TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM (2nd paragraph)
We made this painting a while ago, and we are posting it now because we happened to watch Rihanna’s acceptance speech of 2020 President’s Award for philanthropic efforts at 51st NAACP Image Awards yesterday night. If you haven’t watched it yet, swipe right. It’s very important, and non-black people should reflect on what she is emphasising here, change our thinking so that we can put an end to anti-black racism and create an inclusive, safe space for black people all around the world.
We grew up in a slightly anti-black environment. When we were children, we were not aware of the oppression black people were facing and we treated everyone with an equal amount of respect and kindness, but we remember referring to black people as ‘Negroes’ cos that’s how we were thought to call them. We are extremely ashamed and angry at ourselves for using that word even though we were kids. It’s very offensive. It's just plain wrong and no one should use those kinds of words. When we were in our early teenhood, we realised how the people around us were prejudiced against the black community. We remember people closest to us treating Black people like they were criminals, and we tried to speak out against the obvious discrimination as much as we could, but it was not enough. Sometimes, we even have kept quiet and pretended nothing was wrong because we were scared.
We wish we were a little persistent and brave back then. No amount of apologies can fix our wrongs, but we promise to keep learning and do better. We promise to be better allies to the black community. Ignorance is a condition, but bigotry is a choice, and we have chosen which side we are on. We promise to call out anti-blackness in our environment and stand together with all our wonderful black siblings in this fight for humanity.
Riri | Digital Painting
Original size: 2480px × 3508px.
Duration: 6 hours.
Digital painting made using Adobe @photoshop & @corelpainter.
Video Credits (3rd, 4th, 5th slides): @bet via @youtube.