Self-Expression Isn't An Excuse to Spread Hate
Let me begin by saying I'm not an expert on social justice or politics. I'm a writer, a copywriter & a brand strategist. I'm not a US citizen. And these words will not be perfectly executed but they will be heartfelt. None of those limitations is reason enough to stay silent. Here's why...
I have said many times on this blog that I believe in self-expression. That I believe in finding & using your voice to show the world what you stand for. That I believe in marketing from your values & using them to start a movement & a battle cry. I do believe those things.
BUT LET ME BE CLEAR
Self-expression & freedom of speech in the name of spreading hatred, violence, racism, bigotry, prejudice & homophobia is NEVER okay.
The white supremacists in Charlottesville had a platform to spread their fear & vitriol & it was heard around the world.
But we cannot let the messages of hate that would divide us based on skin colour, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor drown out our messages of LOVE & unity.
I'm a privileged white woman living in a safe, first world country. I'm speaking out because I can. Because it's safe for me to do so when so many cannot. Could I lose followers & "friends"? Yes. Could I lose sales? Maybe. Is it worth it? You bet.
Because I believe silence is complacency.
It's not enough to be horrified. It's not enough to pray for the victims, to send light & love & healing to the people Charlottesville. Do all of those things, absolutely, but don't stop there. Educate yourself. Take inspired action. Donate. Raise your voice.
Words have the power to separate us. But they also have the power to heal & unite us. Use your voice to be a message of light, hope & love.
And let's drown out the darkness together.
What I've been reading/ watching this week that inspired me.
1. I Need To Talk To Spiritual White Women About White Supremacy Part 1 by Layla Saad.
2. Do Business & Politics Mix? by Rachel Kay Albers
4. This version of John Lennon's Imagine guaranteed to give you goosebumps - watch to the end.
Also, I wrote this poem about Hope in the days following Trump's election. It's feeling relevant again.