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Elaine Welteroth on Protests Across America: "Do Not Condemn What You Do Not Understand"
The Project Runway judge emphasizes the importance of activism in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Thousands have stepped up at protests, rallies, and vigils to support the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd's alleged murder at the hands of a police officer after he was arrested on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Elaine attended a protest in New York City last weekend, and has since shared her thoughts on protesting in Brooklyn — as well as her response to the images people are seeing on the news as demonstrations continue to be held by citizens and activists across the country.
"Do not condemn what you do not understand. Do not condemn a people’s response to pain you’ve never had to feel. Do not condemn a fight that you are not a part of," she wrote on Instagram.
In the same post, she made the inspiring conclusion: "Right now, we are at an inflection point in this country. What you say and do in this moment will be remembered as a reflection of the value you place on human life. Let the energy and focus of your fight be directed at a system that has enabled terrorism against Black people on our soil for generations. Time’s Up. This is a war for human life. Which side are you on?"
You can read her full message, below.
Elaine is definitely no stranger to breaking down barriers and using her voice to make a change. She was the youngest person — and only the second African-American person — to be an editor-in-chief at Condé Nast in its 100-plus-year history and is an advocate working to bring change to who and what images we see in pop culture.
The former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief also noted that this fight for social justice is incredibly personal for her.
"I love my brother. And my uncles. And my husband. And there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to keep them alive. Yours too. And because I can’t think of a single Black man in my life who has not been threatened at the hands of police, this is more than a news story—this personal. It’s personal every single time," she wrote, in part. "But I’m tired of crying as I cobble together resources, tired of putting my work aside to edit, sharpen, hone, and rewrite another caption to make sure you feel this like I feel this. I’m tired of my words feeling futile as I watch my non-Black friends post about everything but these crimes against our humanity."
She continued, "What Black people in this country need more than me or any other grieving Black person who is expected to broadcast our pain and speak out again and again on this same issue is for our WHITE FRIENDS to SPEAK UP and TAKE ACTION."
She implored people to take action and offered up this powerful message: "Going to try to get some rest now but one thought that I’m taking to bed with me tonight is this: Let’s go to bed with a plan and wake up with a purpose. Bc NO ONE CAN DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU."
She also listed several ways we can all step up and help, including going out to vote.