I’m Still Mad, but I’m Hopeful

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 3 min read

A few weeks have passed and things in the tech world are getting more back to normal (Android 11 beta yesterday, PS5 unveiling today), but I’m still mad about where we are as a country. The recent protests have given this country, and the world, a jolt that we’ve needed for a long time.

I saw this tweet recently and it really resonated with me:

American history books are like:
Slavery was bad but then Lincoln fixed it 😊
Then, segregation was also bad but Malcolm X didn't need to be so mean about it 😡 but MLK went on a biiig walk and fixed racism! The last racist left killed him 😭 but then he went to jail 🎉 the end

That’s slightly oversimplified, but it’s really not far off from how the race discussion ended for me in school. The issue of racism, both overt and systematic, has not been front of mind for me ever, and the protests going on right now have forced me to consider race in a way I haven’t been forced to before.

I’ve shared my stories of run ins with the cops, I’ve read tons of articles about the history of race & the current state of being black in America, I’ve shared the best things I’ve read on social media in hopes others read it too, and I blacked out my Birch Bark newsletter last week. All of this has been hard, which considering I’m opening my eyes to something I’ve been all too happy to ignore forever, makes total sense.

But I have hope.

I have hope because this doesn’t feel like a flash in the pan.

This doesn’t feel like your average protest.

I mean, look at Philadelphia last weekend!

Look at these sights in Germany.

Or France.

This is a moment with more visible buy in than I’ve possibly ever seen, with the only thing remotely close being the Women’s March in 2017.

I’m also heartened by the movement in support for the Black Lives Matter movement overall.


I’m heartened by how many creators of all skin colors sharing their support right now.

I’ve donated to numerous groups, and I’m pleased to see so many others doing the same.

I’m shocked to see actual charges brought up in George Floyd’s case.

I’m flabbergasted to see actual change happen in policing in some places across the country.

I’m stunned to see NASCAR put an end to Confederate flag imagery at their events.

And selfishly, I’m happy that despite me talking about almost only about Black Lives Matter on all my platforms, I’ve gained Twitter followers, this site has more subscribers than before, and my newsletter lost a few readers but gained even more.

I guess I’m just happy to see that things are changing in ways we never would have thought possible just a few months ago. Keep talking, keep donating, and if you’re able to, keep protesting because it’s working.