I Realized The Real Pandemic We Were Facing Was Humanity
AfterBuzz TV’s ‘Allies On The Ground’ series features our amazing hosts and writers who have been standing up, speaking out and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and they are sharing their stories
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
June 2nd, 2020.
That was a date I told myself I would remember for the rest of my life. It occurred to me that this was the first time I wanted to remember a special day for a reason that was so much bigger than myself. It was the day I attended my first protest, specifically for Black Lives Matter.
Admittedly, I felt trepidation going into the protest. What if I got hurt? Will there be violence? What should I wear? If I post on my social media, will it look like I’m bragging or will I be sharing an authentic experience?
Admitting all my thoughts and planning for what lied ahead, as we drove closer to the protest, all I could feel was peace. I wasn’t scared anymore. I felt strong and I felt brave.
I was so taken aback at how a community of individuals who have been mistreated for so long could still show me such an outpouring wave of LOVE. Multiple black men came up to me and thanked ME for walking with them. I wanted to hug every single person there. For a moment, coronavirus didn’t even exist, and all I cared about was joining the community and the warmth that I was feeling. It was then I realized the real pandemic we were facing was humanity.
I, like many others, realize how much more I need to learn, and for the first time can confidently say I am implementing those steps to make a change. My friends and I are having deeper conversations than ever before. I’m questioning my own upbringing and potential racial stigmas I may have been pre-exposed to without realizing. Most importantly, I’m learning how I can do so much more than just “not be racist.”
“There’s no perfect way to protest.” Unfortunately, I will agree with that statement, especially from what the media chooses to share with its audience. However, I’m thrilled to use my social media platform as a way to share what the media doesn’t show enough of. We need to see more of the amazing individuals who walk in peace, simply fighting for their right to have what I’ve had since the day I was born.
I feel honored to live in a city where I can so boldly walk amongst others just like me who want justice. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life, and I feel like a changed person because of it.
We’ve always said “Hindsight is 2020.” We believe that when we look back on past experiences, we understand why we went through them. My true hope and prayer is that through the hell that has been 2020, we look back and realize we are so much better for it now. In a way, we all asked for this. We asked to reach our highest potential. We asked to live a life filled with adventure and opportunity. Now, we get the chance to live in that world- equally.
I’m embarrassed it’s taken me this long to realize the significance of this issue, but I now can say that type of ignorance is completely on its way out.
I’m excited to learn more and to be an ally in this fight forever. This is not a social media fad or just a conversation meant to last a few weeks. This is the start of a better future- and damn, I’m proud to be a part of it.
Haley J is an an Entertainment Host for AfterbuzzTV with a focus on wellness and mental health. She currently hosts Super Soul Sit Down- an after show based off of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast. She loves to express creativity through means of writing, music and fashion. She aspires to work her way up to a major television hosting platform such as E Entertainment or Access Hollywood.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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