2020 is a year of lessons and seeing what is right in front of me. From turning everyday items into a toddler summer camp or seeing the truth about people I thought were friends or realizing ignoring a problem is a problem, this year is one of change. This year I’ve focused more on what is happening at the moment than ever before. Especially with Black Lives Matter in Monterey. I would like to share with you those changes and what led to them.
Black Lives Matter Monterey
I’ve always been picky about working with brands. I like to buy from ethical brands that have a strong connection to California. Skincare brands that use real and quality ingredients with a focus on results and not trashing the planet. Clothing that is made from deadstock with a sustainable focus. Quality over quantity. I believe it is possible to build a great wardrobe and skincare routine from a handful of beautifully made essentials that will last for years.
I’ve never thought to ask about diversity. Most are female-owned and/or minority-owned. I always thought that was enough. I see now it isn’t. I am making changes to right that wrong.
I’m not your typical Californian. I’m not vegan. I’m an okay driver. I’m pro 1A and 2A and the rest of the Constitution. I am a Catholic. I vote for the candidate that best aligns with my views— I’ve voted red, blue, and purple. I recycle and eat kale though Cheetos and Diet Coke make up the majority of my diet. I’m a tree hugger and cherish Monterey’s open spaces and protected coastline. I donate my time and money to women and children and animal charities that directly affect my community. I stand up for what I believe in. I also tend to have tunnel vision blocking out anything that doesn’t affect me personally. It is a flaw.
I grew up in a VERY diverse, lower-middle-class, military community. No two friends growing up had the same race, culture, or ethnicity. Most of my friends are first or second-generation immigrants. It leads to a comfortable bubble where I was exposed to languages, food and rituals most wouldn’t know about but I was very rarely exposed to racism. Even with all of that I’ve seen and experienced racism first hand.
As a kid, my grandma brought me with her to read and write for her. She read and spoke and understood fluent English. She didn’t need me except for my white face and American accent. I saw black and brown friends followed while shop owners ignored me due to my more Caucasian features. Racism IS real.
My father was a cop for my entire childhood—he retired when I was in my senior year of high school. I KNOW there are good cops. I grew up surrounded by them. I also know the systemic problems in police forces across the nation when those good cops try to speak out against the bad ones. I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter and that defunding the police while funding mental health and education is in the best interest of our communities. I also support good cops and know the value they bring to a community. It is possible to be both in support of Black Lives Matter and our police.
We still have a lot of work in this country. Most of which I don’t feel like I can help or contribute to. But there are things I can focus on. Being more aware of where I spend my dollars, time and influence is a start. Speaking up when I see a black person being shushed, ignored, or discriminated against is a must. Pointing out constantly that all lives cannot matter until BLACK LIVES MATTER and are treated more fairly in our society. These are the things I can do. I encourage you to think deep into your heart and speak out loud what you can do to make our country stronger and more unified.
I’m excited to connect with more diverse brands that still align with my sustainable and California focus. These last two weeks have been a fun adventure seeking out black businesses that I can’t wait to share both in the store and here on the blog!
Are you having movements in your own community like Black Lives Matter Monterey? What have you been experiencing? Let me know in a comment below.