Dear Influencers, Can we talk?

Dear Influencers,

I love what I’ve seen this past week on Instagram.  I love that I see you standing up for what is right, and using your platform to raise issues that are important.  It has filled my heart with such hope.  However, right before I went to bed last night, I got a message from a follower on my Instagram account that hit me hard, and I want to share it with you.

These posts supporting the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement are great, but what is going to happen after a week on your page?  Will you return to business as usual? 

My initial gut reaction, was look, I’ve been doing this for years.  If you know me, I’ve dedicated my life for the past 13 years to social and economic justice.  It is my job, it is my life, and it is what I’ve instilled into my kids.  Ok, cool Bravo Deema.  But wait a minute, if I’ve been posting to my personal Facebook page, but not my growing Design/DIY account, what is that really saying?  Is that another version of myself that is silent? Why am I not using this platform, where I’m lucky enough to have a significant following, to share what I believe to my core?  And that was a hard, but necessary, question to ask.  I can be better.  I will be better.  And I hope you join me.

Look, I get it, Instagram is a place where people go to “escape.”  I know many of you will say that your followers come to you for inspiration and not to hear your political views.  But here’s the thing, this is not political.  Demanding that our black brothers and sisters are treated EQUALLY, is not political.  Demanding that black people shouldn’t be refused service at a restaurant because of the color of their skin is not political. Demanding that black people are paid the same as their white counterparts, is not political.  Demanding that black people aren’t disproportionately and unjustifiably sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit, is not political.  Demanding that they don’t get murdered in cold blood because of the color of their skin, is not political. BLACK LIVES MATTER.

So am I changing my account to an account dedicated to social and economic justice? No.  Is this still a place for me to share my design and DIY inspiration? Hell yes.  But am I going to start using my platform, and my voice in a way that would make my kids proud one day? Hell yes.  I don’t know what that will look like, and that’s something I really need to take time and reflect on.  But whatever it is, I hope that you join me and reflect on some of these tough questions.

And to that follower that sent me that late night message?  Thank you.  Thank you for calling me out, pushing me to do what I know is right, and to be a little more like you.

Love,

Deema

 

4 thoughts on “Dear Influencers, Can we talk?

  1. Your blog and Instagram has always been my favorite. You actually encouraged me to start my own, and for that I will always be thankful, but now I am thankful for more. Your complete transparency with your blog and Instagram over the past week is something you should be proud of. I agree 100% that none of this is political. These are basic rights that should be allowed to all. Thank you for using your voice to not only show me how not to paint, but to also push us all to be better because we all need to be. We need to show those around us what we stand for, show our children what we stand for. Show them that having a voice is something to be proud of. Continue kicking ass Deema.

    Like

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