I woke up this morning to find that I had been automatically logged out of Facebook and Facebook messenger overnight. When I tried to log-in, it said that someone had reported me for not using my real name. My name is Jessica Harren, that's what's on my Driver's License, and what I used on facebook. I have sent in my driver's license. There is no time frame in which facebook will respond. A friend reported that they could not even find my page.
But I wanted to Talk to you today
I was in the middle of a bunch of messenger threads, and also important conversations. Myself and others in my community are trying to organize a class, and I am now unable to answer any questions on facebook messanger or in my groups about this class. Please comment below on this blog post with your questions. I promise I won't ban myself from my own website.
Why do you think this happened?
I spent yesterday showing some racism that happened in my Nextdoor Neighborhood site. I had also advertised the Safety Pin Box training inside several groups. One person was in both groups, and I received a facebook notification e-mail this morning (that I can't respond to) that she commented that she is very angry with me. I do not know who reported me for not using my real name. I do know that this is a normal tactic of racists online who think that honest conversation about race somehow hurts them, and that they have the entitlement to not be offended by life. The problem with this view, of course, is that it ignores that People of Color in our country never get the option to not be dehumanized for the color of their skin. They have to live with racism and the casual comments that let them know they are not as human as others every day. White fragility is a thing. You shouldread about it.
I have feelings about you being blocked
So does my Mom. She's worried about me and my safety. So do my friends, although if you're reading this, you maybe are one of those. Some people are feeling righteous anger on my behalf, some people think that I have to take care of myself and not put myself in these situations. Some people worry about me getting too tired, or burnt out, and that I need to take care of myself. Some people wish that I wouldn't stir things up because of the cost to my health and family and personal life. You are in good company.
However . . . .
Please save those feelings for the Black women, especially, but all other People of Color whose lives are impacted every day by racism. They lose health, too. And family time, too. The five year old Black children who are afraid their parents will be killed by the police, or arrested for speaking up. The Black women activists who have entire plans they can put into place when they get blocked from things, because it happens all the time. As tired as I am of people not believing me that racism is real and kills people, I've only just come to the fight for Liberation of All. I've only just started speaking up. Black children are not believed about how they are treated differently in stores and by teachers from the time they are young. We have to get honest, country. We have to start believing the stories of Black people and those who try to amplify their voices.
What Can I do?
Lots of things!
First, donate to Black Women Being so that the women who fight for Black liberation every day and also lose economic privledge while they do so can eat and pay their rent and feed their kids and fund their organizing.
Second, send me an e-mail, contact form, or text if you have my cell. I'm lonely being cut off from the place I have most of my friends and conversations. Facebook has been everything to me in my life of chronic illness and disability because I can have friends without needing energy to leave the house or hold up my own head.
Third, send a message to any other People of Color who are organizing and are activists today just to say hi and that you support them.
Fourth, if you are not already getting things from Safety Pin Box, you should. It'll help you learn what you need to learn. It'll help you create a world where this doesn't happen to me, or to any Black activists, either. They have a one-time Ally Backpack, a one-time Kid's Box, a subscription, and you can join the training here in the NW Suburbs of Chicago if you're close.
Fifth, follow some Black women on Twitter. If you go to my page @pastorjess615, you'll see that I follow lots of them.
Sixth, be sure to share DiDi Delgado's article about racism on facebook, and then share my article, too. It is horrible and part of racism, but sometimes while women are believed more. Please share both articles together. My voice is not the most important, and I hope it can help.
Seventh, support Black authors on Patreon like DiDi Delgado, Sherronda Brown, Ijeoma Oluo and also read (and fund) The Establishment on Medium.
Eigth, have a fun conversation in the comment of this blog, and share links to more articles about the truth of racism.
What I say is much worse for Black activists. Be aware of that, and look at the section above to know how to support them.
1. Is is driving me to distraction to not know what's going on, and who is saying what, and my fears about white supremacists taking over some of my posts and comment threads. This is where I have to trust my community and friends. So glad we don't do this work alone.
2. My stomach and head kinda hurt. No wonder health is often worse among those marginalized.
3. For the most extroverted person God ever created, being silenced is no fun.
4. Taking the risk of being silenced and living with a small bit of the reality that Black activists face in worse ways is part of being anti-racist, I think.
5. I can't do my other, paid job because of this block A woman from church and I were on messager about a really cool event our church is putting together (which I can't even link you to, because facebook is the church's only website), and she can't see messages from me or download the flyer I sent her. Thank God I already had her e-mail. I think facebook is confused about its role in the world. See article in Step 6 above from Ms. Delgado for more on racism in facebook.
6. Racism is a real problem, and silencing those who speak about it only leads to more lives being lost.
Pastor Jess, Author
Loves Jesus, Loves and Hates the Church at the Same Time, Calling Us to Honestly, ELCA Pastor
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This work is licensed by Rev. Jessica A. Harren under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.