#Thread: If you were not part of planning the protest, if you were not given a role to do security, crowd control, traffic control, or medic care in advance of the protest, please do not try to jump into some active leading role upon your arrival.
Leaders in this movement & at actions already exist. They are often Black women & Black youth. We don’t need random folks to show up, see an absence of cis male adult leadership & assume someone needs to take over.
Learn to follow. Learn to be humble. Learn to be patient in awaiting instructions. Learn to be ok not in the spotlight. If you found an organized event online there is a 90%+ chance there’s a large team of people who are working to pull the action off, all actively communicating.
This team might include white allies. So again, if you see some white people seemingly focused on doing something in an organized-ish manner, that doesn’t mean any random white person should start doing that. There’s a plan, with roles, & sometimes your role is Protester #249.
When people who don’t know the plan & aren’t in communication with each other/leadership start doing things like blocking traffic or driving at the front of a protest caravan, it actually puts everyone in danger. This isn’t improv. This isn’t “everyone do whatever you want.”
Further we don’t know if you’re here to help or hurt, so you put everyone working on high alert trying to figure out WTF YOU’RE doing when we should be focused on the crowd. If you want to help, find ppl who seem like they know what they’re doing & ASK. Be willing to hear no.
We can often use help though! Maybe we need you to pass out some water bottles or run down the block to check out what’s going on & report back or carry some supplies. That helps. Just ask. Find & support leaders. There are many of us.
This movement cannot take big easily hurt egos. We can’t have star/celeb culture here. We are a constellation, a murmuration. Sometimes your work is witnessed by only few. Sometimes it’s thankless. But we survive by caring for the whole not simply ourselves.
TLDR: Please stop trying to take over leading roles simply because you don’t “see,” understand or appreciate the way leadership works in this movement for many of us. We are leader-full not leader- (or plan-) less.
FWIW I’ve seen this occur by white men, white women & Black men. Lots are folks are guilty of thinking young Black women couldn’t possibly have things covered w/ a team of ppl working under their leadership. But they do, so chill. Welcome to the protest, now let us work.
You can follow @DrSamiSchalk.
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