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Keep your foot on the gas.

I have always embraced people who didn’t look or act like me. Always looked at us as equal no matter our race, and I’ve never looked at the colour of our skin to be something worth pointing out. But when there are people in this world who simply cannot live a life in peace because of the colour of their skin, this HAS to be acknowledged! When we use “all lives matter” as an argument in the debate about the oppression of POC, we are ignoring the fact that they do not feel seen, heard or appreciated. There is systemic and structural racism in many countries across the world, Denmark included. Structures which we are consciously or unconsciously part of maintaining. Structures that have never directly affected me, a white woman, who has never felt what it was like to be held back because of the colour of my skin. Structures that have been designed for my benefit, while oothers are being oppressed, structures I want to learn to understand but most importantly; be part of breaking down.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBBufmpgYc7/?igshid=wll7b56ynswm

I’ve been sharing some important, valuable articles, posts, places to donate, petitions to sign etc. during the week on Instagram, and I thought I wanted to gather up some of these in here as well, in case there are people reading my blog who might not have Instagram. It’s important for me that you guys understand, that the work doesn’t end here. I will continue to work with this both online and offline even though I will still be sharing the content you already know from me as well. I might make mistakes along the way – I will do my best to make sure I won’t, and pick myself up and try harder if I do. If you live in Denmark I hope you will dive into the matter too, before jumping to the conclusion that this doesn’t concern you. Racism is relevant for all of us. Anti-racism in particular. Denmark was actually a central part of the trade of slaves during the colonial period, and the lack of knowledge within our own history both here and across the world, has huge consequences for POC living in our society today. We are ignorant about feelings and understandings evolved around colonialist history, instead of trying to listen, learn and work against racism as we sadly still know it today.

So what happens now?

As Holiday Phillips writes in this article, activism can’t begin and end with a hashtag. One grid post or a series of stories is simply not enough, if you’re not willing to do more, online or offline. My own personal journey is continuing (to mention one important thing I’m doing right now, I am finishing up the book I mention below), but I will also keep working with this on a more professional level through my work. So in short I’ve made some more long-term commitments both personally and professionally (you’ll find these on the list below), both offline and online. Especially the professional commitments are naturally aligned with the efforts I’ve already been putting into my work with sustainable fashion and lifestyle the past 6 years, and some of them are highly encouraged by what I have learned about systemic racism lately. I wish for the fashion and lifestyle industry, that there will be more focus on wider representation and diversity moving forward, and I am willing to do what I can as a content creator, to push forward on this. When I write representation, remember I mean representation on a wider scale too – but right now we need to focus on the oppression of BIPOC. This is about justice. And environmental justice can only happen, if we also have racial justice (words kindly borrowed by the always inspiring Gitte Mary).

I know there are many other ressources and places to educate yourself, donate etc. than this list, but here’s where I have kept my focus for now. It might be a good place for yourself to start as well. Remember this is a marathon; not a sprint. The world needs us to be in it for the long haul, so don’t expect yourself to learn everything at once, but keep your foot on the gas.

Jeg har altid favnet mennsker der ikke så ud som mig selv. Altid set os alle være på lige fod med hinanden uanset race og aldrig set hudfarve som noget der skulle italesættes. Men hudfarven skal italesættes, når der findes mennesker der end ikke kan leve i fred netop på baggrund af denne! Og når vi bruger “all lives matter” som argument i en debatten om undertrykkelse af POC, så er vi med til at undergrave at disse mennesker ikke føler sig set, hørt og værdsat. Der findes strukturel racisme både indenfor og udenfor landets grænser, det er ikke kun noget vi skal kigge til USA for at få øje på. Strukturer vi er med til enten bevidst eller ubevidst at opretholde. Strukturer der ikke påvirker mig, en hvid kvinde, der aldrig har oplevet min hudfarve som noget der begrænsede mig. Strukturer der er designet til min fordel, samtidig med de undertrykker andre. Strukturer som jeg gerne vil lære at forstå og ikke mindst være med til at nedbryde.

Jeg har delt nogle vigtige, brugbare artikler, opslag, steder at donere m.m. i løbet af ugen ovre på min Instagram profil, og tænkte jeg også ville samle dem her til de af jer som foretrækker, at følge med herinde. Det er vigtigt for mig at I forstår, at arbejdet ikke slutter her. Mit arbejde med det her fortsætter online såvel som offline, også selvom jeg fortsat vil dele det indhold som I kender fra min side. Hvis du er bosat i Danmark så håber jeg, at du vil dykke lidt dybere ned i emnet, inden du forhaster dig til konklusioner om, at denne debat ikke også er relevant indenfor vores eget lands grænser. Racisme vedrører os alle. Anti-racisme gør især. Har du fx nogensinde skænket det en tanke, hvorfor det hedder “kolonial-varer“? Danmark var en central aktør i handlen med slaver i kolonitiden, og den manglende bevidsthed om vores egen (såvel som andre koloni-magters historie) har konsekvenser for POC der lever i vores samfund den dag i dag. Vi er ignorante overfor følelser der opstår i forbindelse med kolonialistiske forståelser af forskellighed og magt, i stedet for at prøve at lytte, lære og stille os imod den strukturelle racisme vi der besidder såkaldt “white privilege” befinder os så trygt i. Du kan også læse mere om hvor racisme faktisk ofte sker herhjemme via Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke lige HER, som har samlet en række oplysninger fra en rapport lavet af rigspolitiet.

Så hvad nu?

Som Holiday Phillips skriver så fint i denne artikel, så kan aktivisme ikke hverken starte eller slutte med et hashtag. Et enkelt opslag eller en serie stories er ganske enkelt ikke nok. Min egen personlige læring fortsætter (bl.a. ved at arbejde mig igennem sidste halvdel af bogen jeg linker til nedenfor), men også på det mere profesionelle plan – gennem mit arbejde online såvel som fysisk – har jeg også sat mig for nye, langsigtede tiltag. Tiltag som falder i naturlig forlængelse af de krav jeg satte mig for, at stille både mig selv og eksterne samarbejdspartnere, da jeg begyndte at skrive om bæredygtig mode og livsstil for snart 6 år siden. Men også anti-racisme tiltag der tager mere direkte hånd om og udfordrer manglende repræsentation og diversitet indenfor mode- og livsstilsbranchen. Repræsentation generelt selvfølgelig, men i dette tilfælde taler vi om manglende retfærdighed og racediskriminationen af POC. Det her handler om retfærdighed. Og miljømæssig retfærdighed kan kun opnås, hvis der også er medmenneskelig retfærdighed (ord som jeg har lånt evigt inspirerende af Gitte Marie). Jeg vil måske snuble undervejs, men vil gøre mit for at mindske risikoen for at lave fejl, og samle mig selv op igen hvis det skulle ske.

Jeg ved der er mange andre steder man kan tage fat end det følgende, men husk på at det her er en marathon; ikke en sprint. Du lærer ikke det hele på én gang og verden har brug for, at vi hver især er vedholdende. Men her er nogle gode steder at starte. Der er masser af inspiration til os der bor i Danmark på listen også.

Places to start educating yourself

Read Me & White Supremacy by Layla Saad. I’m listening to my book via Audible but it is available via Saxo in Denmark too. And don’t forget to do the reflective prompts in the book as well, and note down your answers. This is not a book you just read, and then it’s “job done”. This requires effort, and I’m only halfway through myself. It’s not going to be pleasant as the book pushes the boundaries of the world we think we know (especially when speaking of white privilege) but doing the work is beyond important.

If you’re Danish go read Cathrine from Rock Paper Dresses post about “white privilege” too.

Instagram profiles to keep you motivated but also educated

International profiles
@shityoushouldcareabout
@ohhappydani
@jenerous
@theconsciouskid
@ajabarber
@privtog
@blacklivesmatter

Danish profiles
@theycallhermary
@luciadoom
@mica_hdif
@amnestydanmark
@blacklivesmatterdenmark
@asatt.dk (podcast about being a minority with African roots in Denmark)
@dk.selfish
… and check out this list of Danish POC owned businesses via Selfish right HERE.

I’ve also made THIS post with inspiring black content creators to check out so you can diversify your feed, but feel free to go through who else I follow tapping on “following” on my Instagram profile.

Places to donate and petitions to sign

International overview of where to donate, sign petitions, material for protesters and more HERE.

For people in Denmark I recommend you to check out Amnesty Danmark HERE. You can also support Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, who is also fighting actively against racism.

What to do if you’re a brand/business or an online creator

Check out THIS post for brands and THIS post for online creators, courtesy of @vixmeldrew. Here are some great, on-hands tips on how to move forward and start challenging the systemic racist structure we might be part of maintaining.

With inspiration from the above I’ve updated my own terms for my work as an online content creator (read more under “how I work” and “disclaimer“), so that it is clear how I wish to move forward. I will also be going through my brand library over the next weeks/months, so ensure the list is inclusive as well as sustainable.

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The Comments

  • Sue Burpee
    9. June 2020

    Well said, Signe. I’ve been pondering this myself, how to not drop the ball but continue blogging and writing and not look as if I’ve swept it all under the carpet. The Holiday Phillips article is really helpful. Thanks.

  • Deb
    10. June 2020

    Signe, this post warms my heart in so many ways. It has been inspiring to see people around the world speak out and protest against injustice and racism as this is a global issue. I attended my first peaceful protest last week and watching the passionate speeches by the college-aged organizers gave me hope for the future. I am in an interracial marriage with 3 biracial children. I want my children to be safe and have the same opportunities as their white friends and family. It is important that we all do our part and I thank you for your positive influence on your community.

    Love from Chicago

  • Marta Goldstein Death – Obituary : NCIS New Orleans Marta Goldstein Cause of Death Unknown.
    29. November 2020

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  • Claudio Fernandez
    29. November 2020

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject.
    I really like all of the points you’ve made.