Ignorance is Misery

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So this past weekend I logged into my Facebook account and a video popped up on my feed titled Say “No” to Fat Acceptance. I watched the entire video, looking for the “punch line,” but there never was one. The video depicted an “overweight” man on an operating table and then flashed back to his life growing up. It showed him eating fast food, his mom “enabling” his bad habits, and him not exercising.

As someone that has struggled with her weight for her entire life, this video hit really close to home. I was instantly smacked upside the head with the shame this video was promoting. I reached out to the person that shared the video and tried to gain some understanding.

Was their intention to truly say “fat” is wrong? Was their intention to really say that society is accepting of “fat”? 

After the conversation, I was baffled by the scenario that I was in. I had never been hit with such dense opposition to something as unimportant as weight.

A few days later I was on my apple calendar (which, I am so proud of apple for recognizing this celebratory day) and saw the event “Juneteenth”. I have to be honest, I was super confused. After asking a few people, I finally learned that Juneteenth is a celebration of the freedom & release of the African American people back in 1865. This is their July 4th. Their day of freedom.

I, again, was stunned. I had no idea and instantly felt tremendously embarrassed and saddened that I didn’t know about such a momentous day.

As I processed my new learning, I recognized the similarities in these two scenarios.

Ignorance.

Meaning, the lack of knowledge or information. Or, being clueless. Or, putting your foot in your mouth (sometimes majorly) because you simply do not know better.

Ignorance sucks.

If I am being completely honest, the experience of the fat-hate video was one, out of maybe five, experiences I have had with total ignorance. It really hurt knowing that someone hated me so badly for something as unimportant as my weight. It really hurt knowing that someone truly thought I was wrong for my body. And then here I was, living and not knowing about such a momentous day as Juneteenth.

BARELY got a taste of what it is like to be face with ignorance. But there are all kinds of people that are faced with ignorance every day.

In regards to Juneteenth…I am lucky enough to have some friends that are teaching me. about the realities of being African American today. They are telling me the ways that they have to be humble, honor, and fight to be the people they are today. They tell me about their real and raw history (not the nicely framed history within the books I used to read at school). They tell me about what it is like to be an African American in society today: the extra conversations required, the many injustices they still face, and they correct my ignorances. I feel tremendously blessed to be extended the amount of grace they give me.

As someone that is eager to fix her mistakes, I am amazed to face people that are not.

I wanted to write this post to challenge each of you, lovely readers, to face your ignorances. Whatever it might be (sexuality, religion, race, weight, disabilities, gender, etc) get informed. Learn more (even if its hard)! Make mistakes (even if it hurts)! But always keep in mind that your little world of experiences are not all that is out there.

As much as it stings, it is always beautiful to be humbled.

What areas of life/this world are you learning about these days? Let me know in the comments!!

XO,

M

Black Panther (Guest Post: Ra Mcbride)

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Can you believe that March is almost done?! 2018 is flying by. March has been such an interesting month. A big part of my job involved working for a school program. So, our graduation is quickly approaching and so things around work quite a bit busy. But, things are going well (but I am sure that a deeper update will be headed our way soon!)

Anyways, this week I have another special gift for my beloved readers! This week, I have a guest post for you by a powerful man. Have you ever met someone that was just made for the spotlight? Like, they were just created to be seen and actually have the capabilities to be seen by the world? That is this man.

Ra Mcbride.D985342F-3038-48B2-9E04-A7D9BA7B4E44

I had to narrow it down to describe Ra with one would it would be overcomer. He has fought to overcome the things that he has been faced with in life. One day, I will ask him to write a post about his story but today, I asked him to write a commentary on the newest movie Black Panther.

When I watched this movie I was amazed! I was absolutely shocked at the radical statements that this movie was making. Being a white woman in 2018, I felt like I only scratched the surface of understanding the severity of this movie. Ra and I both have seen this movie multiple times. I, have recognized this being one of those cultural momentous moments. While Ra, has recognized this being a moment of understanding and acceptance of his race, culture, and his future.

Let this post challenge you, regardless of your race. Fight to change your perspective. Fight to change societies perspective. Acceptance needs to happen to an even greater degree.

Thanks for checking out this blog post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Ps: Have you seen Black Panther? Go see it.

XO

M

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Black Panther is a must see. It easily transcended being “a good black” movie, or “a good superhero” movie.

This film was a cultural statement.

I personally think some of the points hit were not even intentional. I think it was just art evolving into something more, the way good art tends to do.

See this movie. And if you’re black, really see this movie.Why it it a must see for BLACK people? All around, films that represent us well, are few. This movie has an all star, all black, leading cast and they did an amazing job. I feel they touch on the overall social issue of oppression of the black community, without making the movie a political statement itself.

To watch a film where the black nation was the royalty, creatives, innovators, strategists, and were credited as such, is something black people need to see.

To see these very dark skinned people that are beautiful and natural, without them having to change anything about themselves (like their hair, attire, or speech) in order to fit a culture dominated by a white perspective, was affirming and soooo empowering. They executed all this without demeaning anyone else’s culture. This movie has the capacity to push my people to have conversation (and execution) of greater self expectation, value, and unity with all people.

 

Now to be clear to my lovely white family,

Often when pro-black media/culture is released people tend to think it’s instantly AGAINST something else (namely, white media/culture). While, yes, sometimes that is the case, that cannot be a blanket expectation for black art. I personally think it stems from fear of either, “changing history” or “seeming racist” and that’s not the intention.

The celebration of one thing doesn’t have to mean the persecution of another.

We can ALL win.

The way to respond to celebration is celebration.

If you don’t understand, ask questions. In the words of T’Challa, “The wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” I feel like the Unity conversation is a WHOLE other topic, but if we can peacefully and loving dialogue, we can move forward together.

Wakanda Forever,

Ra

A New Day

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For now, I want my main posting day to be Wednesdays. My thought behind this is that I feel like Wednesday’s could use some more lovin’ and because it seems like everyone needs a pick-me-up on Wednesdays.  But, the idea of being confined to just posting once a week sounds far too restrictive. So, be prepared for weekly Wednesday posts but also, some weeks you might get a little extra lucky and hear from me twice in one week.

I am sure most of you, if not all, have seen the wave of responses to Oprah Winfrey’s 2018 Golden Globe speech or the #TimesUp hashtags. (Warning: this post is about that, too!) She became the first African American woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Award. During her acceptance speech she mentioned racial injustice, freedom of speech, sexual harassment, and the women that have fought for their lives & rights. I have listened to Oprah’s speech multiple times and each time I am moved to tears. Her eloquent, yet simple, word choices mixed with the depth within her voice expresses the intensity of her messages. (Does anyone else want Oprah to read them bedtime stories?! or is that just me….)

I do not know what it is like to be an African American, or to experience such an impactful moment for my race, but I can recognize this as one of those moments. I am moved by the honor it is to witness one of these moments.

More than this being a speech that has racial impact, this speech (and the attire color of the Golden Globes) has major gender equality impact. Everyone in attendance decided to wear black to support the #TimesUp hashtag. The black attire was to draw attention to the gender inequality and sexism that this world is, and has, experienced.

I recognize that I haven’t given either of these topics (race, or gender equality) the time they deserved. I don’t mention these deep topics to make light of them,  but to shine light on what was talked about. But also, I want to point out the fact that I am a privileged white woman. I know that because of that fact I can never know the experiences of someone that is not like me.

But, I can recognize when I see a moment that changes the course of history.

This speech created a wave that will, hopefully, change the current way of doing things. I cannot listen to this speech without feeling the impact of the women, people, and leaders that have walked before me. I cannot listen to this speech without feeling a change within my own heart. I cannot listen to this speech without an overwhelming sense of pride in being a woman.

Oprah said that “a new day is on the horizon” and I am deciding to walk within that new day. I am believing for racial equality. I am believing for gender equality. I am believing for a better tomorrow. So, I urge you to rise up and walk within the light of this new day.

This post isn’t my commentary on the topics she mentioned, but it is my response to this wave and new day. I could not let this moment pass without responding. I refuse to look back at this moment and have not responded.

Have you watched her speech? How are you going to respond to this moment? Let me know in the comments!

XO

M