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Are you really asking for awareness?

You know what really grinds my gears?

I am fortunate to have a lot of friends who are active on social media. Often they share incredible articles, videos, and other content that teaches me about things that I, as a straight white cis woman, would have never even thought to google about otherwise. So I spend a solid chunk of time, week to week, reading thinkpieces and threads from Black Twitter and watching videos on various platforms, that are all intended to teach or at least share experience.

But so often, at the end of these pieces of content, will be a phrase: “All I/we/they ask is for you to be aware. We’re not telling you x/y/z is inherently bad, we’re not trying to make you feel bad/forced to change, but you should be aware.”

This trend is annoying. It is the written equivalent of making a strong statement and then capping it off with “but I don’t know, I’m not sure.” No! You are sure! Say what you meant to say!

When I see this, especially in content that’s intended for a straight white cis audience, it’s frustrating. Big topics are being covered–racism, homophobia, microaggressions, police brutality, you name it. And, the vast majority of the time, these authors are not just asking for your awareness! “Hey, this is me taking my valuable time and energy and patience to explain racism. But, all I ask for is your awareness.” Are you really asking for my “awareness”? No! We want these things to change.

This is a blog post about a minor annoyance about one sentence that I’ve been seeing a lot lately. I’ve clocked it a weirdly frequently number of times this week, which is why I wanted to write about it, but I know there’s a ton of reasons why content creators may finish off their content with that statement or a similar one. Whether it’s to not alienate their target audience, to come off as more “approachable” since their audience has been conditioned to see the author as x/y/z, you name it. But I read and watch all this great content and I want these creators to finish strong and stand by what they say instead of ending in the written equivalent of a shrug. This is so minor, but golly, it grinds my gears.

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