Words are Like Weapons It’s Important to Use With Care


A week ago or so I came across a friends post on Facebook. After reading it several times and then sleeping on it a few days I thought it prudent to share my response with you. 

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I would be remiss as your black friend not to speak up regarding your post, especially since no one else has, which speaks volumes in and of itself. I understand the hurt you feel regarding the negativity surrounding the issues we are grappling with as a society. As a woman and a minority, I have experienced this negativity throughout my life. It is very wearisome and needs to change.

For change to occur, everyone needs to recognize and acknowledge there is a problem and figure out his or her role in promoting the issue whether it be through innocent, misunderstood, or deliberate words or actions. When it comes to your statement, “…they have been promoting and encouraging the murders of police by Black Lives Matter and other hate associations, and I do not want to help mean, and evil people prosper at the expense of the innocent anymore” I am going to assume this is an innocent or misunderstood statement.

To think that the “they” you are referring to are black people and that black people as a whole, who have endured systemic racism for centuries that has resulted in our murder would then turn around and be “promoting and encouraging the murders of police” is devastating.

I am also going to assume you are confused by or don’t understand the purpose and the necessity of the Black Lives Matter organization and movement and therefore mistakenly lumped it in with “hate associations” such as the KKK, Neo-Nazis, or Skinheads. I know, in my heart, you are not saying that black people are “mean and evil” or that somehow that we are “prospering at the expense of the innocent.”

I am bringing your message to the forefront because although you may not have meant to convey your message in such a manner, ultimately words have power, and you need to give consideration before writing and speaking in any situation. Just because you did not mean to offend does not mean you did not. You must consider your audience and how your message will come across.

Jennifer I. Baker, Marketing Communications Consultant, helps businesses sail ahead of the competition by creating brand content that resonates with audiences. The founder of JIB Marketing Group and Co-Founder & Publisher of Powerful Women Reign, LLC reach out for tips on how to be heard in a busy digital world.

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