I’ve been reading a fashion blog since 2009. (Confession: I suppose I read multiple fashion blogs, but this one stands out.) It started off as a blog, a journal of sorts written by one woman. It has evolved into much more than a blog, into a business, a company, a store, and a brand, and now projects more than one woman’s voice.
It has not been lost to readers that all women who write articles for this blog are white. While I am a silent consumer of content (I’ve never commented on a video or article), others are more vocal and have pointed out the lack of diversity presented by this company. Did it bother me? Yes, but not enough to be bold enough to comment. Did I continue to read the articles? Yes, though I began to turning to other sources as well (see confession above).
Recently, before the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery and the killing of George Floyd, the founder addressed the lack of diversity within her company and stated that the platform will begin publishing articles on non-fashion topics such as the environment (and how the fashion industry impacts the environment), mental health, and diversity. There was much pushback from readers, many of whom expressed their concern that a group of white women are ill-equipped to write about experiences of racism. There was also opinion that a fashion blog doesn’t need to address these topics, and therefore shouldn’t.
These articles never materialized, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent atrocities, however, the company could hold its silence no longer and stated it would begin delving into tough topics by publishing editorials about institutional racism.
I’d like to address two concepts I’ve presented. The first is silence. For me, racism had always been a private topic, something I would discuss in a safe place with family or close friends.
We cannot live in a world where African-Americans are killed in broad daylight in front of multiple witnesses. This is wholly unacceptable.
The second concept is propriety. Just as readers asked the fashion blog founder, is it appropriate for your blog to speak on these topics? Perhaps you should continue to speak on headbands? Some of you may ask, what does a chiropractor have to say about Black Lives Matter?
To answer that question, what I have to say about Black Lives Matter is that Black Lives Matter.
We are beyond opining on who should speak and can speak on racism. We all need to speak about racism.
I challenge you to post on your blog, within your niche, about racism. Break the barriers of silence. Destroy the walls of appropriateness. Share your articles in the comments.
Understand, folks, that racism will end. Evil, and all its faces, will never prevail.