Luvvie Ajayi, digital strategist and humor blogger at Awesomely Luvvie sent out a series of tweets last night about black beauty bloggers being silent in light of recent events. The recent events I’m referring to are the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina and the series of black church burnings that have followed that terrible act. I’m going to paraphrase Ajayi as best I can.
My interpretation of the tweets is with great power comes great responsibility(shoutout to Uncle Ben). If black beauty bloggers have a platform then they should use that platform to speak up and not just because it personally affects them, but because their readers are affected too. Even if someone disagrees with this premise it’s not a terrible on its face and yet it doesn’t sit right with me.
What didn’t sit right with me was the vagueness of it. If you check Luvvie’s mentions many bloggers responded to her tweets in agreement so that obviously meant they weren’t being called to the carpet for their silence. But for those that didn’t respond, I’m left with this feeling of who is she talking about? I don’t like that feeling because it’s accusatory. I’m checking facebook fan pages and twitter timelines to see if this black beauty blogger or that black beauty blogger is acknowledging what’s been happening in recent weeks or if it’s business as usual. I’m judging myself because I’ve echoed this sentiment before and now I’m not sure where I stand on this.
I see multiple sides to the issue. The obvious one is responsibility as stated before. There’s the idea that silence is approval at worst and indifference at best. There’s the idea that just because I or you don’t see posts doesn’t mean it’s being ignored by individual bloggers. There’s the possibility that some don’t want to muddy the waters with their POV because they’re deferring to folks who know more or at least perceived that way. There’s also the idea that there are many ways to show support be it tweets, donations, or blog posts. How I like to do things may not be how you like to do it, you know?
Here’s the main thing for me. For the last few years when a racially charged issue has popped off the black beauty bloggers I follow are aware and speaking on it, so calling out black beauty bloggers as a whole for ignoring what’s happening is misleading. Black beauty bloggers are speaking up consistently, the question may be are folks paying attention to them. And if they’re not, why?
So I’m going to put it to you, beauty bloggers and readers alike. Is speaking up for/against an issue a requirement, consequences be damned? If your faves are being quiet on issues, like racism, are you giving them the sideeye? No matter where you stand and let me know what you think in the comments.