“I don’t care if you’re uncomfortable. Now is the time to be uncomfortable.”
There have been numerous creators uploading videos surrounding the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. Through these videos, they’re helping to forward a meaningful and important discussion. Tati Kapaya has been sharing information on her social media, but felt it was time to upload a video, as YouTube is where she’ll be better able to spread the message to a wider audience.
Tati kicks off the video by saying the following, “All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter. No one is trying to say that other lives don’t matter. No one is saying only Black lives matter. We’re saying all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.”
From there, she begins the discussion, splitting the content into five sections, the first of which is the belief that racism is simply a US problem. As Tati is quick to point out, this is due to ignorance, and she shows this by giving a brief overview of the history of racism, from the British removing Black people from their homes in order to force them into slavery, to segregation and lynchings. Given this past, she feels police brutality and racism are ingrained in society; the prejudice associated with slavery is still present today, just in a different form.
Secondly, she discusses why people are protesting. However, before jumping into it, she makes it clear that she feels there needs to be a halt on what she calls the “romanticising” of Black Lives Matter protests. “Let’s not be romanticising protesting,” she says. “We shouldn’t have to protest. We shouldn’t be protesting for equal rights. […] Let’s try to steer away from that narrative because this isn’t really a good thing that we have to protest.” While she likes that people are coming together for the cause, she states it’s not something that should be having to occur in the first place.
She herself attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Portsmouth. After posting about it on social media, she received a comment from someone who was wondering why the protests couldn’t have waited until after the coronavirus pandemic had subsided – something that upset Tati. As she explains, Black people have been waiting their whole lives for equality – “I need to see a change right now” – so she wasn’t going to wait another day, especially considering those present at the protest were taking safety precautions.
“If you’re tired of hearing people talk about racism and protesting and doing all this, just imagine how tired we are from having to experience it in our whole lives,” she further explains, emphasising that Black people are not asking for special treatment. They’re simply asking to be treated equally, something white people would be advocating for if it was the other way around.
Tati then moves on to discuss cultural appropriation and those who claim they can’t be racist because they have Black friends. “I just don’t really understand how you can have Black friends, appropriate our culture, yet have nothing to say when we’re being murdered innocently,” Tati says, before moving on to explain why being “not racist” is simply not enough. She notes how people are more concerned about being called racist than they are with trying to fix it, and advocates for those staying silent to have what she deems as those “uncomfortable” conversations with those in their lives.
There have been many online who have been participating in what Tati calls “performative activism”, meaning they’re simply putting on a show online and aren’t taking any further action, nor educating themselves. She attributes this to white privilege, even if those doing it don’t realise it as such, “If you don’t believe white privilege is a thing, that in itself is just proof of the privilege.” She advocates for allies to be doing more by signing petitions, donating to charities and organisations, and talking with their friends and family. Tati herself has been having conversations with brands she partners with and her university, asking them what they’re doing to help support the movement.
The final point Tati makes is ensuring that those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement are showing that same support for everyone under the umbrella. She wants supporters to know that the movement is fighting for equal rights for all Black people, regardless of sexuality or religion.
Closing things out, Tati encourages views to keep educating themselves and tells them to “be on the right side of history”. Here’s hoping we see a change in the very near future!