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What is Performative Action?

I've noticed a lot of women feeling stuck on social media because they don't want their actions to look fake. Social media seems too easy, but other larger actions seem out of reach right now. On top of all that, seeing other people go on social media, talk about the movement and then recieve backlash can make it all seem like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. It's a lot to wrap your head around and could just ultimately cause you to feel frozen.

It doesn't have to freeze you up as long as you're using social media intentionally. What causes social media to seem performative is when people make that one quick social media (#blackouttuesday is a good example) and you never see them talking about race or the BLM movement ever again. It sends out the message that this movement actually isn't important to them as you see them going back to talking about their regular lives and businesses. Now, of course we don't know what's really going on with the person, they could just be feeling lost and overwhelmed (which is really a sign that they should be getting help to deal with the situation, but I digress).

I mentioned using social media intentionally and this is what I mean. As people with a social media platform, we have an audience that is willing to listen. Even if that audience is one person. That is one person that we can help create a shift for.

Some of the key points in being actively anti-racist are:

  • Spreading awareness (sharing Black stories, sharing your own stories of witnessing racism and sharing resources that explain what's going on)

  • Elevating Black voices (promote Black businesses and Black social media accounts that you've been getting informattion from)

  • Having difficult conversations (those can happen in the comments section!)

  • Educating (sharing resources that explain how to help)

The key is to be intentional and consistent. Anti-racism work is a process and although this is only the beginning, it's an amazing place to start.

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