#BlackLivesMatter…even to bloggers.

Photo credit: haggadot.com

Let me first apologise if what I’m about to write makes no sense whatsoever; I’ve never been the most eloquent when it comes to writing and I’m very ill at the moment! =/

If you follow me on Twitteryou probably would have seen me tweet an email that I received from a so-called “reader” of my blog yesterday. You guys are all probably aware of the devastating news that recently took place in Charleston, South Carolina this week, and the email I received was in response to my tweets regarding the heinous, racist and senseless killings:

Screenshot 2015-06-20 09.13.03

The email above reeks of undiluted bullshit, self-entitlement and privilege, however what I wanted to highlight today is the issue of social justice/issues and blogging. I have always been someone who’s never been shy to discuss things that need to be discussed and debated and the fact that I am a beauty and style blogger makes absolutely no difference to how I project my thoughts and feelings on issues that happen on the outside.

 

As bloggers, we have this amazing platform to talk about and promote anything we want, whether it be clothes, music, gadgets or makeup. When you have a following like that, I think it’s incredibly important to also talk about issues that you feel are close to your heart, or issues that you feel are important to spread the word as much as possible. This INCLUDES race. I’ve been someone who has always spoken out about racial inequality in all sectors, whether it be regarding police brutality, employment, or the lack of ethnic diversity within blogging and modelling. As the story broke this week regarding the Charleston massacre, I was saddened when I noticed that a lot of bloggers were noticeably quiet, as opposed to tweeting like mad if the subject were on Feminism, sexism, non-white terrrorism or weight discrimination. I think a lot of people feel like a) this isn’t their problem and b) they don’t want to appear too socially aware for fear brands may stop working with them. This is absolute bullshit and I’m sick and tired of it.

I am more than just blogging about the hottest new lipstick or fashion designer in town. I am a woman. A black woman, whose people are being (and have been) senselessly killed, attacked, judged, bullied and harassed and I’ll be damned if I am ever going to not voice my frustration over this because of how I feel it would affect my blog and brand. Now I don’t know about the type of brands others work with, but the brands and companies I work with know that I am a passionate person who is not scared to stand up in the causes I believe in. The whole point of having a blog is to talk and have an opinion on whatever I want, no? Racial discrimination is important to me and should be important to everyone. People don’t seem to have a problem when I’m talking about body confidence and positivity, however when race is thrown into the mix, suddenly it’s controversial and uncomfortable? Nine people have just lost their lives, yet YOU’RE uncomfortable??

Look…

I refuse to be silent about the things that matter.

I refuse to simply “stay in my lane” whatever that means.

I refuse to tolerate racism.

I refuse to avoid talking about the issues that matter because it does not fit in with your comfort level.

I refuse to prioritise your privileged feelings over thousands of black lives.

 

I refuse to indulge and be apart of this fake ‘blog’ culture where everything is rainbows and unicorns and ‘oh let’s only talk about issues that are relevant to me and my race’.

I refuse to be silenced by anyone. And I implore more of you to to feel this way, because the silence by some is deafening right now.

I totally did not expect the email to blow up as it did, however I am happy as it gives us, bloggers as well as non-bloggers, a chance and an avenue to talk about issues such as this. It has highlighted the bigoted, racist, white privilege filled opinions shared by millions of people all over the world. It gives us a chance to debate and air our frustration, and pain, but most importantly, it gives us an opportunity to learn. 

 

But..ya’know. I’m just a blogger. What do I know, right?

13 comments so far.
  • I agree with every word, and you write eloquently even when ill and angry.

    This is so important, it doesn’t take away from your brand to care about and get angry about things that are this massive and terrifying. And to be honest, any brand that won’t work with you because you’ve talked about how fucking horrific it is that racially motivated murders and racism still exist (and still exist on such a large scale) is a brand it’s probably best to avoid anyway!

    xxx

  • I can’t believe the naivety and entitlement of that email. People forget you are a human being and not a brand.
    As you say, any brand that avoids you because you speak about your reality as a black woman are not brands worth working with.
    As for the sickeningly privileged horseshit coming from the email sender, if they feel uncomfortable hearing about then imagine living it. No loss whatsoever.

  • Kaiesha Ceryn Page

    This is such a good post!!

    Ignorance is so dangerous!!

    I write a blog that is fashion, beauty and opinion based because I’m a human being and I have a number of interests or things I care about. Sometimes something gets you angry, upset or determined and you HAVE to stand against it.

    We are living in a world that is still institutionally racist. The media, the police, the politics, everywhere and it’s only by talking about it, by challenging it and standing up against it that we win.

    ” As a white person”, I am made to feel uncomfortable by what I can see happening around me. I am ashamed of the privilege that my skin affords me. It’s really hard to believe that racism still prevails but easy to see that it does.

    At the end of the day this comes down to one key issue. What is right and what is wrong. If no one wrote about it, how would we ever change it!

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (let’s change this to people) to do nothing.”

  • Severina Ware

    First, I commend you for writing such a poignant post in response to this heinous email your received.

    She is no reader that you would ever want since she generalized herself when she made the reference to you and your people. For someone to send such a hateful email at a time that we all need to understand the severity of this situation, she needs to take several seats.

    Thank you for writing this, because it needed to be heard!

  • www.justmeleah.co.uk

    Well said Stephanie. That email made me fume with it’s entitledness. Please DON’T ‘stay in your lane’ whatever the hell that bullshit oppressive phrase even means. Please DO continue to educate white people who may not know how awful the systemic abuse of black people all over the world is……and this comes from a white person who’s educating myself about the horrors black people face and I’m still learning. I probably don’t even know the half of it. It disgusts me and it SHOULD disgust all white people, frankly. I’m willing to be uncomfortable, I’m willing to learn. I can only hope the author of that email stops her WHAT ABOUT MY WHITE FEELS?! claptrap and realises it’s not about her feelings. It’s about SO MANY black lives snuffed out like candles in a breeze. Damn, white people should care as much about black lives as the author of that email cares about her feelings.

  • Bravo! Thanks for writing this!

  • Bravo from me too. Ohh and by the way: You have gained a reader!

  • Amazing piece & beautifully written! And who needs a reader like that entitled so-and-so anyway?

    C xx
    http://curvygirlthin.blogspot.co.uk

  • Coco

    What a disgusting email! Basically, “Don’t make me face or think about things that don’t personally affect me but make me uncomfortable because they force me to think about the injustices of the world and force me to acknowledge my own privilege.” Gross, gross, very gross! People like that person think that they aren’t doing anything “wrong” because they aren’t “actively” being hateful but that attitude of theirs is so damaging. Also trying to tell you what you “should” be writing about…. mess. Mess all around.

  • Jessica

    I’m glad you shared this. Well done.

    http://www.lookwhatigot.co.uk

  • kneelbeforetigers

    She sounds ignorant and basic… lose no sleep over this one.

  • I’ve struggled with this too in the past. My blog is lighthearted for the most part, and I rarely talk about controversial topics. However, this is a disgusting event that has left many people emotional and outraged — this is a topic that needs to be discussed. I commend you for not being afraid to stand up for what’s right. Being a bystander isn’t going to solve anything, and it’s amazing that bloggers are using their voice to draw attention to issues that matter!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  • blueberry_martini

    I read that email and I feel so enraged. I shouldnt have read it. I don’t know how to put up with such plebs in your inbox stephanie. This is Britain. I think I would go mad with rage. I applaud your discussion on the black-beauty sphere in the UK. There IS minimal representation. There IS lack of diversity. There IS ignornace and continued xenophobic ideals being spewed by the media and our own employers. I think out of all the uk black beauty bloggers on my newsfeed – shirley, pat, jj etc, none of them say anything about social issues – you are the only one I’ve seen. I know theyre obviously intelligent and refined women, but sometimes a lipstick post seems ingenuine and out of sync when there’s a recent tragedy. Kudos to you.