What are you willing to fight for? When the cameras are not rolling, when no one is reading your social media feed and when no one is watching. When an issue is not trending on Twitter and when reporters are not there? This is something I ask myself constantly as I share what I believe is important with my friends, my family and my community. Am I walking my talk?
This week we have seen #blacklivesmatter movement spark protests globally, reigniting trauma from generations gone and driving the fight against racism in U.S, Australia, West Papua and globally.
In Australia, people have rightly been protesting against the deaths of Aboriginals in custody and anti-black bias and police brutality. This comes after the end of National Reconciliation Week.
In PNG, people are protesting against domestic violence and advocating to end family violence after an athlete was brutally beaten. The athlete’s attack went viral on social media.
West Papuans have been protesting for freedom since the 1960’s and been brutally treated and victims of human rights violation. Where is the global outcry and support for West Papua?
My heart aches. I see the news unfold. Is this real life? Yes, it’s real. As real as people inflicting unimaginable hate on each other and black eyes. In one month from now, the world will have moved on from the protests.
– What change will we see then?
– Am I using my education and knowledge to make the future better, or turning a blind eye to what is?
– What do I believe in and what am I willing to fight for each day?
– Will I laugh at racist jokes?
– Will I racially profile people?
– Will I speak up when I see violence unfolding?
– Will I beat people because of the colour of their skin?
– Will I get informed about who I can vote for to make real change and legislation change?
– Will I put my money where my mouth is and contribute financially to the cause?
– If I can’t give money, will I volunteer for a cause I protested for?
– Will I fight for what I said I believe in?
– Am I an example of leadership in action or full of holier than thou bullshit?
Protests are critical and show emotion in motion. But, we have to keep the fire burning and advocating for change long after people return to daily life. Otherwise, what’s the point? Is love and light and protests enough? Personally, I want to do more and know I can do better. We all can.
May we stay woke, connected, see the world for what it is and continue to fight for what it can be every day. Not just when a cause is trending on Twitter and in mainstream media.