I have written and deleted dozens of captions for social media, trying to find the right words and hashtags. It's been a scramble to find a way to show up, make sure I am tagging the right people, and do the research, like I am cramming for some end-of-year test.
And that's part of the problem. My "shock" to all of it.
Racial injustice was so far off my radar, that it has been a week of "catch-up" for me. I'm not totally naive, I am aware racism exists, but I had no idea to what extent, and that I have been so blind to it.
Another major problem?
As my inbox filled with beautiful, stylized messages from big brands stating how they are looking internally into their own practices and teams, how they are donating, educating their staff, and stepping up-- I used this as an excuse.
"I'm not "NIKE-sized" with some fancy HR department and a legal team, I can let my brand slide under the radar and not have to show up. No one will notice."
Ya, I actually had that thought. Because of my privileges, I thought I had the option to "opt-out".
I have said from day one of this business, my goal is to create a community, and make sure my piece of internet real-estate was welcoming to EVERYONE. And this week, I failed when I paused.
I am so sorry I closed the door, for even a second.
I became overwhelmed with my own devastation as I started to learn more. This is not about my feelings. It's my fault that it's now a lot to take on. An issue with so much history shouldn't have come as a shock to me in one week.
I still don't have the right words. And I still have blind spots. I still don't know all the things I should do. But my first step on this journey is to commit to learning and listening. The size of my business and platform has nothing to do with responsibility to make change. Businesses are built up of individuals, so are communities, families, and governments.
This is uncomfortable, and I am lucky that "discomfort" is the worst I have suffered when it comes to race.
Stay safe, healthy, and kind. We have more in common with one another than we don't. This is the time to share love and support. - Leah xo