As I’m sitting here reading the posts from other students in the class, I can’t help but be inspired and proud. Sometimes I get discouraged because it seems like no progress has been made in light of continued injustices and senseless acts of violence/hate. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s likely, or maybe even possible, to change the minds of people with such ingrained prejudice. However, I have hope because I see a generational shift in thinking. There will continue to be those who are raised to hate, to fear, to destroy, but I believe the majority of our generation understands the importance and the power of empathy, and I have faith that we will pass that on. Compared to a year ago, there are more conversations about what ‘race’ means in America and more awareness of trans people and issues.
I don’t know how we go about changing the dominant narrative, beyond continuing to call it into question and spreading awareness about its propagated untruths. I think social media offers an unprecedented ability to share experiences, ideas and awareness all over the world. We see this with all sorts of campaigns, like #BlackLivesMatter, which challenge the dominant narrative by claiming the importance and worth of Black lives. Even this blog could be stumbled upon haphazardly by someone in Kentucky and it could change their life, which I think is a pretty cool idea.
Porshai and I were talking about a conversation she had with her mom about the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Her mom said she didn’t see the point of the movement, she drew comparisons with the Civil Rights Movement and wanted there to be a clear purpose and goal. Porshai and I talked about how the struggle is different now because the racism has become more subtle and pernicious; we are no longer fighting the Jim Crow racism of the Civil Rights Era — that was 50 years ago and we still have all sorts of problems so it’s time to try something new.
I think that having conversations/discussions is really the most important thing, and that’s why I think it’s amazing that social media is letting us do this on a national, sometimes global, scale. This helps us spread awareness to the people who aren’t immediately familiar, and provides the language and hopefully resources/support for those oppressed. Another thing that gives me hope is that the nation’s demographics are rapidly shifting which will cause white people to cease being the majority, and thus we will no longer to able to ignore issues of race/intersectionality. This doesn’t mean that white people will stop running the country however, so the actual power may not shift. A revolution may be imminent, I just hope it isn’t violent.