I have absolutely loved seeing all the images in the #agigdocchallenge so far this week! So many talented photographers have been sharing their dolls of color (DOC) on Instagram, and it's encouraging to see so many people from different backgrounds and locations joining in to proudly share their beautiful dolls. I can't wait to see what people post the rest of the week, and invite you to join in if you haven't already.
I've also seen some pretty nasty, ignorant things commented, so I thought I might take a moment to explain why the challenge is so important, in my opinion.
This is why it's so important that there is an awareness brought to the ugly, ignorant racism that is going on in our country these days. Melody's pin says "Equal Rights in '63." Yet here we sit, 53 years later, and we don't have them yet. 53 years later and we still have people who are discriminated against, beaten, and murdered in this country because of their religion, their sexuality, and the color of their skin. 53 years later we're still hearing the excuse "Well, things are better than they were." for an explanation as to why things aren't how they should be. Better is not good enough when we are talking about treating all people equal! 53 years after the Birmingham Church Bombing that was written about in Melody's book we have grown women arguing that the #agigdocchallenge is "racist" against their white dolls. Seriously, people, step back a moment and think about what you are complaining about! You "feel" left out because you don't have a DOC?! There are people who actually ARE left out every day of their lives because of something they have absolutely no control over! The color of their skin. The ethnicity of their ancestors! The #agigdocchallenge doesn't leave you out! It's meant to bring awareness to the actual racism that rears its ugly head within the #agig community and outside of it!
I am extremely honored to be a part of the #agigdocchallenge. As I said above, it is so much fun taking photographs of my own dolls and looking at the beautiful images submitted by others, but I am acutely aware that it's more than that. When I have posted my pictures and put down my phone, put away my camera, and close my laptop, I have the privilege to walk away from it all for awhile. I have the privilege to be able to step away from the negative comments, the hatred, the racism, not because of anything I did, but because I was born with that privilege. I have that privilege because I am not part of a tribe that is once again having it's lands invaded. I am not the mother of a child who might be shot for the color of their skin. I am not a young American being told to "go back to where I came from" or that my parents only had me to be an "anchor baby". My daughter doesn't have to listen to people talk about how "ugly" the dolls that look like her are, or the fact that "there is no profit for AG in a DOC GOTY". I am acutely aware that I have that privilege, and because of that I have a responsibility not to ignore it. Not to deny it, or to become offended when it is pointed out, or to try and say that the people fighting against racism and oppression are somehow being mean to me. I have a responsibility to actively participate with others who are fighting against racism everywhere and anywhere that it rears its ugly head. Including Instagram.
That is why the #agigdocchallenge is so important. It's not leaving anyone out. It's equally celebrating EVERYONE! It's not going to fix anything overnight, but it's a start, and an important one, and if it makes you uncomfortable, scared, or angry, you need to take a step back and take a good long look at why you feel that way.
Because it's absolutely ridiculous and sad that we are still having this conversation 53 years later, and I am going to do every damn thing in my power to make sure that my grandchildren aren't having this same conversation 53 years from now.