what I was wearing that weekend.
With age and wisdom, and basically not giving a fuck, I came to the conclusion that I had become like all the other bloggers. I was a fashionable shell. I had thoughts and worries about the world we lived in, but I never spoke on it. I kept quiet even though the issues myself and my people faced were reality.
In January, I took my social media and blog up a few notches. I rebranded myself as an anything-goes-blogger. Whatever came to my mind about feminism or self-image or blatant racism, I was going to speak about it while adding bomb ass photos to the mix.
In Detroit, there’s this amazing Black Lives Matter wall near Midtown that popped up last year after the string of police killings of unarmed Black males. Black Lives Matter is written hundreds of times in white letters and in different sizes.
While standing in front of this powerful wall of words, I found it to be the perfect moment to throw my fist in the air in support of #BlackLivesMatter. It was the fist that many of us stick up when we are trying to make a statement.
When we are trying to push for equality. When we are telling the world that Black Lives Do In Fact Matter!
I went home and looked over the pictures that Danni took and the one with my fist planted in the air was the perfect photo to post on Instagram and Facebook. I added a caption as well about us as a whole making so many strides towards equality but taking so many steps back simultaneously with the whole racial divide happening all over the world.
I posted it and for the most part a lot of different races were feeling the picture and throwing their fist emojis up. I had a few haters that I had to delete the comments of and block since they wanted to troll my page.
The next day, a popular body positive page reposted the picture with the original caption. It got a lot of hits. Lots of supportive people said that we needed to do better as a country and they were in full support of the message. Then one troll replied: “Blue Lives Matter…”
After that all the internet trolls flooded in with comments like what about Black on Black crime? And someone even said, “White Lives Matter!”
Then people started arguing under the photo. How does one photo of an African-American Muslim blogger standing behind a Black Lives Matter wall start all this ruckus?
Why are people so turned off my support of #BlackLivesMatter? How many times do people have to say that this movement has nothing to do with Black supremacy?
Listen…in case you didn’t get the memo, it has nothing to do with us being better than anyone or being wronged more than another race. We are dealing with the issues at hand. Period. And if someone standing up for themselves or for humanity bothers you, then you need to check yourself, and not some hashtag or movement!
EVERYONE deserves freedom of speech. Freedom to walk the streets without being harassed by a cop. EVERYONE deserves to live life that isn’t in constant danger. EVERYONE deserves to be free.
I am Black. I am a woman. I am a Muslim. I am a triple minority. So I get it. Trust me. I have been picked over and belittled and mistreated because one or all three of the above. A lot of us have.
What I want for you, the reader, to get from this piece is that every movement isn’t a personal attack on your culture or religion. It isn’t an attack on cops or White people. It is a movement like all others to boost awareness, to help make a change in an unequal system, and to hopefully one day live in harmony amongst one another.
To read more of Leah V’s writings, visit www.beautyandthemuse.net