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That Friend List Tho. . .

I have 1,185 Facebook friends. I might have less tomorrow depending on how some interpret this piece. I don’t know how many I actually interact with on Facebook because of the elusive and magical algorithm. It seems like I see the same 20 people or so whenever I scroll through the newsfeed. You are either on it or you are not. And if you are on it, you either engage or you don’t. If you are an engager, like me, you probably curate your page. You like other pics, you congratulate people, you send condolences to others. You root for them or you encourage them from your fingertips. We all know, no matter how much we curate our page, there is a dark side to Facebook we occasionally see. Someone says something, and others pounce. There’s no nuance. You can’t hear someone’s tone, you can’t tell if they are legitimately asking questions or trying to be rude. And sometimes you can. Sarcasm gets lost. Friendships get destroyed. 

That friend list tho. . .

I believe Facebook to be one of the most real and authentic places to learn about people. You see what means the most to them. It doesn’t always depend on how much they post, but it’s what IS posted that has influence. If they don’t want you to see the dirty, it’s important to those posters that you don’t. That is what they value. That is real. You will only see my Living room at Christmas time because over the last few years, I still can’t figure out how I want to decorate it. It’s important to me that I project a decorated home. Shallow? Silly? To me, it’s my truth and I own it.

If you see someone sharing how awesome they are and you know things or relationships in their home are not ideal, it’s important to that person to project their fantasy. I didn't say what they are posting shows all of the facts, but it’s what they want you to see that shows what they value. 

Over the last few days, seeing my timeline lit up by so many of my White friends, getting texts and calls from people asking if I’m okay, has been truly powerful for me. And seeing the ones that haven’t, has been just as powerful. 

That friend list tho. . .

When someone dies, or a life changing event happens in a friends life, we very easily say the following.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

“I don’t know what to say, but my heart breaks for you.”

“I’m keeping you in my prayers.”

“Can I do anything for you.”

So, imagine seeing your friend, watch people that look like her get harassed, or killed, for looking like her and you say nothing. Not publicly. Not privately.

That friend list tho. . .

My disappointment is the inconsistency in the outrage. Not Posting your outrage over events that have spanned over the last 400 years in this country doesn’t mean you aren’t outraged. Just as posting the Black square doesn't mean you are suddenly woke. I have friends who consistently post about flowers and their garden and you know what, I love it when that beautiful tulip breaks up my feed. It’s a reminder of some beauty in this world. We need that.

Protests are necessary for change. They don’t have to include signs. They don’t have to be screamed from the hilltops or involve posting Black squares on Instagram. Those are all different ways of expressing grief, encouragement, compassion, desire for change. And make no mistake. We all need to be protesting right now.

The definition of PROTEST is: a statement or action expressing disapproval or objection to something 

One of my closest friends who happens to be White said this to me the other day; 

“It’s not the protesters who need to change. It’s those who aren’t protesting. Vent to me if you need to.”

That friend list tho. . .

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