Solidarity [säləˈderədē]: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.
During these times of uncertainty, we have been united more than ever against the common enemy, which is COVID-19. We have started supporting each other in terms of supporting local businesses, social distancing, and wearing masks to protect ourselves and others.
2 weeks ago a very different tragedy occurred when George Floyd was unjustly murdered at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Since then, he has been arrested and charged with second degree murder.
However, the fight was not over and many across North America decided to come together in solidarity.
Although many riots and incidents of looting happened, which is an unfortunate consequence of such a peaceful protest, there are still important and beautiful messages to take away from this terrible incident.
All over social media, I have seen blank black squares and an increase of the hashtags #blacklivesmatter , #blackouttuesday and even a new movement called #amplifymelanatedvoices . I chose to participate in amplifying melanated voices, silencing my own voice and allowing the voices of the oppressed and suffering to be heard.
During this period of silence, which took place from June 1st - 7th, I have learned that in silence there is strength. Being an introvert has taught me that most often, it is more important to listen than it is to speak. During these times, it is important to be vocal about the issues that matter to us, but giving a voice to the people who experience it firsthand is so much more powerful.
This movement that trickled its way into social media, as well as many other aspects of our lives. For me, even in the wake of COVID-19, it has showed me that black people are still being judged by their skin color, regardless of if they did anything or not. Although there are many dying everyday at the hands of this virus, other controllable, human factors prevent people from living their lives.
This period of silence has made me listen more, and also to control the fact that I want to share my opinion on everything all the time. Yes, my voice and everyone's voice is important, but the most I could do is support and advocate for change. The rest is up to the systems in power.
Maybe this is a long blog post, but I wanted to speak about this. My blog has always been, and always will be, about living a better life. Why then would that not apply for all human beings? Being aware of what is happening is important, but listening is even more crucial.
We don't have to post to make a difference. In fact, standing together as a community in solidarity of the events that happened makes us strong. Our message is clear; we want change and we are more than willing to listen to the voices of those who have been treated unjustly.
So yes, my mission statement has always been to help others live a better life, and in order to do this we all need to start listening.