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I just deleted a comment from my page. I am not someone who typically deletes people from my feed – I ignore, I “take a break,” and I hide posts.

Most recently on Facebook, I was accused of “mob mentality” when I suggested a boycott of a business who said they weren’t going to get involved in “Black Lives Matter.” While a business has a choice to abstain, it is my choice to not support that business because of that stance. Reducing my decision making to “mob mentality” instead of doing some self-reflection, is lazy. Reducing my stance to “mob mentality” because I proudly proclaim Black Lives Matter, is racist.

I deleted this comment because there are some things not open to discussion. Being neutral in the face of racism is not something you can abstain from. As someone who has experienced trauma at the hands of police officers, and has witnessed racism up close and personal during college and during law school, I will not tolerate being told how to protest. It’s patronizing and dismisses me as a whole, thinking person.

In this current time, in this current moment, if you feel the need to explain away egregious acts, don’t. If you are not an actual ally doing real work to dismantle racist systems and find yourself wanting to offer the best methods for how Black people should protest or react during this time, the following comment is for you.

If you are white, don’t tell me how or what to do in the movement. It’s your time to listen.

We have listened to you for the last 200 YEARS on how we should be treated equally since the Emancipation Proclamation. We have followed your rules, your direction, tried to work within the system and build things on our own. None of it worked.

Want to tell me “Don’t fall for mob mentality” when boycotting local businesses?

Where was that enthusiasm when the mob decided Colin Kaepernick was no longer welcome for the ABSOLUTELY MOST PEACEFUL protest ever had? Literally, if had not been captured by the camera, you wouldn’t have even known about it, but you did because of the mob mentality.

Where were you when he said I’m kneeling to protest police brutality and the mob told him to shut up and play football?

Where were you when people declared he was against the US for not standing during the National Anthem, while you were likely sitting in your chair at home?

Did you come to his defense when he said I want all lives to matter therefore black lives need to matter? No, you sent the mob to boycott football games to the point where he was blackballed from even playing the sport.

So, deal with your own constant, persistent, pervasive mob mentality before you open your mouth to talk to me about mine.

April Grant, Facebook 2020

Next time you want to tell me how to protest, don’t. Check your biases and your privilege before you want to speak to someone else about theirs. Otherwise, prepare to be deleted.

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