There are just a handful of brands and websites that have held themselves accountable to last summer’s Blackout Tuesday, a rallying call to listen, learn, diversify workplace leadership, and amplify Black voices. On January 6, 2021 thousands of right-wing extremists marched to the United States Capitol in an attempt to overturn President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory, despite lack of evidence on voter fraud and corruption. As we watched events of the day unfold in horror, it was clear the terrorist attack marks one of the darkest days in modern American history. Though alarming for some, it was not surprising for anyone who has been paying attention during the last four years.
We scoured our favorite blogs and women’s websites but saw few, if any, denounce the administration that single handedly is to blame for the attempted coup. But alas, it’s no surprise here either. The blogging industry benefits from white supremacy and is upheld by silent influencers. There are few willing to risk their follower count and brand partnerships to speak up. Instead, our colleagues miss critical opportunities to use their platforms to educate a collective digital network of over 409 million monthly readers. We may not have been loud enough before but Femme Next Door is political.
We may not have been loud enough before but Femme Next Door is political.
You know that signature American tagline “we don’t discuss politics”? The frequency in which that phrase is used to divert our attention from actually learning is why we don’t know how or where to begin. Imagine how ill-equipped our children will be when it’s time to deal with their generation’s issues if our denial of politics continues to fester.
We have to start at home and normalize politics at the dinner table. Morality, ethics, integrity are the humanizing aspects of politics. You may think you aren’t born with the skills or have the pedigree to understand but think of politics as muscles that grow through daily exercise of observations, accurate history lessons, and listening. Let’s not lose this opportunity to learn how policy impacts people outside our immediate circles. Why wouldn’t we want a say if someone who doesn’t understand real, human problems wants to represent us in public office and is paid with our tax dollars?
It’s time to make space, to ease up when someone brings up politics, to rally your girlfriends to the next local election, to speak to your children about current events, to make sure your significant other holds the same values. Don’t stop when controversial subjects like abortion or gay rights come up at brunch. Too often, it’s “now isn’t the time!” only to never make time for issues that all Americans should be comfortable discussing. Ask questions to understand and jot notes in one of the notepads you’ve been meaning to use.
For us, important dinner table discussions will guide our content as we continue to prioritize politics and social justice as well as interiors and style. As an Asian American founder of Femme Next Door, I recognize my unique opportunity to help dismantle white supremacy. It is a privilege that I can speak from my experience as a woman of color but where I yield to Black voices and follow their lead.
While the world seems darker than ever before, the future feels more hopeful. It feels more honest. We feel a great responsibility to redirect course and are marching forward into 2021 with these five goals to do our part:
Prioritize BIPOC voices, profiles, and issues.
Exclusively work with brands that share our values.
Donate 20% of our annual earned revenue to Fair Fight Action.
Challenge white supremacy’s standard of beauty and style.
Finally, show readers what we’ve been missing all this time.
In this together,
feature image credit: blcksmthdesign