Hey. Hi. Hola. What it Do? I am Megan. Megan Torres
I would like to say that I thought long and hard before posting this, but I did not. It is purely reactive and I am mostly sick and tired of having this EXACT same discussion EVERYWHERE. This is in reference to a previous post that sought to demonize me for telling grown arsed people not to follow black children. I know the racial climate of where I live. I know that Columbus is considered “progressive” when it comes to LGBTQ concerns, but not race or class. I get it. Culture shock coming back from DC, but I know where I live. However, I will not be silenced. This type of online, thinly veiled racism is not new to me. I attended the University of Dayton and Boston College. If you are unfamiliar, both boast a whopping 5% minority population, at least back in the day when I attended. I frequently tapped out when discussions of race come up because SO MANY WHITE PEOPLE (nope saying “white” is not racist either) are tone deaf and willfully ignorant and love to call people racist for pointing out racism. It’s maddening. I’m not here to dismantle systems of oppression online. I’m here to speak up when I see something racist. The previous post suggested that following black children based on an ALLEGED crime is something that is acceptable…it’s not. Following people of color who “match the description” has always been coded language and it can and does incite violence against black bodies. Plus, following children (and I don’t care what you observed them do or what they allegedly bragged about doing) is creepy AF. If you don’t know that, perhaps it was Karma that paid you a visit, and not the hoodlums.
I also want to leave a link to an article regarding concerns that the co-founder of Nextdoor has around certain patterns in the Crime and Safety section. Mostly so people can see that I’m not just pulling ish out of my arse or trying to antagonize. Racial profiling is a problem in this country. It has life or death consequences for people of color. When you call the cops because my son or husband “looks suspicious” and poorly trained cops “misunderstand” it has deadly consequences for us. Empathy is considering that and exploring your unconscious bias before posting. To be clear I am NOT referring to the previous post regarding the kiddos who ALLEGEDLY stole a car and bragged about it (again appropriate to share in Crime and Safety…NOT appropriate to follow children who fit the description around the neighborhood and call the cops unless you are witnessing an actual crime taking place). What I am now referring to are the numerous posts that I’ve seen since I signed up that suggests that a person of color is up to no good based on the color of their skin. You may not understand it, but people ALL OVER the country are using next door to report “suspicious” people. And usually, these people are brown.
So there it is. I’m a social worker. I’m not scared or bullied easily. Especially online. Being a social worker and also just a general good human means that I sometimes speak an unpopular truth. Racism in America is no easy topic but so what? Grown ups and good people figure out how to disagree without name calling and threats. Happy to direct people to additional resources that support my concerns around racial profiling and the disproportionate policing of black boys and men or maybe even meet for coffee if you are genuinely interested in how to be anti racist. Keep in mind that racism is systemic, not always individual. You don’t need a white hood in your closet or cast your vote for Trump to be complicit in a racist system. Peace. Love. Hair Grease. And Jeni’s. And Black Lives Matter.