I’ve shared this Roxane Gay tweet before. And I’ll most likely share it again.
I share it again today, because I was reminded recently of how this is a super complicated topic for many small businesses - no matter who they are or how big they are.
Many small businesses feel if they’re not posting about what’s going on in our country that it looks tone deaf.
They feel hopeless.
They feel the urge, the *need* to do something. I get it.
Activism doesn't have to be performative
Here's something, you can fight oppressive systems without vomiting up a bunch of well intentioned, but off the mark political posts.
Just because you don't discuss your activism on social media doesn't mean you aren't engaged in activism.— roxane gay (@rgay) January 30, 2017
Your activism doesn’t have to be performative on social media if you can’t handle it or have the resources to deal with the fallout.
You have to figure out what works best for you and your business - and what your audience looks to you for.
You may get pushback. You may find yourself in discussions that you’re not ready to have in public.
And you might actually do more harm than good - both to your business and others you may be speaking up for.
Are you in a position as a small business to lose revenue?
Weave activism into everything you do in your business
I find when I use my business for political commentary happening on the news, it derails me and takes me out of what I truly want to do.
My business exists to be of service for women owned, people of color owned, and queer owned businesses. So I make sure that is reflected in my decision making both in my business and my personal life.
As small businesses that are progressive it is imperative that we are making changes. That we are recognizing our privilege, that we are calling out white supremacy, and that we are actively dismantling oppressive systems.
And you can absolutely do this in everyday actions within your business without having to put your beliefs on blast online.
You're not off the hook
BUT. That doesn't mean I'm letting you off the hook. No. Far from it. It's easy to be an armchair activist but it's just as easy to become complacent if we're not holding ourselves accountable.
So here are some suggestions:
Look at who you hire. Look at who you lift up. Look at your language. Look at who you support. Look at who you serve. Look at the services you use.
Look at the conferences you go to. Look at the vendors you support. Look at the panels you’re on or attend. Look at where you put your money. Look at your own knee jerk reactions.
Donate your time once a month. Make phone calls. Knock doors for your local candidates.
Get real with yourself about your own complicity in what's happened in our nation.
Are you perpetrating your own white privilege?
There is much work to be done.
Performative political posts on social media will not actively dismantle any of the oppression our nation engages in.
Only real actions will.
There are many, many ways to dismantle the oppressive systems we live under and hold up. Your social media can be a part of that, but it doesn’t have to be all of it.