Black Lives Matter – Being a White Ally

As a white person, I can not imagine the daily trauma and exhaustion of being black in this country.  I never will understand.  I can’t speak on black pain and being black in America. Every day I benefit from white privilege, an entire system that was made by white men for white people.  But I am learning how to be a good ally, and hopefully an activist one day.  That is the path that I am choosing.  I always feel unqualified talking about racism because I never want to speak out of line but it would feel wrong not to talk about it even on my blog that no one reads.  I also always feel under-educated, but I’m trying and learning and I will never stop. All white people should spend their time, effort and money into supporting black lives matter and making sure that the murder of black people by white people and cops ends.

As white people, the best thing we can do is to educate ourselves and be a true ally.  Racism was created by white people and it’s up to us to burn it down and fix it our mindset, our culture, our institutions, moment by moment, day by day.  It is our self-created burden to change the racist anti-black culture of this country.  We need to examine ourselves as individuals and consciously dismantle systemic racism in our workplaces, schools and in every institution we have  We need to have conversations about race that we don’t feel comfortable having and we need to think about life outside our lense more.  We need to understand that just because it’s not something we suffer from does not mean it’s not our problem to fix.  It is.  It has to be unworked and undone in us.  We need to go to the protests and be there for our black friends, we need to film the police and be alert and ready to use your body as a shield.  Since the police do not serve and protect they should not exist.  The police is a dangerous gang who would rather arrest and harass thousands peaceful protester than 4 murderers.

There is a certain type of white person that no white person wants to be like and we have to actively work to be the most radical, more educated, most supportive, and thoughtful ally.  That certain type of white person we don’t want to be is the whole history of white people.  It is a bloody, shameful, grotesque and unforgivable history.  It is evil, most white people’s ancestors were evil.  We have to actively grow away from becoming like our racist grandparents, and our murderer ancestors, colonizer ancestors, plantation ancestors.  That history is real and those are the people that made you.  So you have to do the work to step away from that.  Consciously, make sure that you are being loudly and earnestly anti-racist.

If you can’t donate, protest, and if you can’t protest donate.  There is nothing more worthwhile of your time and money than fighting for black lives to matter.  There’s nothing more worthwhile of your energy and body than thrusting yourself between a cop and a black person.  Nothing matters until black lives matter until all lives matter.  We are so far from there but I really hope that we have it in us.

 

The questions are here.

When the protests for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd end what will be next for you?  How are you supporting the people of color in your life?  How are you educating your self on your privilege?  Are you speaking over black people or are you supporting them?  Are you doing everything you can be doing to change the structure of this country?  When you see a cop pull over a black person will you film them and stay by their side?  Do you feel uncomfortable around people who don’t look like you?  What does your Instagram feed look like?  Does it reflect back faces that just look like you?  When one of your nonblack friends say the N-word are you silent?  Do you say that’s the bad part of town? Why do you say that? Would you be comfortable describing why you say that?

How many centuries of white people murdering people of color will there be?  It’s hundreds of years overdue for white people to do better.

fun photo stuff: green screen on Insta

I take wayy to many photos than anyone has any right to (more than 50 thousand on my phone).  Soo embarrassing.  But one of the things I’m trying to learn is how to have the most fun with my photos and also to know all the tricks and stuff for how to edit photos.  This one is super fun and super easy.  I was my bikini on my Brooklyn porch getting golden looking out on my very parched and patchy Brooklyn grass wishing it was an ocean… wishing it was a clear blue ocean and the grass was not grass at all… that it was white sand.  Alas, we don’t have all of that in BK, NY.

And then I was on Instagram taking cute bikini pics cause I’m young & beautiful and won’t be that way forever.  And I came across the green screen filter and turned my bedroom into what I wish my backyard was.  My tipsy self was very very amused and I had quite a bit of fun as demonstrated below.  You just have to add a background photo to your camera roll and then upload it to your saved photos.  Then you take a mirror selfie or have a friend take a photo of you and there you are (in your dreams).  I just googled Turks & Caicos beach and Maldives beach because if I’m fantasizing I’m gonna do it big.  And I did another ridiculous ones.  The quality is so trash but it’s so funny to me.  Thank god I know how to have the best time and amuse myself lol.

E2FB34BB-D9AE-4845-840B-5E565A15A0FBMy room

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Me pretending to be in Heaven lol

Quarantine, cashier life & pinatas

Hi! I am the worst at having a blog.

My life has changed drastically just like literally all of ours.  I usually work three jobs, my main job is a full-time nanny and then I have my cleaning business and I work as an assistant wedding planner.  Of course, all three of these jobs stopped existing in the face of this pandemic and for a very terrifying week, I was unemployed.  Then I sat down at my kitchen table with a coffee or cocktail (it was my one week of unemployment to be fair) and applied to every single job that I thought might take a college drop out like me.  I also dmed a few grocery stores because I thought they might be hiring asap and that was how I got the job of a cashier and the most expensive grocery store in the west village.  This is a place that charges $8 for a brick of cafe bustelo and there’s a tomato sauce that costs $12.99 (shout out to Rao’s for apparently being THAT good).  Of course, the pay minimum wage but I don’t have the type of savings that would allow for me to be unemployed for more than a week so I took the job.

My nannying job pays $25 an hour so the price drop has been a lot for me to deal with.  It’s also been hard not knowing when/if my job will return.  My nanny family moved from the west village to their beach house in New Jersey.  At the beginning of the virus, they wanted me to travel there and stay for three days of the week and then go home.  I did this for two weeks and then I had to stop because it felt very dangerous for an asthmatic like me to be traveling on the subway and the train all the time during a very deadly virus.  The day I traveled home from NJ for the last time a stay in place order was issued and I couldn’t have been happier to be in home sweet Brooklyn and not NJ.

The grocery store job is as soul-sucking as you’d imagine.  No one grows up saying they want to be a cashier and even if they did they’d take one look at the paycheck and change their mind.  Most of my co-workers are nice.  Some of them are snappy or up tight but it’s cause they’re miserable and I don’t blame them.  When I’m at that job I’m miserable too. It’s hard to go through eight hours having the same stunted interactions with people.  I ask the same questions to every person.  “Hello, how are you? Do you have a store card? Do you want bags? Would you like to donate a bundle or milk to COVID relief?”  The store I work for is doing a fundraiser for City Harvest which is well-intentioned but it’s so horrible to have to ask people for money during this time.  They’ll say no and then pull out their ebt card and you feel like such a dick for asking them for money to feed other people when they’re struggling too.  I always wish the store it’s self would donate money and leave their customers out of it.

Today was a good day though because I am trying to enjoy my life and make the very best of it all.  At work in my shitty work uniform and same pair of black sneakers, I try to bring myself to the register as well by doing my makeup like I would and never coming to work in my uniform.  I keep my polyester work shirt in my store locker and change into it at the last second so that I can feel like myself for as long as possible.  Today was also a good day because I got out at 12:45 pm and when I walked out of the sliding doors the sun was shining and the birds were screaming their little snow-white heads off.  I went home and fixed myself a drink (my new favorite: sunny d + lime juice + tequila + tajin) and got a facetime from an unknown number hung up on them.  I then immediately realized it was a facetime interview I had scheduled for that time.  I called her back and tried my best to show that I’m a very qualified hardworking nanny that’s good at what she does.

The highlight of my day was making a pinata.  My family and I used to do this many times a year.  We’d make them for my sisters and i’s birthday parties.  I was out of practice but doing it brought back so many warm memories of happier and more than anything brighter easier times.  The smell of the flour and water and feeling of the paste drying on my fingers was therapeutic.  The biggest part of me wishes I had the money and privilege to be fully quarantined and staying home during this time.  I would love to have the time to do all the wild and rather mundane fantasies I’ve had during my life of what I would do if I had time to figure out what I wanted to do.  While sliding the wet pieces of newspaper on to the balloon, I was so focused on getting the job done that I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to make rent, about savings, about food and all the ways I am falling short.  I was just focusing on this task that I had chosen to set in front of me not a bouquet of problems that was thrust into my face.  It was nice to reach out to my childhood in this simple and fun way and to even if just for a half-hour, to think about something different.

Now I have to wait a few days until this first layer of paper mache fully dries and then I’ll add a second layer.  Then I’ll stop being cheap and pull the trigger and buy some paint.  And then the hardest part for me comes.  Trying to be artistic and painting something on it.

Question:  Are you the type of person with enough patience for puzzles?

I for sure, am not.

Also, have you done any arts and crafts during the pandemic?  I would love to hear what you’ve been making 🙂

Pandemic in NYC: #5

I saw on twitter the other day “if your job requires an appreciation week you probably aren’t getting paid enough.”  It’s definitely true.  It was just a nurse appreciation week.  I don’t know if most nurses felt appreciated or felt any difference during that week.  I’m sure they have much more pressing and crucial things to think about than a vague holiday that barely exists.  It’s like the customers that always tell my cashier co-workers and me about the people who make the noise for the frontline workers at 7pm.  They always tell us to thank you for what we do and they ask if we hear the ruckus at that time.  I never have though because I’ve always been… at my register working.  This country is very much about the talk and flimsy gestures in terms of “appreciation” instead of shit that would make us feel appreciated like livable wages.  The people who keep everyone eating and alive and society as close to normal as possible are the ones who are suffering the gravest effects of this pandemic.  The ones who are dying are the ones who had no choice to go to work because their job put profits first and didn’t shut down or the ones who couldn’t miss a days work because they had to make sure they had rent and food for their family.

Speaking of cutesy but flimsy appreciation…

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Pandemic in NYC: #4

This is a picture of me finally with my hair down at the end of a long workday.  I work at a Grocery store in manhattan.  These are our dingey lockers where we keep our pens (they get stolen if we leave them on our registers) and our sad little lunches.  You can see my seltzer hanging from my bag.  I like this picture cause my eyelashes look as dramatic as I feel and because the angry skeleton represents how I feel about this new job that I’m working for minimum wage.  I feel angry and dead. lol cheers!

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Pandemic in NYC: #3

This is a very basic photo of the subway and a poster advertising the democratic primary.  This was a little sad for me to see as New York’s Democratic primary was canceled due to the virus.  I was planning on voting for Bernie Sander’s in the NYC primary and he was going to still be on the ballot even though he had suspended his campaign.  I was going to still give him my vote (probably for the last time).

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Pandemic in NYC: #2

Yesterday my roommate and I suited up in masks and took a trip to Coney Island.  We made sure to be careful and social distance the whole way.  We took a car there and back and were more than 20 feet away from anyone else as we basked in the sun, feet drifting around in the sand.  It was so replenishing for my soul.  I felt overflowing and happy when I was there. Each minute I lay in the sand with the blue sky opened up above me I feel the weariness leak out of me.  We got stuck in traffic a bit on our way home but it was ok because I was sun tired, grateful and I got to see this dog next to us in traffic.

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