My Heart is Heavy | #blacklivesmatter
My heart is heavy. If you follow me on my personal social channels, you’ve likely seen my vocal thoughts about the situation at hand. For the foreseeable future, we will donate 100% of profits to the memorial funds of our lost brothers & sisters, Reclaim the Block, Campaign Zero and Al Maauun. Rella Beauty is not a big brand with enough resources to necessarily afford this. The fact of the matter is, we can’t afford it and I, as a business owner, am okay with that. I started this brand with the intention of leaving the world a better place and if that means taking a hit as a brand to do what’s right, to put our money where our mouth is, I’m good with that. There are babies, children & people in my own circle who are directly affected by the systemic racism that exists in our world. I’m not good with that.
Yesterday, I shared a post on my personal Instagram where I let it flow from the heart:
“What I’m thinking & feeling right now is not isolated. I’ve been in the rabbit hole of watching videos, reading Twitter threads, seeing both sides of the looting, the list goes on. Today, the culmination of things fully got to me. I feel a sense of guilt & privilege for the bubble I live in. There is also a sense of uselessness.
These tragedies (and I mean, across the board, across the world) happen under our noses every single day and we know it. Certain incidents make it to major news cycles & those are the ones we all talk about and post, demanding justice. It pushes me emotionally when I think about the fact that every time, we are vocal for a week or two and then the news cycle changes and we go back to ‘regular’ programming. How do we prevent this from happening? How do we actually drive change?
It starts with us, right? We have to continue the diligence we’re showing now, on a regular basis. I myself, need to hold myself accountable to this. While we want and need to hold our leaders, people with public platforms and law enforcement accountable, we need to hold ourselves accountable too.
This week has included disagreements and uncomfortable conversations with myself and people I love. We get on the phone, conversations being as normal, we ask regular things like ‘what are you up to’ and ‘how are you?’ I’ve answered those questions honestly and that’s led to some awkward, but necessary conversations.
As human beings, our voices are real estate. how are we using that real estate right now? Is it posting a quote, reshaping something from a brand or influencer and then going back to your regularly scheduled content that literally has NO impact or use right now? That’s not helpful. That takes us exactly back to what happens every time - the news cycle dies and normalcy ensues. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. This is systemic racism and it doesn’t stop when we’re all done resharing and reposting.
That’s the part I can’t deal with, the part that makes me feel like a useless human. I need to do more, we all need to do more. keep this conversation at the forefront of what you’re doing, call people out, call yourself out, don’t stop after the news cycle changes topics, please. I know I'm rambling, but I worry that our societal habits of getting outraged for a moment and then retreating will never stop unless we all hold each other accountable and without fear of offending someone, getting into a spat, etc. If someone is calling you out, they don’t like you less, it’s not about you being a bad person, it’s about the hundreds of teeny tiny steps we all need to take towards ending systemic racism and injustice, everywhere.”