2020 is turning out to be scarier than I thought.

While in the midst of a worldwide pandemic…A murder. Protests. Riots. Businesses looted. Buildings in flames. Yelling from both “sides” of which I could not even fathom another side to a murder…

Our country has been through a lot this past week and my heart is heavy. As I watch the news, I see so many people affected and hurting. And it hurts my heart, too.

I hurt seeing George Floyd’s brother crying on national television, trying to grasp the senseless loss of his brother.

I hurt seeing peaceful protestors and completely innocent bystanders get thrown to the ground, beaten, and tased.

I hurt seeing our first responders and officers in scary situations, many of whom are good people, and wonder if their families are okay, too.

I hurt seeing mom and pop shops being looted by people taking advantage of this situation, losing everything they’ve worked so hard for.

You might read those sentences above and say, “Well, ___ is happening because ___ is happening, and honestly, they deserve it.” But this plays into stereotypes, generalizations, and pre-judgements. Not everyone is one way. And my heart hurts because at the bottom of it all, we’re all just humans trying to do our very best. I really do believe this. But of course, there are…exceptions.

Even as events unfold that try to deter us, we can’t forget the most important message: #BlackLivesMatter. As many black leaders have explained, this is not saying that black lives are more important than any other lives, but that they are equal.

Black people have faced oppression since the founding of our country, leading to systemic racism. If you are not black, you’ll never understand what it’s like, but what you can do is listen, understand, and help ignite change.

Everyone has the right to do their part in their own ways. Whether it’s going out and protesting, donating to an organization or affected families, or posting about it – anything – it all helps. We even shared some resources on POPFLEX about ways you can help. But the MOST important thing you can do is to stand up for the human rights of black people. Call out racism when you see it. Have the hard conversations. Stand up for what you believe in.

Some people will be grateful and hear you out with open arms. Others may be cruel. But don’t let that deter you. This is about the right for basic human rights. The right to live will always be a fight worth fighting.

I encourage you to listen. Take a moment to really absorb what is happening in our world, hear out community leaders, and think about how you can actually make a change. We need to stand up and speak for those who are yelling, but cannot be heard.

The Conversation (15)

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  • Rosemyna says:

    Cassey, Thank you because it’s not only outside but its also in every school community, so I showed this to my principle and she was enlightened to send this to every student to read and for them to understand.
    – Rosemy, Rosemyna

  • Ben Qereqeretabua says:

    Love this… Burst into tears while reading this beautiful piece.
    Thank You so Much.

  • Bryanna says:

    You’re always a light in dark times, Cassey. Thank you for being so level-headed and encouraging to me and to everyone. For always doing what you can to help.

  • Naima H Norrise says:

    Hi Cassey! I noticed that you posted this blog about a week ago and it’s interesting to me because normally your blogs have a ton of comments. Some so many I dare not read them all as I might be reading all day! Anyhow, for the rest of your followers now is not the time to be silent. Your voice is needed. What you think and feel cannot be addressed if you stay closed up and silent. As a Black woman I have dealt with this ALL MY LIFE!!!! And YES, I am TIRED!! But tired doesn’t get anything done. I and we have to continue to press on and through and try to do things in our lives to improve them for ourselves and our offspring bit by bit. It is NOT easy. Especially when people believe that there is equal opportunity for all. There is NOT!!! Anyway, I will admit that I have at times felt that even though I absolutely love POP Pilates and adore teaching it, I feel that representation of it’s diversity is lopsided. I only recall seeing 2 Black Popsters behind Cassey for POP releases. This is not a dig on Cassey, just my observation. And because I teach 8 formats I see this constantly. Again, not a slight on any format or their creators/ managers. If you want to understand some of of what I am writing, imagine being talented, spirited and ambitious and knowing that you can create change in the lives of others through your craft yet you have insecurities that can’t be pushed to the side with mere encouragement. You know that your efforts, which may be similar to the efforts of others may go unnoticed or ignored due to the color of your skin. Or maybe you’ve experienced so much rejection you don’t try anymore.
    Tragic. The struggle for alot of us runs really deep, actually into our DNA from years of systemic racism and being told to just suck it up or get over it! But not really knowing how to do that. Imagine if someone were to cut off your arms and legs, leave you to die and then when you survived say now get out there and run! What!? Really!? How??? What about the wounds? What about the traumatizing torture that prevents me from trusting? What about the fear that causes me not to follow through even after time has allowed me to smile again? It’s not impossible but definitely more than just a “challenge”. Anyway, I apologize for the vent and I can definitely go on but I won’t because my soul is filled with THIS! It is a part of me. It is a part of my life. It is my reality.🙏🏾💗🙏🏾

    • Faith Rush says:

      You vent love!! Please, It’s needed in this world! The way you said that both inspired me and broke my heart. You shouldn’t have to live this reality. It’s awful, broken, and no one, NO ONE should have to live this way. As a girl becoming a women, I already know what it’s like being treated differently because of something you can’t control and that you are proud of being. You are so beautiful, just the way you are, and the fact that people don’t want to see your beauty, strength, and intelligence just because you look different than them is just messed up. I want to help change it. It hurts my heart to see beautiful people just giving up or not even trying in life and in this movement because of what it might do to them. That’s an awful way to live and if I’m honest, I hate it!! I’m tired of it too!! But as you so wonderfully said “tired doesn’t get anything done”. Actions do. I stand with you and I want to hear your voice over mine, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop speaking up, it just means you are more important than I am. I love your voice. You are beautiful and I love you. Help show me how I can change, grow, and make OUR world better for you. Because it is OUR world, and right now our messed up society isn’t treating it as OUR world (yours and mine) it’s treating it like it’s “our world”, a world where we think we’re “accepting” but we really only give ourselves more and not let others shine through and let their beautiful voices be heard. That can change. Your voice is needed in the room. You shouldn’t feel like you can’t say anything when you’re in the room, you are the most important person here. Sorry for all that if it didn’t make sense or if I said something wrong (I promise I didn’t mean it if I did), what I’m trying to say is, I Love You. For who you are and I’m listening and learning and I need to know how to make the world a place where you feel loved for who you are not because of how you look. I love you so much💛🤘🏿

  • Brenda Reynolds says:

    A hardened heart causes one to feel they are better than, another. If, we fear God, we would fear taking an innocent life. But, This country failed to remember we were fearfully and wonderfully made by a living God. I’m grateful He doesn’t treat us as we treat others. Yet, sin will not be overlooked.

  • Kate says:

    Well said Cassey! This is my favourite blog you’ve ever posted. 100% agree with you.

  • Malynn says:

    Thank you Cassey so much. I appreciate that you addressed multiple sides of the outcomes from this situation, including the meaning of the blacklivesmatter movement to the fact that first responders are scared too and they have families too. This year is getting scarier and scarier and I pray that there will at least be positive change as an outcome of all this.

  • Maggie says:

    I saw your story on Instagram this morning about your good friend who received racist, hateful messages. The way you addressed that was great. I am not part of the black community but I want to say thank you for using your platform so unapologetically!!! You give hateful, angry, racists no place to hide on your platform, as it should be!!

  • 2020 has certainly been a year so far! But I know that things will blossom beautifully after these storms.

  • Mai says:

    Thank you Cassey!

  • Selleannia says:

    Thank you Cassey! Its important to hear support from other people outside the black community to unite one another. It’s not just a black people fight, it’s a human fight against injustice, period. Treating one another with love and respect is the first place to start. Thank you and God bless.

  • Lena says:

    Thank you for posting this, Cassey. You are absolutely correct! Thank you for your cry for unity!!

  • LP says:

    Thank you for this bold and direct post! Sometimes simply being heard and understood can make a world of difference. Thank you for understanding the concept that it is not necessary to have directly experienced someone’s pain in order to be empathetic toward it and to simply acknowledge the validity of their pain, anguish and fear.

  • Summer says:

    I see you in a new way and with such new respect. Thank you for speaking up for us, Cassey.