For years now the last thing I tell my boys when they leave the house is to be kind. Of course, you need to do more than that in life, but being kind can lead to so much more. As a minority myself I know what it’s liked to be judged by my background and I would never want my boys to do that to someone else. Jon and I have tried very hard to make sure we are raising our boys to be open, kind, and a leader. Not a follower. We have always tried to be gender neutral at home, taught them about LGBT, and introduced them to race relations. It was actually only recently that they even realized that people came in different colors. They didn’t see it before. We try and explain that the world is full of many different people that look many different ways but on the inside, we are all the same. We should treat everyone how we want to be treated. For the most part, they get it and don’t understand why anyone would want to be mean to someone that looks different. I know it will get harder as they get older, but I’m hoping that we have given them a good enough background so they have that little voice in their head that makes them do the right thing. But after this past week, I know I need to do more to help.
I have the privilege of looking white. Actually, even the US census considers me to be white. My Hispanic background in their eyes is an ethnicity, not a race. That has not stopped the constant jokes in school that my family must be in the drug business since we are Colombian or assumptions that my parents came from hut villages. I have heard it all and for the most part, I have stood up to people when things have been said to me. What I have felt is only a fraction of what a black person must feel. I can’t imagine being black and having to tell my kids how to behave if a cop approaches them or feeling nervous to walk around a neighborhood by myself. I can’t get the words, “I CAN’T BREATH” out of my head. I’m sad, I’m angry, and honestly, I can’t believe we are still dealing with things like this. It feels like we went back in time.
It took me a while to process my feelings and decide if I was going to say something on social media (blog/instagram/etc). This is supposed to be a happy place where people can go for a dose of pretty and escape the real world. Also, there are people that are way more qualified than me to be talking about this. However, staying quiet gives the impression that you are not affected by what happened or worse yet, you are okay with it. So, I decided to speak out loud and get political and share my feelings.
So, how can you be an ally and help? DO SOMETHING
Speak Up: I don’t mean just posting about it on social media. I mean when you are put in a situation where a racist comment, joke, etc is made be that person that calls someone out on it. This is something I need to get better about. When it’s speaking up to a stranger I typically have no problem calling them out, but when it comes to family it’s trickier. I have to remember that there is no need to be mean about it. A simple, “Hey you might not realize it but what you are saying/doing is racist.” I think something as simple as that would make people think before speaking.
Sign a Petition: Currently, we are all a buzz with George Floyd, but there are many other petitions you can sign and they take seconds to do and require nothing else from you.
There are over 160 pages on Change.org full of petitions you can sign that have to do with Black Lives Matter causes.
Don’t change the narrative: Yes everyone matters. We know that in a perfect world all lives matter, but currently the group that is hurting is the black community. Their lives are at risk. Just because we are amplifying that, doesn’t mean that no one else matters.
“There is no right way to protest because that’s what protest is. It can’t be considered “right” by the system that it’s protesting.” – Trevor Noah – The Daily Show
Yes, it’s awful that stores are getting looted and cities are getting destroyed, but there is a way to address that and still be an ally. Instead of saying, “It’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop.” Try saying, ” It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop.”
Support a Black business: For the past couple of years, I have been trying to shop small. Why give all of my money to Amazon when for a small business owner it will make more of an impact. I always try to share the sources I find and love. Now I’m going to focus even more and spread the love and women on businesses that are owned by Blacks, POC, and minorities. Here is an amazing document with Black-owned businesses owned broken down by category.
Put your money where your mouth is and donate! There are so many organizations that are in need of support:
At the end of the day, I’m in no way an expert on this topic, and while I try my best, I know I have done things that are racist. At the moment did I realize it? No, but I do now. The one main situation I keep going back to is our desire to get out of our last home/school district and get into a better school district. For us, we were just concerned that if we stayed in our old house our kids would have to go to a school district with a really low ranking. That schools’ population is mainly Black. Did I care that my boys would be going to school with them based on race? No, but I was concerned about the district ranking low, not having enough funding, and the student population being of a lower economic status. I wanted the best for my kids and that wasn’t is. I wasn’t trying to be racist at all, but there it was.
I think this video does a great job of explaining systematic racism and it’s what made me realize what I had done with my school district situation.
Hopefully, this post will give you a little something to think about it. I’m totally open to hearing new ways that I can help be a better ally. If you are a Latina/Latino I would love to hear how you feel about Black Lives Matter. I’m really hoping this is a springboard for all minorities to be treated better, but I do understand how important the cause is for the Black movement at this time.
An amazing follower on Instagram sent me this google doc and it’s a wealth of information. If you want to learn more I would talk some time to go through all of the sources.
I'm Camila, A SELF APPOINTED STRIPE AFICIONADO WHO HAS A soft spot IN HER HEART FOR BLUE AND WHITE GINGER JARS, THE COLOR ORANGE, AND ELEPHANTS.
get my no fail formula on how to style your console for free.
get weekly design tips & Inspirations for a colorful life in your inbox
get inspired with our own home tour
ON THE BLOG
My living room is one of the rooms that evolved drastically from when we first moved one. Originally I painted the walls chocolate brown and did accents of white, blue and orange. That lasted maybe 2 years.
Our dining room sat empty for months. Okay maybe it was empty for just a handful of weeks and then we couldn’t take it anymore and put in a folding table and plastic outdoor chairs, but in my mind that was still empty.
On the main floor of our house we have a Florida room. Being that it’s a Florida room it is a considered a 3 season room, because there is no heat in the room. The previous owners used it as an indoor patio with outdoor furniture and it looked like this when we moved in.
Fall is the perfect season to host an outdoor movie night in your backyard! It’s that time of year when outdoor furniture is still outside and it gets dark earlier than the summer which means your little kiddos can enjoy the movie night as well. It’s so nice to transform your backyard with cozy blankets, […]
Can you believe it’s already November? Before we know it Thanks No. 1 Modern bar cart with patterned sides that looks great as is, but would also look amazing painted a pop of color! Plus it’s only $157. No. 2 This lucite bar cart is a personal favorite of mine. Look at those chic lines! […]
For the longest time our backyard was mainly just grass and a little small area where we laid down some pavers so that we could set out a little plastic table/chairs during the summer. Not exactly ideal for entertaining. For the past couple of years we have wanted to build a deck and enjoy the […]
Thank you for speaking out. Everyone that has a platform should be doing the same. I’ve had to re-evaluate the blogs I’ll still follow based on their silence around this. These discussions are obviously uncomfortable but silence is complicity. Again, thanks for lending your voice providing resources.