The Mental Strain of Activism

Black Community, Black Lives Matter, Self Help, Uncategorized

The week of Sandra Bland’s death and my subsequent post got quite a few hits.  I actually got reblogged by the actor Jesse Williams on tumblr which was pretty cool.  Afterwards, came the bombardment of images, videos and speculation.  Normally, I don’t follow hearsay when it comes to cases like these until I get all the facts, but I’m only human and got caught up in the moment.  There were so many allegations going around, I thought I was following the Bill Cosby case for awhile.  Needless to say, it took a mental toll on me.

I try to be informative and write posts that change hearts and minds.  I want people to understand the movement black lives matter and what racial inequality exists, however I want to be fair and balanced and not throw out accusations like I see most people, even some of your favorite activists do from time to time.  Walking this fine line can be rather difficult sometimes…

Attempting to change minds and hearts is the worst because some people just don’t get it not do they want to get it.  Others get it but are afraid to speak out.  Sometimes I feel like a lone wolf out there fighting for justice in a world full of ignorance; I wouldn’t do myself the disservice of only speaking to people who agree with me like I see most activists do on Black Twitter, however the alternative is so mentally exhausting.  In addition, how do I display my love for black issues without coming off aggressive and combative.   I took a mental break these last few weeks to get my head together.  I think I’ve gotten a balance and I can give you a few easy steps in helping you.

1. Step Away From Your Social Media

I can’t stress this Enough.  Stepping away was the best thing for me.  I was able to relax, go to the park and clear my head.  I was able to prioritize things in my head including my personal life and goals with my activism which was a big concern for me…

2.  Choose your battles

There are so many injustices happening towards black and brown people everyday that it’s hard to keep up with some days.  As sad and foul as it is, you can’t champion every single issue that comes across your timeline or newsfeed.  Think of yourself as an editor of a newspaper, things you care about this most should be the things you post or retweet.  You’re only human, you can’t cover it all.  There are people who get paid to do that.

3.  Some People just aren’t going to get it

Some people just aren’t going to get it.  It’s as plain as that.  You can preach until you’re blue in the face, they aren’t not going to get it.  You shouldn’t waste your time debating or arguing with them.  Someone who believes racism nor police brutality exists, no matter how many black and brown men/women get killed, doesn’t deserve your time.  Allow them to live in their blissful ignorance.

4.  Find distractions

For the past few weeks, all I posted on Facebook was funny videos that made me laugh.  Not only did it warm my heart, it was a balance to all the crap that was going on at the time.  Sometimes you need to laugh and escape.  We, as a black race have been doing it for a long time.   Read a book, meditate, go spend time with friends or fam and remember there is a world outside of social media.

5.  Keep hope alive

You have to stay strong during these times.  Going to work with people who don’t understand how you feel to seeing friends at home who just don’t seem to care, you sometimes loose hope.  You can’t though.  Everybody has their part to play in this huge movement.  Whether you retweet a story or are on the front-lines,  you are somebody in the bigger picture.

Those are a few of my tips/steps.  If you have any, please feel free to share in the comments…


The Trouble with Being Myself is…

Self Help, Uncategorized

  Last night was pretty fun, I had drinks with my acting class and we discussed our careers and goals.  We all gave each other constructive criticism and said what we could work on.  I was told  that I’m a good looking dude and if I kept up with my appearance more I’d be on track for my career in entertainment.   This caught me off guard because I thought I had become more comfortable with who I was over the years.  I remember being so scared thay I wouldn’t even speak or give me opinion out of fear of judgment, and I’ve grown so much since then.  Honestly, I could give a shit about what I wear or how people perceive…..who am I kidding, I care so much I’ve given up on trying. I hate this because it stiffles me from being happy. Low self esteem has plagued me my entire life.  

 I took this test earlier today that told me I had low self esteem.  It’s something that I’ve always battled with my whole life, but never wanted to admit.  I’ve battled with having a low opinion of myself and what I offer ever since I could remember.  I’m in an industry where having confidence is probably the most important thing.  Looks have always been last priority to me.  I barely shave, I dress pretty plain although I have my moments that I look fashionable, but I dress to not be seen or stand out.  If I have to dress up for an event or audition I will, but normally I’m just a plain dude.  Btw, I hate ties and suits.  If I were back home, this would be applicable.  Here in Los Angeles, it makes me stand out but not in a good way. 

I’ve never admitted to myself that I cared so much and even thought I was above it.  I told myself on shallow people care about looks and my talent and personality would shine through. That was a lie. I cared so much about people thought about me that it was easier not to care at all.  So where do I go from here?  I haven’t decided yet, but I do know I’m going to start doing things and making choices that make me feel happy about myself.  It’s easier said that done because it’s easier to sabotage myself and do things that contradict my happiness.  I have to do it though because I’m tired of being unhappy with myself…