#BlackLivesMatter: White privilege, why it’s not ‘all lives matter’, and other things you need to know

A couple of weeks ago we compiled a list of resources that you could use to assist the Black Lives Matter movement, even if you’re unable to aid financially. Since then, we’ve come across more fantastic videos and posts to explain some key points you need to understand if, like us, you’re trying to educate yourself and become better allies.

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Emmanuel Acho’s ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’ series

Why are people rioting?

We have seen people – the media, the public – criticise Black people for rioting during the protests over the last few months. First of all, many protests have been peaceful until police arrived at the scene. Secondly, Emmanuel explains it like this – Black people have been quietly and peacefully protesting their oppression for years. It hasn’t changed a thing. “We’re seeing rioting because Black people, and hurt people are trying to get the attention of the oppressor.”

Think of it like this – you’re riding your bike and you’re about to hit a pedestrian. You ring your bell. They don’t move. You politely say, “On your left.” They still don’t move. So you say it a little louder. Nothing. There is nowhere for you to swerve. So you have to yell. You have to get angry. You have to make your voice heard. 

What is White privilege?

Black people were held back for hundreds of years and so if in the late 1960’s we say ‘ok Black people, you can go now’ – that’s not a fair race…So White privilege is having a head start due to hundreds and hundreds of years of systematic and systemic racism, it’s having a head start intrinsically built into your life. It’s not saying your life hasn’t been hard, but what it’s saying is that your skin colour hasn’t contributed to the difficulty in your life.

Emmanuel continues his series with this video talking about implicit bias, why we can’t say it’s ‘all lives matter’ and what ‘equality’ means and why it’s so difficult to achieve. In this video, he talks about how to have conversations with your kids about race and colour. We’d strongly recommend watching all three videos – it’s not the responsibility of Black people like Emmanuel to educate us, so we’re incredibly thankful that these videos exist and they’ve shown us that even as people of colour, there is still so much we have to learn.
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What’s wrong with saying ‘all lives matter’?

We think Billie Elish’s instagram post, and the graphic below both explain it exceptionally well, and in very simple terms.

View this post on Instagram

#justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatter

A post shared by BILLIE EILISH (@billieeilish) on

images

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Understanding what it means to be racist

In this video, Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility (Ngoc: I just finished reading it, and would  15/10 recommend)discusses common misconceptions that people have about racists:

  1. Racists are individuals, not a system
  2. A racist person consciously does not like people based on race
  3. A racist person intentionally seeks to be mean to people of colour

She also talks about the good/bad binary – that is, people assume that to be a racist, you have to be a bad person. Therefore, if you are a ‘good person’, you cannot be racist. This gross misunderstanding of what the word ‘racism’ means, and what being racist actually involves, allows people to absolve themselves from blame when a person of colour accuses them of having done or said something racist.

It seems to be virtually impossible based on that definition for the average White person to look deeply at their socialisation, to look at the inevitability of internalisng racist biases, developing racist patterns, and having racist investments in the system of racism – which is pretty comfortable for us and serves us really well.

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And finally, if you’re confused by why people are saying ACAB

This TikTok (of all things), has probably been the best thing we’ve found to explain why saying ‘but not all cops are bad’ is not helpful.

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Thank you all for reading – although our blog is primarily about reading, we will continue to share resources as we come across them, and to post content that encourages robust discussions about racism and how we can all work to become better allies for Black people around the world.

With love,

nishandngoc

19 thoughts on “#BlackLivesMatter: White privilege, why it’s not ‘all lives matter’, and other things you need to know

    1. Awww thank you for reading, Olivia!! We’re still trying to educate ourselves as well & there are so many amazing resources out there that it can be kind of overwhelming sometimes, so we’ve just collated the easiest to understand ones & we’ll try & continue to share what we find!

      💛 Ngoc

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a fantastic analogy & I find it really useful when explaining the issue to people IRL…although the fact that I have to explain it at all kills me 😅

      💛 Ngoc

      Like

    1. His videos are fantastic & they simplify some really important issues. I honestly think they should play his videos on the TV/radio instead of the rubbish ads we get – think how many people have probably never had things explained to them in this way before???

      Thanks for reading, Emer!!

      💛 Ngoc

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You two girls are seriously bringing so much awareness and positivity. YOU are amazing allies – thank you so much for following up your resources post by educating the masses.

    I’m not going to get too political but I’ve been seeing “bUt aLL LiVeS MaTtEr” a lot lately and it’s honestly so frustrating. I can’t help but feel like this attitude takes away from the movement and distracts from the real issues. No one’s saying that not all lives matter but it’s the oppressed lives of the black community, the first nations and indigenous people who need our help right now.

    Thank you for continuously being a bright spark in the community! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Educating ourselves is honestly a lifelong journey & there’s no point keeping great resources to yourself! ☺️ We’re glad you liked this post!

      DJKFOAIEJFOIEJ THE ALL LIVES MATTER THING I JUST CANNOT. I just feel like banging my head on the wall sometimes – how can you not see that that’s not what’s important right now?!

      Thank YOU for being a bright spark in *our* lives, Alexandra – it’s friends like you that make us want to keep posting!!

      💛 Your saltmate, Ngoc

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post! Thanks for shedding more light, for sharing more resources and using your platform to be better allies. I am so sick and tired of people who say “all lives matter” and despite repeatedly trying to educate them, sharing these comics, sharing these videos, they STILL don’t get it and STILL insist that “all lives matter”. And it’s just… SO frustrating. Ooh, I’m gonna cut myself off before I go off on a rant 😂 but I just wanted to share my appreciation of this post! 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You really can’t argue with some people – it’s like talking to a brick wall sometimes & it’s so frustrating. But we’re all trying our best & I think that’s all we can ask of ourselves! Thank you so much for reading!!

      💛 Ngoc

      Like

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