The Hate U Give – White Privilege

Hi guys,

So, today’s post is…different. I’m very nervous to post it, but I feel as though it’s been a long time coming. This is a post about The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and white privilege.

Let me just put a little disclaimer at the beginning of this post to say that the reason I don’t speak (in-depth) about these types of things is because I don’t feel like I’m currently educated enough to do them justice, basically. I really like to make sure I’m educated enough in order to feel comfortable talking about a subject before I decide to speak on it – there’s no point me just basing everything off of what I ‘think’ I know and then having people read it and think….what?

I am passionate about a lot of things as you guys have probably already noticed and I continue to educate myself on them more and more everyday however, I’m still not quite at a point yet where I feel as though I’m educated enough to speak out on them properly by myself (I’m that girl in the background cheering everyone else on and supporting them, but I’m not quite ready to take the stand yet).

However, I have been reading a book lately which I mentioned in my book haul the other week, and that’s the Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’ve also been having discussions about racism with my friends recently, and (this is kind of off topic but stay with me) my brother said that animals were put here on Earth for us to eat them…and I just thought, how can humans be so big headed that we think these beautiful creatures were put on Earth solely for our benefit? We are no better than them, how dare we think that they were put here on Earth just to serve us. Because of these things I just thought you know what? Maybe I’m not fully comfortable to talk about it yet, but I’m going to try anyway – there’s no harm in me speaking out about it.

I was going to include this book in my monthly book review post, but it was way, way too important for that. I needed to make this book a topic for discussion all on its own.

This is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and the boost it gave me to write about something I’ve been wanting to say for a long time.

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So let’s get the obvious out of the way – I’m white. I am a straight, white female. My whole family is white and the area I live in doesn’t contain many people of colour (for example, the school I went to was 99% white with the exception of about 3 people). My current workplace as well – I can count on one hand the amount of people working here who are not white (for reference, my workplace has around 350 employees).

Shocking right?

Ever since I was born I have never judged somebody on the colour of their skin, in my eyes, everybody is equal. We are all the same, regardless of where we come from. I am not better than someone because I am white and it shakes me to the core the fact that some people in twenty fucking eighteen still believe that that is the case. In terms of people, I don’t see colour, whether you’re black, white, blue, orange, pink, – whatever. It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t even for a second ever cross my mind, because why would it? Who decided one was better than the other? It’s a sick and disgusting world we live in and like I said, I cannot believe it’s now 2018 and this is still happening, it absolutely blows my mind.

In terms of society and politics, I see colour. I see colour very clearly. I see the difference (obviously not through first hand experience) but I see the way people are treated based on the colour of their skin, I read about it, I see it all over the internet and it sickens me. It makes me feel helpless because I want to do something…but what? I support the movement and I join the movement of course – for example, #blacklivesmatter. But what can I do? I’m going to say this, but it makes me feel ashamed to be white. It makes me sick to see what the people before me have done, it makes me absolutely sick and infuriated because it’s disgusting. Who gave them the right? Who the fuck is still giving them the right in 2018 to treat people this way? It blows my mind. It absolutely blows my mind. I literally log onto the internet and sit there with my head in my hands because my brain cannot comprehend how sick you must be to believe that others are any less of a person because they’re not white or that they deserve to be treated differently, treated like animals. What the actual fuck must be wrong with you. Like I said, it blows my mind and I really don’t have the words to express it, words honestly fail me.

Let’s talk about police brutality. What the fuck is going on there America. What the fuck. This is the world we live in and nothing seems to be being done about it. I feel like grabbing everybody and shaking them and saying WAKE UP. EDUCATE YOURSELVES. DO MORE. WE MUST DO BETTER.

JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE WHITE AND IT DOESN’T AFFECT YOU DOESN’T MEAN YOU GET TO IGNORE IT.

Just because I live in England doesn’t mean I get to ignore the horrors going on in America. (I’m aware this is not the only country at fault, hell, my own is, but predominantly what I’m talking about is based in America so for now, I’m talking about that).

It’s the same with feminism and as Audre Lord once said, “am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” It’s the exact same thing. Just because you’re white and therefore unaffected, doesn’t mean you get to ignore it. Just because you don’t live in America and are not seeing first hand the things going on, doesn’t mean you get to pretend it’s not there.

It makes me sick that I am by default, automatically a part of it because I’m white. I get that privilege because of the colour of my skin and I don’t want it, but there’s nothing I can do about it and I have to remember that it’s not about trying to change things about myself (because this is absolutely not about me) but the key is we must continue to fight. We have to overwrite everything that has gone before and change it, and I will do that for as long as I possibly can.

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If a police officer pulls you over and you’re white, you may as well jump around for joy right? It seems as though us white people can get away with anything – if I was to get pulled over by a police officer I wouldn’t have to fear for my life. Black people however, move a muscle and are murdered in cold blood because “the officer felt threatened”. Bullshit. Fuck off. I am disgusted that these ‘officers’ (though I would love to give them a different title) are then not reprimanded because apparently their actions were completely justified. Black people are getting killed left right and centre for doing nothing wrong yet white people literally get away with murder with no consequences. How the hell does that work? These people of power are dangerous, so fucking dangerous. It terrifies me that these are the people in charge, these are the people we choose to put our trust into – Donald Trump is the president of America for fuck sake. How the fuck did that happen?

White girls and their cultural appropriation – excuse me? White girls who are completely ignorant to the struggles black women have had to go through and the hate they’ve been given for wearing their hair in braids, yet when a white girl does it it’s “super cool” and she’s praised for it?? Black girls are called ghetto for it and white girls are called creative and quirky?? Hello?? Am I missing something? It’s ignorance, pure ignorance and I’m sorry to those who are subject to that, because it’s inexcusable. Zac Efron recently posted a photo on Instagram showcasing his new dreadlocks, with the caption #justforfun – ……just for fun? Cultural appropriation, just for fun? Think of the platform he has, the audience he has. Now, I know he may have yolo tattooed on his hand, but surely he cannot be that stupid to be unaware of the stigma surrounding these hairstyles, so he would know the controversy and backlash he would receive over it, let alone the fact he made the caption as hashtag #justforfun. How about we become more like Chris Hemsworth and admit our cultural appropriation, and then do something about it?

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When I watch TV shows nowadays, I notice the amount of people that are predominantly white. Before, it wouldn’t raise a red flag for me because obviously, I’m surrounded by white people, I am a white person, I’m not part of the minority and I’ve never had to feel that way, so switching on the TV and seeing a bunch of white people never even made me bat an eyelid. Now, I’m completely aware of it – where is the representation?? Friends is one of my favourite TV shows yet when I watch it now I can’t help but wonder why there’s hardly any people of colour in it and if they are, they’re minor characters in the background. It became very obvious to me very fast that nowadays, media (TV / magazines / advertisements) will include people of colour for the sake of including them – because that way they know they can’t be branded as discriminatory. WHERE IS THE REAL REPRESENTATION?? Why are these people not being represented the way they deserve to be?? The way they should be?? I asked my friend – a black female, how she felt about this, and she said – “Basically, sometimes I feel like I’m hired because I’m black, not because of my work ethic or my qualifications. It’s like, hire me because I’m good at my job, not to fit your stats.”

There’s a show on TV at the moment called Love Island, which I’m sure a lot of you will have heard of. It’s one of my favourite shows don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with it however, we need to discuss the lack of representation. To put it very bluntly, there’s only one black girl on the show and none of the guys seem to be interested in her because surprise surprise, she’s not a white girl. There are no black men on the show either, just two mixed race, and the white girls are squealing and saying that their type of guy is “mixed race” like it’s a fashion accessory. One of the white girls actually said to one of the mixed race guys that she’d marry him because “he’d give her cute babies” – hello ?????????? You only care because of the aesthetics. Ok. Cool.

You don’t have to be outright racist, in order to be racist.

Reading The Hate U Give scared the crap out of me (in a good way, as in, it’s a massive wake up call) because even though I was already aware of the things happening, it makes it so much more real when you’re reading it in the form of a book from a character’s point of view, like you’re living it with them. It really engrained it into me and it made me understand the fact that me walking round as a white person gives me privilege whether I want it or not and as I already said, I don’t want it. It’s disgusting. The book is being turned into a film that comes out in October 2018 and the trailer made me cry because I sat there like wow, fucking yes. Fucking go for it. I cannot wait to see this movie, I am so excited.

Like real life, in many parts of the book (I’m going to include non-spoiler examples, don’t worry) a white police officer will start causing trouble with a black person for absolutely no reason at all. For example, in one chapter, there’s a police car patrolling a black neighbourhood, there are two black men on the sidewalk having a ‘debate’ shall we say, though it’s not heated nor aggressive. Suddenly, the patrol car pulls over (one officer is white and the other is black) and they begin to interrogate one of men, asking what he thinks he’s doing, why he’s causing trouble etc. Before you know it this man is being held down on the floor for absolutely no reason at all because he was never doing anything wrong, the man he was originally having the discussion with also stated he wasn’t causing trouble yet these officers went out of their way to reprimand this man. As you read the scene it’s goes from 0-100 really fast and it all happens so quickly you think to yourself, how the hell did this just go from two men having a debate to one of them being held down on the floor by an officer, essentially pleading for his life?

And then you think about the fact that even though this book is fiction because these people aren’t real. It isn’t fiction. This is real life, this is the world we live in.  This happens every single day and there’s no signs of it stopping anytime soon and I think, how did mankind create a world that is so, so ugly? How did mankind create a world full of so much hate? Discrimination? Are you proud of yourselves? Does it make you feel better believing that you have all of this power over others?

———-——————————
Emmett Till

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During the book, the author mentions the name Emmett Till which, I’m hoping a lot of you will have already heard of. I for one, had never heard of this name, and I want to understand why. When the name was brought up, I instantly put the book down and took to Google, and I was horrified by what I read. By what I saw.

Usually I would put a trigger warning here to say that I’m about to briefly tell you the story of Emmett Till and therefore if you don’t want to read distressing content, please skip down a few paragraphs. However, I’m not going to do that this time, because this story needs to be heard, if you aren’t already aware of it. We need to keep talking about it and we must never, ever forget it, we cannot simply allow ourselves to ignore it because it’s “too awful to think about” – this was real life. This is real life because it’s still happening today. Think about the people that had to go through this, this poor, innocent young boy. I cannot even imagine. I cannot. even. imagine.

If you don’t know about Emmett Till, he was a 14 year old black boy living in the 50s in Chiacago, Illinois, he was at a grocery store one day and was accused by a white woman – Carolyn Bryant, of wolf whistling at her and making her feel uncomfortable.

Carolyn Bryant was the owner of the grocery store along with her husband, Roy Bryant – they were a white couple. Carolyn was in the front of the store by herself one day when Emmett and his friends (who were all black) went in to buy sweets – the events of what happened inside are still disputed however, this is the general consensus of what was said by both parties.

Before the encounter it was reported that Emmett had a photograph with him of a class he attended at school, mixed with both black and white kids. He apparently bragged to his friends whom he was with at the time that the white people in the photograph were his friends. There was a photograph of a white girl that had came with his new wallet and he pointed to her and told his friends that this was his girlfriend. The friends then reportedly told Emmett to go and speak to Carolyn Bryant.

However, one of the friends that was with Emmett during this time – Emmett’s cousin, Simeon Wright, said that none of this was true. As quoted – “We didn’t dare him to go to the store — the white folk said that. They said that he had pictures of his white girlfriend. There were no pictures. They never talked to me. They never interviewed me.”

It was also reported that kids standing outside the store said Emmett may have wolf whistled at Carolyn Bryant – this was later commented on by his mother, who said that her son sometimes whistled in order to alleviate his stuttering as his speech was sometimes unclear and he had difficulty pronouncing “B” sounds. She had taught him to whistle softly to himself before pronouncing his words, and he may have done this to overcome problems asking for bubble gum.

Carolyn Bryant said that Emmett and his friends began flirting with her. Till apparently assaulted her by grabbing her hand and kept asking her out on a date, he followed her to the cash register telling her she needn’t be afraid of him and that he’d “been with white women before”.

In 2008, 53 years after the murder, Carolyn Bryant admitted that the allegations and testimonies that she made against Emmett Till physically and verbally assaulting her, were FALSE.

Decades after the murder – Simeon Wright also challenged the allegations made by Carolyn Bryant, as he had entered the store less than a minute after Emmett and saw no inappropriate behaviour or sexual conversation. Another anonymous source who was confirmed to have been in the store at the same time as the two boys, supported Simeon Wright’s account that Emmett had simply paid for his items and left the store with Wright – there was no encounter.

After Emmett and Simeon left the store, Carolyn Bryant went outside to retrieve a pistol from her car. When the two boys saw her doing this, they left immediately. It was acknowledged that Till whistled while Carolyn Bryant was retrieving the pistol from her car, though it is disputed and has never been confirmed whether Till was whistling at Bryant, or at a checkers game across the street.

Carolyn’s husband, Roy Bryant, was out of town during the time of this encounter, upon his return home and learning about what had happened, he aggressively questioned several young black men who entered the store. To cut a long story short, Roy Bryant joined forces with a black man named J.W. Washington, they kidnapped a black teenager who they thought was Emmett and took him to a witness to confirm whether or not they had the right person, the witness stated that the boy was not Emmett and therefore they had kidnapped the wrong person.

Roy Bryant later learned where Emmett was staying in Chicago and was overheard by several witnesses discussing with his half brother J.W. Millam how they were going to “take him from his house”.

Between 2-3am on August 28th, 1955, Roy Bryant, Carolyn Bryant and J.W. Milam drove to the house where Emmett was staying. Milam was armed with a pistol and demanded the owner of the house to take them to Emmet, they then marched him out to their truck and Carolyn Bryant confirmed that this was the boy who she’d had the encounter with.

Emmett Till was pistol whipped, knocked unconscious, beaten, shot and brutally murdered. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam said they only intended to kidnap and beat Till at first, but whilst doing so Till was throwing abuse at them, calling them bastards and saying that they were no better than he was. Due to this, they took him to a bridge and shot him, then tossed his body over into the river. He was found three days later by two boys who were fishing.

To quote – His head was very badly mutilated, he had been shot above the right ear, an eye was dislodged from the socket, there was evidence that he had been beaten on the back and the hips, and his body was weighted by a fan blade, which was fastened around his neck with barbed wire. He was nude, his face was unrecognizable due to trauma and having been submerged in water.”

No justice was ever brought forward for this case and no one was ever charged. Despite the whole thing being fabricated and made up by Carolyn Bryant, despite witnesses, scientific evidence and the fact that this murder blatantly happened – nothing. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam by their own admission even stated that they’d kidnapped Till, yet they were still not charged.

Because they were white, and Emmett Till was black.

It has been reported that since the incident, Carolyn Bryant has lived a long and private life.

Why?

Why was this woman allowed that privilege? That white privilege? Excuse me? Why was this woman not killed, given the death penalty or put in prison for what she did to this poor child, this poor innocent child. I’m not even going to begin to get started on the other two men. Don’t you think humanity is disgusting. This was in 1955, 63 years ago, and you know what? It doesn’t feel like society has moved on very much because these things are still happening.A black person commits a minor crime, if even a crime at all, gets sentenced to life in prison and is addressed in news articles as a thug, a gangster, a drug dealer – anything that will paint them in a bad light. A white person however commits murder and gets off scott free – is addressed in news articles as “a family man”, “a loving mother” and so fourth. A black person is showcased in news articles by their mugshot, but a white person is showcased with pictures of their family, enjoying holidays, looking innocent.

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Nia Wilson was murdered by a white man and this is the photograph news stations used for her. Anything to paint her in a bad light so that she didn’t look like the victim. SHE WAS THE VICTIM.

I am blown away by the fact that I have never been made aware of names such as Emmett Till – why? Why are we not teaching this in schools? Why are we not teaching this to young adults and children in history class? I don’t remember being taught black history during my time at school, in fact, I don’t even think I was taught about the bare minimum – of people such as Rosa Parks, I knew who she was through word of mouth, not through being taught about her in a classroom. Why is this? I was discussing this with my friend, who is black and went to a school in London that was racially diverse, and she told me they’d only ever spent 3 days on black history. 3 days. All of this history, all of these incredibly important things that have taken place and need to be spoken about, and all they were given was 3 days to be heard. All of these lives, this history, crammed into 3 days. That is not enough. It is not enough and it never has been, and that is what we need to change.

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This post is me, as a white person, telling other white people that we need to do better. This is for you. Say their fucking names, join the movement, realise your privilege, use your position of power to make a difference. Educate yourselves. Remember who these people are and let the world know you will fight for them. Just because it doesn’t affect you, doesn’t mean you get to ignore it. We are all equal here, this world is just as much yours as it is theirs, so you better start paying attention.

Emmett Till
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Sandra Bland
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Nia Wilson

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Eric Garner

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Tamir Rice

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Philando Castile

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Freddie Gray
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Stephen Lawrence
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Say their names. Say their names. Say their names.

If there is anything in this post you are offended by / confused by / think could have been worded better / differently please tell me. I make this post out of love and acceptance and I was very nervous to post it because like I said at the beginning, I don’t feel like I’m ready to take the stand yet, I don’t feel like I’m in a position to do so and I’m still learning how to advocate for this in the best, most helpful way that I can. I am absolutely in no way trying to speak on behalf of people of colour, I have absolutely no right to do so and never would, I will never understand what it’s like and would never try to undermine someone by doing so, so please know this was out of love, light and acceptance. Please feel free to give me feedback on how this was received and also let me know your own opinions – this is a really important topic to discuss and I’d love to know what you think.

All my love,

Chloe .xx

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A hairbrush is not a gun.

To purchase The Hate U Give – click here. 

30 thoughts on “The Hate U Give – White Privilege

  1. beforetheclockstrikes12 says:

    Hey Chloe. Wow. I owe you an apology because I am only reading this post now as it was on your favorite blog posts of 2018, and I only started following you after this. This post. Wow. Thank you so much for writing this. I am a straight, black, African young adult, and I am so glad you posted this. Although I am not American, discrimination is still pertinent around me. A lot of people, especially Africans, have a lot of opinions about America as a country, but we as black Africans are appalled at the amount of bigotry and racism in America. It has gotten to the point where unfortunately when we see another person of color has been unjustifiably killed in America, we just look at each other with a look of disappointment, but not a look of shock, horror or surprise.

    The world honestly needs more people like you. I am so glad you picked up this book, and I am even more overjoyed that you put it down to research someone like Emmett Till. I was introduced to him through Hip-Hop lyrics. Side note: I see some white people (both young and old) dismiss Hip-Hop and Rap because they see it as noise and just about people talking about how much money they have. Don’t get me wrong, everybody has their own tastes. If something is not for you, it genuinely isn’t for you. However, Hip-Hop started as people fed up with how they were being treated by the system and how they were being oppressed, and they saw it as a way to speak out and make their voices heard. The amount of history I have learn from Rap songs is startling. I have learnt some things that are true and aren’t even in history books, and I am a history student!

    Names like Emmett Till and Amadou Diallo show that police brutality against blacks isn’t a new thing. It has being going on for years, but now blacks in America (and all around the world) are no longer oppressed to the point where we can’t speak up for ourselves. I just hope that one day I will be able to raise my children in a world where they won’t have to question why they can’t go to certain places because their lives may be in danger just because of their skin color. Sorry for the long post, lol, but as the year winds down, I just want to say thank you Chloe. I started my blog earlier this year and have been going through quite a lot, but your posts and awesome personality have helped me through. You are an inspiration to me, and I am so glad I found your blog. Have a great Christmas and an awesome new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Wooooow this comment, I don’t know what to say !! THANK YOU. Absolutely no apologies needed !! Thank you so much for accepting / supporting what I said, like I said in my other post I was so nervous to post this because I’m speaking from a different point of view and I really wanted to make sure I hit every nail on the head and was as educated as I could be when writing this, so to know that people such as yourself are happy with it means so much. Completely agree with you on the hiphop front !! Took the words right out of my mouth – there are some areas of it that brag about money, cars etc. but like you said, it originally came about because of minorities wanting their voices heard and I’m appreciative for the artists that still continue to use it in such a way, which is why I love certain hiphop & rap artists so much because they produce lyrical art and I love getting lost in it and discovering / learning things I didn’t know before. I too hope that one day I can raise my children in a world where everyone is equal and there’s no prejudice, oppressio, racism etc. because we’re all the same and well, what a wonderful world that would be. They say be the change you want to see in the world and therefore it always has to start with yourself and I’m so appreciative that this blog allows me to do that, I’m so thankful for people like you and if you ever need anyone to talk to please reach out and I’ll always be here. I hope 2019 is better for you and just know that there are better days ahead – you really deserve them. Lots of love xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. eveemilie says:

    This was so needed to be said. Thank you for this. I need to read this book it’s added to the top of my list. I recommend the book Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult it also deals with racial issues and white privilege, and I found it to be very eye opening for me, who, like you is white straight and lives in a very white place. Thank you again for your amazingly well written piece ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Ahhh this means the world, thank you. I will definitely add that one to my list! I’m always on the look out for new reads on these topics – there’s one called Dear Martin as well which is supposed to be really good, so I want to get that one next! This means a lot and as a fellow white person it’s heartwarming to know my words made you think a little, thank you so much 💞 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. salonda says:

    i’m speechless to say the least. i just started following you not to long ago and this just made me fall in love with you even more. the fact that you used the privilege that you have to express the raw emotion you felt after reading the hate u give + took time to talk about cultural appropriation and lack of black/poc representation on tv and film all while breaking down the emmett till case and similar cases which took plenty of time and research as i can see..is—i can’t express the feeling, really. as a young black woman in america this piece speaks volumes. it reminds me why i want to get into the hollywood industry and be able to story tell and even with the blog that i have now, i want to make the voices that are silenced and forgotten heard. with this post, you did just that by using your privilege to bring awareness and giving a space for learning, in which includes yourself. that is what the movement is about while also asking for justice, equality and peace. thank you for this post, it inspired and reminded me what i am doing and what for. thank you for saying their names. thank you for being part of the movement and keeping it alive. truly, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Oh wow, you’ve just made ME speechless. This comment means so much to me you have no idea, thank you thank you thank you 💞 you are an angel. Like I already said here, I don’t want my white privilege, I genuinely cannot comprehend it’s a thing that even exists however, my skin colour isn’t about to change anytime soon and if you’re gonna give me this so called privilege, I’m damn well going to use it for something good. Whoever said ignorance is bliss is a liar and there’s absolutely no way I’m going to sit here and pretend I don’t see or hear what’s going on in the world. We’re all equal, why should the colour of my skin allow me to simply ignore the struggles of others? No thank you. This post did take me hours to write and research (you’re right) but it was so worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat, I feel like if I have this platform and this ‘privilege’ I’m going to use it for something good, the fact you took the time to read and tell me how much it means to you means the world to me. You’re so right – this is what the movement is about, keep going girly because I’m with you every step of the way 💙 I hear you and I will fight for you always xxx

      Like

  4. crystalsandcurls says:

    Girl. GIRL. I literally don’t know where to begin, I’m honestly speechless. This post is amazing and powerful and IMPORTANT. White people don’t need to hate being white, but they DO need to recognize the privileges it brings.

    I don’t look like my ethnic mix – but my family are very visibly black and growing up, like Laura, I used to get comments about my hair and my eyebrows . . . which is bizarre because now these things are considered attractive (like big lips and big asses black women were insulted for now being popular) and a part of you just wants to say “oh fuck right off, when YOU decide it, our features are attractive, but when we’re born with them they’re something to laugh at or something ugly”. However, my experience mainly came through watching how people treated my mum and listening to my mum and family talk about it really opened my eyes to just everyday racism, let alone the massive kinds of racist attacks you mentioned in this post.

    It’s difficult because I know a lot of my white friends genuinely can’t comprehend racism or why some people are so angry even in 2018 because they aren’t racist and they think that the world’s moved on. I think in a lot of ways it’s something that you can’t understand (until you educate yourself, like you’re doing) unless you’re affected or exposed to it. When you’re raised in a liberal society like I’d like to think ours is, the idea of judging someone by their skin colour or thinking someone is less than because they come from a certain place is . . . well, it just makes no sense.

    And it’s difficult to explain to people, especially the subtleties of it. It’s hard to explain why it’s so frustrating that white girls can have braids without sounding petty and divisive – but then I think about when I went home to my mum telling her I was considering braids and she looked horrified. She’s has braids throughout her life, but she’s always seen them as an unfortunate necessity. People have made her feel like her braids were unattractive, why on earth would I want them? I had my hair big and almost afro-curly and my great-grandma told me that it needed to be sleeked down, less big, less afro. It’s hard to explain how black women have been taught that their natural features are ugly to the point that some don’t even want them. My mum can’t understand why I’d want them.

    America really does break my heart, their rhetoric is ALL so hateful. Anti muslim, anti mexican, anti black, anti jew . . . it’s awful. Not that britain is perfect, but if police officers went round shooting black kids, there’d be more riots. (And we don’t detain immigrants and split them up from their children in literal concentration camps.)

    Anyways, I’m sorry for this long and massively rambling and kind of off-topic comment, but I really loved your post ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Ahhh you angel 💞 thank you so much, I’m so glad you liked this. “White people don’t need to hate being white, but they DO need to recognize the privileges it brings” – how do you always manage to say everything so well?

      It’s crazy how when it’s deemed trendy, suddenly everyone wants black features, yet the same people who are committing to these “trends” are the people who were bullying black people for having those features in the first place. It blows my mind. How can you sit there and abuse someone for having braids or ‘big lips’ and then get them yourself when Kylie Jenner suddenly decides it’s the latest trend and you want to follow it? Mind blowing. Absolutely mind blowing.

      I agree – I cannot and will not ever be able to understand first hand the struggles that people of colour go through, but I’m doing my best to damn well educate myself on it because why should I get the pleasure of ignorance just because it doesn’t affect me? Like I said, I don’t want my white privilege, it’s disgusting and I want nothing to do with it. I think if you’re white and can’t comprehend the struggles due to the fact you’ve never experienced them, you should still do everything you can to educate yourselves on them, you don’t just get to ignore it because you’re not subject to it. As much as I’d love to say the world has moved on, it hasn’t, and like I said about Emmett Till, that case was decades ago yet reading it makes me feel like we’re still in 2018 which is fucking terrifying, it doesn’t feel like anything has changed.

      The thing you said about your mum & braids etc. broke my heart – my friend, who is black, has told me the same things about her own family which confirms even more so that this isn’t just a one of thing, it’s been engrained into many, many people. So heartbreaking.

      Thank you for your wonderful thoughts as always, they’re always so appreciated 💛 (and thank you for reading !! I know this was a long one) all my love to you as always girl xxx

      Like

  5. seaofwordsx says:

    This was such a beautiful and so important post ❤️ I also love to talk about things if I’m educated enough with it. You are just so right. I don’t want all that privilege. I just want that everyone is treated equally and with respect and not that one has more power over someone. The world is wrong. I know the bad things which are going on in America. This book seems great. I also see on talentshows, series, magazines only white people. I would love to see a mix of white and black people. We all matter. I also would loved to have more education at school about the history of it. I love Obama and Mandela ❤️ They are so important for our history to break racism. Thank you for racing awareness because it’s so important

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you thank you thank you 💜 The world is very wrong, I agree. It’s such a shame. You should definitely read the book, I think you’ll love it, and yes, more representation please!! I’m sick of seeing white people everywhere! We’re all the same and we’re all equal, anyone who believes otherwise is a disgrace to humanity. Thank you for reading lovely girl, it means a lot xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The Style of Laura Jane says:

    Chloe – I absolutely love this post!!!
    Up to the age of about 5, I was at a predominantly ‘white school’. I was the only kid with big eyebrows, dark hair and tanned skin. All the girls in my class would never let me play with them properly and would constantly say how they were prettier with their blues eyes and blonde hair or light brown.

    It’s crazy to me now that because ‘tanned’ skin is popular, people go up to me and say oh you’ll have beautiful kids or you’re so pretty – all mixed-race people are. And in Hollywood, the ‘black’ women are often mixed. It seems that mixed people or black people are only attractive when they have strong white features.

    There’s such miniscule representation. The stereotypes are awful as well. The amount of sitcoms I use to watch which had black families, and they are always potrayed a certain way. It’s heartbreaking really that colour can take preference over human kindness.

    I’m reminded of a case where a white man maybe 20 years ago now, killed his wife in the car. He then told police it was a black man and it caused chaos in America and police started brutally knocking on black people’s doors and accusing them. Eventually, when the truth came out, this white man just shot himself.

    Colour really bothers people. Even with my little sisters who are white with blue eyes, people can’t help but question how we’re related. I know understandbly we look different, but it’s like yes my dad is white and he remarried. And then it’s like another 5 questions before they just accept it. One guy even DM’d me and said how are they your sisters? Are you lying to them?

    Anyway sorry for such a ramble. Last thing I’ll say with cultural appropriation… I wish that everyone could enjoy each others cultures and celebrate all hair styles, but the issue is the ignorance. I feel some stars purposely opt for braids to create publicity. The media struggle so hard to just say where something has come from.

    Thank you so much for this post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much lovely girl! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they’re always so greatly appreciated 💞

      I should have mentioned colourism in this post also but yes, – people only want the benefits of “lightskin” features, for aesthetic purposes such as skin colour, lips etc. It’s disgusting, I hate the line “you’d make cute babies” I just think ???? Can you hear yourself? Do you understand what you’re even saying? You’re so right, there really is such minuscule representation and it drives me insane, where is the representation that these people deserve? Nowhere. I also agree on the portrayal of stereotypes, it’s the same everywhere you look. It’s sad.

      I too wish we could all embrace and celebrate cultures in a positive, educated way but unfortunately it’s just not the case right now, I agree though, I feel like some people in the spotlight do it on purpose “just because they can” you know? It’s infuriating, especially when they have such a big platform and don’t use it in the right way, think of how many people they could educate!

      Again, thanks so much for this lovely, it means the world xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. thebreakofdawn says:

    This post. This post. THIS POST.
    First of all, thank you. You did an amazing job, you came across exactly how you wanted to. And as a black female teenager who relates to everything you talked about, who grew up around this, I am so glad there’s people like you.
    Living as a black person in 2018 isn’t as bad as it was back in the day, but it’s so so so far from good. And I thought I’d share with you some ways we cope with that.
    I’m sure a lot of black families do the same things as I’m about to mention, but these are just what we do.
    First, as you know, as kids there’s a series of talks we get from our parents. The sex talk, the ‘Santa isn’t real talk’ and so on. We also get the talk about living in the world with dark skin.
    I remember that talk very well, my mum sat my brother and I down and talked to us about how much harder we gotta work compared to white people, the daily racism we could face, etc. My brother got a separate talk, more about the police and watching himself.
    I just thought I would share that with you, the fact that it’s just become so integrated into our lives that we have a whole talk dedicated to it you know?
    One thing you mentioned that I related with most, the whole thing with Love Island. Casual racism as I like to call it. Most people don’t realise they’re doing it, but they are. One day, my friends and I were talking about Black Panther and how awesome it was, all the success it got in the box office, how it’s the best Marvel movie and how culturally diverse it is (almost the whole cast was black😊)….one of my friends appeared annoyed for some odd reason. Rolling her eyes and sighing. Then she goes: “it honestly wasn’t that great, that Thor one was better”
    Normally, you wouldn’t think much of it. But her instant dislike to that movie (that we later found out she hasn’t even seen) made no sense. Until it made sense.
    Racism is crazy. It can be so small – just one little comment you barely notice, or it could be massive – an attack, a murder.
    Anyway, this comment was probably all over the place, sorry. I just wasn’t expecting such a powerful post. I’m just so glad you decided to go ahead and post it despite your fears about it. I just hope you really really know how much I appreciate this post and appreciate you for writing it.
    And trust me, I’ve seen a lot of white people pretending to care. Pretending to be outraged. Maybe pretending is harsh for some, but many just say it for the sake of appearing well online. But I most definitely believe you – I believe that you care.❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      My darling!! Thank you so so so much. I’m so glad there’s people like YOU. Thank you for sharing what you just did and your comment wasn’t all over the place at all, it was perfect.

      It’s insane that like you said, we all have the birds and the bees talk and so on, but people of colour have to have the talk on what to do if you’re stopped by a police officer, how much prejudice you’ll be exposed to throughout your daily lives. It’s insane. I couldn’t even imagine it, it breaks my heart that these are the conversations mothers are having to have with their children in order to keep them safe. It doesn’t even sound real, does it?

      Casual racism is such a real thing and yes! What annoys me the most is when people make offhand, subconscious racist comments and then wonder why people get offended by it. I was speaking to someone the other day who started their sentence with “I was speaking to this black girl who was actually really pretty” and I was like woah hang on a second, what? I tried to explain to them the reason that was so blatantly racist but they were having none of it because “they’re not racist and their comment wasn’t intended that way” – I don’t care whether you intended it that way or not, it was still racist. Would they have said that to a black girl? No. Would they have approached a black friend and said that? No. Would they have made that comment if they were talking about a white girl? No. It’s bullshit, honestly. Now that I’m aware of all of this casual racism (as you brilliantly put it) I can’t just sit back and let it slide, it feels like I’m constantly calling people out left right and centre but that just shows how much of it there is out there – the fact that I can’t even seem to have a full conversation with someone these days without having to backtrack and make them think about what they’ve just said. It’s mind blowing.

      You’re completely right, there are a lot of white people who pretend to care and that enrages me even more because they’re doing it to look good. Literally using their white privilege to their own advantage yet again. I can’t even believe it’s a thing. White privilege, again, is literally bullshit and I want nothing to do with it.

      Thank you so much for reading this and for sharing your thoughts, it means the world. All my love to you girl 💞 I’m with you .xx

      Like

  8. abbyuppington says:

    THIS. THIS. THIS.
    I watched Get Out and read THUG at Christmas & ever since then I have felt like a different person – I feel as thought I have become so aware of cultural appropriation, to privilege, to damaging opinions that although aren’t blatantly racist or homophobic they are layered in ignorance & ‘humour’ it’s everywhere, and I am just shocked and so uncomfortable.
    I had to walk out of a restaurant when someone I hold dearly said something inappropriate and we had an argument. They didn’t understand why I was upset as they weren’t saying anything “racist” … but it’s a damaging thought process, it’s what they mean behind their joke, it’s as if because they are white they feel like they can make these jokes and it’s okay. Well it’s not and it makes me ashamed.

    This is your best post Chloe – absolutely brilliant. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      It really opens up your mind doesn’t it? Such an incredible book. I was aware anyway but reading it firsthand from a character’s POV was just…something else. There’s so much underlying racism these days and I’m finding myself picking up on it more and more every day, it’s even worse when it’s the people you love and they can’t understand why it’s offensive because “they’re not racist” – doesn’t matter. If you say racist things, what are you then? Intentional or not you have to be responsible for your actions. Thank you for this lovely girl 💞 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Chips says:

    I have never in my life read something as incredible as this blog post. I’m actually speechless. I love that you decided to go for it and write this post, because I learnt so much more about this than I have in any history class.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. questionsfromateenager says:

    This post was honestly one of the best you’ve ever written. I am speechless. I agree with EVERYTHING you wrote and love the fact that you used The Hate U Give as inspiration for this. (It’s on my tbr list, you just made me want to read it NOW) I loved the references you made, especially the quote about “not being political” – FUCK YES.

    I live in a predominantly white neighborhood, school was the same. While I didn’t necessarily question that as a young child, it was something that I started being aware of and thinking about in my early teens till now. I have experienced nothing and I mean NOTHING in comparison to the few people of colour at my school/neighborhood. I have this very distinct memory of a girl in my class telling everyone that an Asian girl in my year “looked funny” and that we shouldn’t play with her. The girl changed schools shortly after that. In fact, the whole family moved away. And while I don’t know if it was for that reason alone, it was definitely a deciding factor in their move. To think of that now still sickens me all these years later.

    The amount of racism I come across when I am in the city is unbelievable too. You’d think that cities would be more open to other cultures, people, etc. than a small town would but sometimes it seems to be even worse there (from my experience). I once witnessed a shop assistant crying because a lady refused to be helped by her – she wanted “a person like herself”. I was disgusted by that and luckily the shop owner was too because they told the lady to leave. Things like that still give me the tiniest amount of hope in people, as I see that people are still in fact capable of small acts of kindness.

    I love the fact that you brought attention to a lot of the issues happening in the world right now regarding cultural appropriation, racism, politics, corruption in law enforcement and the way that a lot of people tend to look away because it doesn’t affect them. THESE ISSUES NEED TO BE TALKED ABOUT. THEY NEED TO BE FIXED. And most of all, people affected need an apology. Children should be taught that skin colour doesn’t matter in school. Parents should be aware of this too. We need to be more open towards the different to realise that THEY AREN’T THAT DIFFERENT. Sometimes I get truly frustrated at the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much angel – THUG is literally one of the best books I’ve EVER read so I will recommend it 100000000 times, please please read it!! You’ll love it.

      Like you, I also didn’t question things until I got older because I was always surrounded by white people and therefore never knew any different, it never stood out to me as being strange or unusual. When I hear of these encounters like the ones you just mentioned it’s like my brain stops functioning because I just can’t comprehend it…somebody refusing to be served by a cashier because they weren’t white? It happens, I know it does, but I just can’t comprehend it, really and truly it blows my mind. I can’t even formulate those thoughts into words because I don’t believe there are any, it’s just mind blowing.

      “Things like that still give me the tiniest amount of hope in people, as I see that people are still in fact capable of small acts of kindness.” – very true, the world is a cruel, awful place sometimes but I still believe in good people and the fact that we can change. I really hope that’s the case.

      I agree with everything you said and thank you so much for reading because this took me HOURS to write so the fact you’ve taken time out to have a read means the world 💞 So much love to you as always girl – your words are always appreciated!! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. priya says:

    CHLOE. I’m in tears. So many times during reading this. I can’t even begin to try and tell you how much this post meant to me while reading it. While I may not be of African descent, I’m a person of colour living in Australia, a country that’s supposedly ‘multi-cultural’ but has a disgustingly racist history and under current, and it’s a very similar experience. Okay, be prepared for a lil bit of lengthy comment girl….

    1) Cultural appropriation. Sickens me. The few instances that come to mind instantly are ones that have had a direct impact on the way I view parts of my culture. The whole ‘red dot’ thing when it comes to traditional Indian bindis that are now plastered on every second forehead you spot during festival season. This one kinda can’t be helped, but the amount of lil brown Indian girls who got shit ten years ago and got called monkeys for having thick, bushy eyebrows (ya gal), but the second Cara D (bless her soul) steps onto the scene, it’s the trend. My fave analogy is: cultural appropriation is like getting an F on a paper, only for someone to steal it and get an A.

    2) LOVE ISLAND. Okay so at uni I do a course called TV Cultures and we literally spoke about it! Masterchef and X Factor are pretty diverse here, a lot of Asian and Indian contestants which is great, yet our Love Island has one person of colour, and that too she wasn’t part of the initial group. The tag line that I’ve come to welcome is ‘they’re happy for us to sing and cook for them, they just don’t want to date us’ and hits the nail bang on the head. Growing up it was also so hard for me to find role models and people to look up to, just because of the lack of representation and brown faces I ever saw on TV or in movies and it sucked.

    3) Nia Wilson was a hard one for me. We recently had a young African Australian girl shot and killed in my city, and thus far, none of the reports have been about how senseless the act was, there have been minimal comments made about the young man who shot her, who was also African Australia, but they’ve decided to use her death as a reason to start campaigning against ‘african gangs’ in Melbourne, when accidents and deaths caused by Africans in Australia make up just around 1% of the total. The media have jumped at a chance to further this racist agenda that’s really been rearing it’s head recently. It’s disgusting, and what I hate so much more, is that earlier this year we had another girl in my city who was sexually assaulted and killed in a park, and the entire STATE mourned. There was a parade for her, marches for changes, a VIGIL IN THE PARK where she was found, multiple online hashtags and news reports. The difference being, Eurydice was white and Laa Chol was black.

    This post had me tearing up Chloe, you did an amazing job, the fact that you’re trying to educate yourself and learn is so commendable and already a step forward, one that thousands of people don’t ever bother taking xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Okay first of all, this post took me hours and HOURS to write so the fact that you’ve taken time out of your day to read it means the world to me, thank you thank you thank you 💜 I’m so glad this post means something to you, you have no idea how happy that makes me!! I’m all for lengthy comments as well girl so this was a joy to read 💞

      1). I hear you! I wish I’d been able to discuss other examples / dive into different cultures with this but I ended up writing so much I thought I’d leave it where it was, I agree on the eyebrow thing too – remember when the trend was literally shaving them off and having a pencil drawn line across the top of each eye? I literally shaved my eyebrows off when I was about 13 because I wanted to be a part of the trend so bad and my mum cried because she was so upset / mad. Now I literally don’t touch my brows at all, I love the whole thick and natural look and I feel like I always would have done if it hadn’t been for these dumb trends and seeing other people shame those with thicker eyebrows, it’s ridiculous how much judgement we’re exposed to at such a young age and even more so that people with naturally darker hair are forced to feel like they need to change that – excuse me, said who?

      2). I keep forgetting you guys have a Love Island Australia! The one black girl on this year’s series over here was getting talked about so much because it was very clear she’d been edited differently to all of the other contestants and that all of the other islanders were being prioritised and given advantages over her – the producers chose not to show a lot of her island experience and there were so many things that happened with her that we never even knew about because the producers purposely chose not to show it. I’m glad in a way because it sparked up such a huge topic for conversation and everyone could so clearly see the way she’d been treated as a black woman on television, you’d have to have been blind to miss it.

      3). I’d had this post in my draft for a good few weeks now (maybe longer) and kept doubting whether I should post it or not because I was nervous about speaking on a topic I had never experienced first hand, you know? It’s like, this isn’t about me and it never has been but I just wanted to show my anger towards those who ignore their privileges and I guess kind of just use my platform to talk about how passionate I am for equality. When I heard about Nia Wilson it gave me the push I needed because I thought you know what fuck it, enough. I can’t hear about this anymore and stay silent. I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said here because it’s so true – the first chance the media get to portray these people in a negative light, they will and it’s disgusting how they keep getting away with it. White people always get the better treatment, they get the sympathy and being painted in such a good light, they get the attention and the vigils and the parades and what do people of colour get? Nothing. Barely even a mention, and when their names do get brought up in media, it’s always because THEY were the ones at fault, depicted as though they had it coming because they did drugs one time in 11th grade or because they came from a not so wealthy neighbourhood. It’s disgusting and it makes my blood boil because we are all EQUAL. Like I said, I don’t understand how they get away with it. We can only hope that all of these movements currently happening will finally pay off in the way they deserve to be, because this can’t go on. No more, no more.

      All my love to you as always and your support means the world, thank you so much for being so wonderful as always 💞 I hear you and I’m with you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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