Turning my anxiety into action...
If you told me last year that I was going to be a part of a documentary this big I wouldn’t have believed you. I was on my own personal journey of building the courage to messaging my friends on the topic of racism and how I've been somewhat a part of that hate since starting college. But how do you address that issue without making another person feel uncomfortable or sad even? It’s not that I brought harm or hate to anyone but I was witnessing it in secret. Witnessing people openly say disgusting things and just sitting in silence or laughing awkwardly because I didn’t want to ruin THEIR night out or be the ‘Debbie downer’. I kept telling myself ‘no one here is black, so they won't know’ or I’d think ‘omg would they say that if so and so was here?’ but that still built up and made me feel guilty. Rightfully so… I never called it out and it’s been a burden since the second it first happened. Just like Sandrine and Cathy I pushed it to one side.
When BLM hit Ireland, I finally put my anxiety and shame into anger. I was angry at myself and angry at the world. I couldn’t not message my friends about what’s happening. So individually I sent a message to them apologizing for my part in staying quiet during certain moments. I stopped ignoring racism and started acting to be better. I’m reading books, Listening to podcasts, posting on social media to learn and educate. I’ve helped the girls make this incredible documentary, but I'm not done! Honestly I don’t think I can ever make up for those times, but I sure will try.
One post that stood out to me during this time is:
“‘Agree to disagree‘ is reserved for things like ‘I don’t like coffee’. NOT RACISM, HOMOPHOBIA, AND SEXISM. NOT HUMAN RIGHTS. NOT BASIC COMMON DECENCY. If I unfriend you during this, it IS personal. We do not have a difference of opinion. We have a difference in MORALITY.”
Educate yourself, educate others and call out racism