While I have room enough to applaud these teams, organizations, actors, and actresses for their ability to change stances. I can't help but think that this is purely to keep money in their pocket and save face in the public eye. Many believe folks will come for their heads (positions), and they’re probably right. I will support dismantling racists images, statues, portrayals, etc. I see the subtle progress that some people are trying to make whether it is out of fear of looking racist or they have truly and honestly adopted new beliefs.
I am here for the cultural shifts, but at times I fear that it takes away from what Black people are fighting for. We have been protesting so that we can be treated justly and fairly by the police, government systems, and white people as a whole. White people stepping out of their roles and creating space for Black people is appreciated. The Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians both considering name changes is appreciated. The NFL playing the Black National Anthem before week 1 games are appreciated. All of these efforts are appreciated (many of these actions should have been taken years ago), but it is not what we have been asking for and it begins to overshadow the true movement. The narrative shifts from “Black Lives Matter” to “Black characters should be voiced by Black people”. Again, I appreciate the gestures because there needs to be more space for Black people in Hollywood in front of the camera and behind the scenes, there needs to be more space for Black writers, journalists, editors, teachers, machinists, and any other space that is predominantly filled by white bodies.
I wonder if I am the only person that questions the motives. A bigger fear that I have is that the more obvious racist statues, logos, and people are replaced with a more vague and sinister figure. An actor steps out of a role and is replaced by a Black person only for the show to be canceled. The NFL plays Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing only to penalize players that continue to kneel and further ostracize and mock Kaepernick by releasing statements about how teams can sign him if they want. Board members of unnamed organizations allow the company to fail because of new Black leadership. I appreciate the efforts, but I want them to be made in good faith and I want our voices and the movement to be uplifted and supported. I want these same celebrities, organizations, and leaders to use their platforms to push for the change in policy and legislation more than I want their sympathy.
What are your thoughts?