Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

A Pause

It’s been about 3 weeks since I deactivated my Facebook account. I knew I wouldn’t delete it permanently- I love social media and the chance to watch and connect with people I don’t get to see often. However, for my own sanity, I had to take a break. I can’t say the exact moment that pushed me over the edge but I do know it had to do with something simple – masks.

I know. You’re rolling your eyes, wondering what the big deal is. Just put your kids in a mask, mask yourself, and keep it moving. If you know me though, you know it’s not that simple. I have a friend that often says I have an activist spirit. I’m always looking for a cause to champion and for a long time, it’s been race and racism in America. Not just that those things exist but that their existence is detrimental to my people and people I love. So what does any of that have to do with masks?

About a month ago, a group of mostly white parents threatened to sue our school district if they implemented a mask mandate. Yes – I know they were mostly white because they made the “bold” move to sign their names to the letter to the district. One of their leaders even referred to the group as the silent majority (if that doesn’t ring a bell let me help you – Trump’s fiercest, mostly white supporters – called themselves the silent majority and they wanted to be heard). Of all the things that this school district needs – more teachers, more technology, more funding – this group of parents thought the best use of their energy during a global pandemic was to threaten to sue the school district for possibly trying to protect thousands of students and staff from a highly contagious virus. The amount of audacity it takes to even organize that attempt is something that even I, who is quite full of audacity, couldn’t believe.

So, what does this have to do with race? One only needs to look at our history as a country. Time and time again, white folks have used their legal power to attempt to circumvent the greater good (Redlining, segregation, Jim Crow, voting rights – all of these things were at one time legal and accepted as a way to subjugate non-whites). Time and time again, the “silent majority” has used their power to attempt to keep their “freedom” at the expense of others – we had a whole war on US soil for this. Time and time again you see the same folks stand up at board meetings yelling and cursing at school board members for trying to keep kids safe. (75% of the folks who spoke out against mask mandates last night? White) Time and time again, black and brown folks have suffered at the hands of laws and lawyers who disregard their safety and well-being.

Now, before you come at me with – “It’s not all white people” – Well, duh. I’m fully aware of that. Just like there were white folks who marched in Selma and were abolitionists, there are white folks today who see the systems for what they are. I’m also fully aware that there are some non-white folks who don’t think we should have mask mandates, don’t believe in the vaccine, and in general – don’t see the system of white supremacy and systemic oppression that permeates even basic things like mask mandates. For those folks I say – just keep living – you’ll figure it out eventually

Why the Facebook pause though? It’s simple – this platform, along with all social media – has made it easier for one voice of ignorance to quickly become many. It’s made it easier for folks to say and do things that they wouldn’t dare say out loud and to spread ignorance and misinformation quickly. There are two, of many things, that will send me off the deep end and that’s ignorance and misinformation. There are too many resources to find facts for us to continually spread lies. So I took a step back to drown out the noise. To make sure what I feeling was real. It was.

For further reading, check out this article by Michael Harriot. Why won’t journalists call it what it is?

Until next time…

1 comment found

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I especially liked the article from The Root and posted it on my Facebook page.

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