A letter to future Allies,
With recent events (that are nothing new to many people's lived experiences) we wanted to speak to something both HERSTORY and BLACKLIVESMATTER movement find the hardest to come by yet we are hopeful of acquiring: allies.
👉🏽To be an "ally" [Al•Eye]
simply means you meet us where we are; even if you may not have first hand experience, you "show up" in whatever capacity of support. 👈🏽
*Don't be too proud for support!*
Listen, we a ALL need it....
Often times we hear "...until It happens to you, or until you walk in my shoes you'll never know what It feels like."
The problem with this sentiment is that We close off oppurtunities for those who May not ever know your pain be there to support you through It"
I closed myself off from a lot Of relationships (family, potential friends, And romantic interests because our diferencie would be too much.
I knew I was More sensitive to things...my experiences shaped a lot Of my outlook in my Daily life. Being a rape survivor I looked at my world differently including the media I consumed that escalated my anxiety on subjects like sex and intimacy by abusing it in forms of hypersexuality or women and poor representation of women of color.
But back to our future support systems:
Just because you haven't shared in personal experiences of sexual assault or harassment, just because you haven't been discriminated against because of your appearance and skin color, doesn't mean you have to choose to ignore the suffering of others.
Imagine walking on the sidewalk and across from you is a park. You are jamming out to your favorite song, summer breeze is just right, and life is good. Then all of sudden you
Hear the shrill cry of a child who not long ago fell hard to the ground.
You don't know this child, even if you don't know that child's name, or what their favorite color, game or toy is shouldn't be deciding factors in you extending the offer of "help" or at the very least prompt you to ask "are you okay, is there anything I can do.."
Involving yourself in someone else's painful experience involves nothing more than saying "I'm here, even if I couldn't be "there" when that tragedy, that harassment, that discrimination or pain occurred."
We as black brother's and sister, we as rape survivors or those prone to being assaulted are the fallen child who has been tripped up by a system of authority, a culture that has failed us. We are not asking for your criticism; you're first instinct shouldn't be to tend to the monkey bars (or system) that were involved with "the fall". Tend to US. The ones in pain. Whatever we need in that moment and moments after.
I get it, you were minding your own business, you were having a good day. We want good days too. We want the oppurtunity to keep walking no matter how many times we are subject to fall.
So SHOW UP for us. Show up for those who can't vocalize their pain or be able to explain fully the pain we share. We don't want you to have to relive what we survived. We want you to understand from human to human that we were all just children once, we have all cries before, hurt before, we are asking to be here in this next phase: of healing, of helping; and of changing to be better.
We say all of this to say that just because you haven't suffered the way I suffered; just because you haven't felt my pain doesn't mean we can't be here for each other (in whatever capacity)
Rape survivors like ourselves can stand next to our Black brothers and sisters, who are hurting...why? Because although their hashtag doesn't match ours, we share the same struggle for justice.
We may not have a definite solution; but we'll meet you in solidarity regardless of creed, sexual orientation, race...your human, and you deserve to be heard, and supported.
God bless you!
With love and solidarity
HERSTORY x BLACKLIVESMATTER ✊🏿✊🏼✊🏾✊🏻✊🏽
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