A Reflection From Blackout Tuesday

Our thoughts after taking Blackout Tuesday to reflect on the current Black Lives Matter movement.

June 5, 2020

First of all, on behalf of our company, as well as each individual that has contributed to this platform, we would like to express our most heartfelt and intensive condolences to George Floyd and the countless other Black americans who have lost their lives to police brutality. 

We extend these condolences to any victim’s friends, family members, colleagues, or those who live in fear as a result of the current status between police and Black americans. You are being murdered, abused, mistreated, and profiled unjustly at an alarming rate. 

This is not your typical “news” because there is nothing new to report here. Minorities as a whole experience systematic racism, and Black americans have a particularly difficult experience in facing and frankly surviving the obstacles of a system that is not designed to work for them.

All of the above should go without saying, but in times like these especially, we feel it’s important to make our stance known to the people who depend on us for entertainment, commentary, and perspective. 

I’ll use that as a starting point as we attempt to dissect the events and circumstances that have led us to where we currently stand. Let’s talk about responsibility. Let’s talk about assuming accountability even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

Frankly, one uncomfortable aspect of this situation is the fact that it took riots in the streets on an ongoing basis to warrant a statement on the status of Black americans in this country. It is a regret of ours that we did not act sooner. However, we are very grateful for the opportunity to speak more directly to others who also may not have understood the urgency of speaking out earlier. 

I speak for the whole team when I say that a central reason for our existence as a company comes from a frustration with the current status of industry and the systems that comprise it. This is a company that has taken countless hours to create mission and vision statements that position us to do better when it comes to creating an alternative platform of media from the ground up, where all ideas and viewpoints are expressed rather than those that fit a comfortable narrative.

We are early stage and only have a handful of individuals on and associated with our team, but we will continue to double down on our dedication to onboarding employees, interns, and partners that are part of the black community. We believe that this is the only way to start to understand the problems that we face as a multi-racial nation.

The fact of the matter is that much of the pain that we see so vividly coming to light is perpetuated by the siloed realities that we now see clashing in the ongoing protests throughout the country. These siloed realities are a result of the differences in treatment that were designed into the systems of this country.

The difference between these silos for Black americans is that there is no option to ignore the realities of others, or escape from the injustice that they face everyday. The reality is that people unjustly dehumanize the members of the black community based on their skin color, either without context or by distorting or fabricating it to fit a narrative. The reality is a fight for their life, opportunities, and human status. 

This goes on while white people have the privilege of picking and choosing how involved they want to be with the reality of the situation for Black americans. They can choose to learn and act to improve that reality, they can choose to learn and do nothing, or finally they can choose to ignore and perhaps never understand anything about that reality at all. 

This is a distinct difference between how black and white people experience America. We have to make it very clear that it doesn’t take inter-dimensional travel for you to open your eyes and discover that the American Dream is plagued with caveats that come as a punch in the face again and again as Black americans try to pursue the same dreams as white americans.

Think about this dynamic very carefully the next time you see a politician, musician, actor, athlete, or anyone that has a platform speak about these issues. We have all listened to someone of that status give their “opinion” or “viewpoint” on these issues, and whether they are in support of the betterment of the situation or not, it becomes very apparent who has done their due diligence and who has not.

These individuals used to just get off easy; as easy in fact that a simple “they didn’t know any better” would suffice. Remember that the reason that they don’t know better is a choice. Hold them accountable with your voice.

For far too long, white and privileged americans have avoided learning and understanding the reality that Black americans face. They have experienced generations of pain in being forced to build this country, with little to show for it besides intensive trauma. In the year 2020, where every article of history is at your fingertips, it’s even more disgusting that people of privilege choose to live within their siloed reality that is afforded to those with white skin.

If there’s anything to be thankful for during this time, it’s that these protests have dragged many of these privileged individuals out of their comfort zone to address the realities that Black americans must face and experience the consequences of on a daily basis, to no fault of their own. With that, there will be many false characterizations, mistakes, and outright wrong statements and actions made by people of privilege. 

Our promise to our audience is to be here to check their bullshit and hate with logic, information, and action.

It would be a lie to say that we will always be right, but we will always check our own privilege, and seek out conversation and perspective wherever we have holes in our own understanding.

This statement is included in that process. We want to be called out if we have mischaracterized anything here, if you disagree at any point, or if you just want to add perspective to the conversation. 

The purpose of this statement is just that. This is a follow up to our announced pause and reflection on our platform following Black Out Tuesday, to report what we’ve learned and surmised from that time. 

Above all, this is an acknowledgement of the problem and reassurance that we hear you, we stand with you, and that we are here to keep these issues and other injustices at the heart of what we do and what we fight for. We love and feel for everyone in our audience, with the struggles of our Black american community members weighing particularly on our hearts now and forever. 

Keep listening, learning, and as always, never stop fighting for what is right.

Chris Mueller

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