HGTV star, Erin Napier of Mississippi renovation series Home Town is speaking up and adding her voice to the global conversation surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement after she was asked most eloquently by a fan to elaborate on her thoughts. With every city in the U.S., as well as almost 20 countries taking part in Black Lives Matter protests, the massive civil rights movement has captured everyone's attention, including Napier, who took to Instagram on June 3 to show her solidarity for the Black community.
But while Napier shared a snapshot from Mister Rogers alongside Officer Clemons with a brief caption for Blackout Tuesday that read, "Be the light, find the helpers," one fan direct messaged her with genuine concern over not speaking up more on her platform. "As a huge fan of you and your show, a follower of Christ and a black woman, I was hoping you would take a bigger stand," the fan, Danielle wrote in a direct message. "I know that God has a plan and that he loves all of us. He also knows that this is not right and justice must be done."
The heartfelt note tugged at Napier's heart, with the 34-year-old taking to Instagram once again to share a more lengthy, sincere message in sharing her approach, which she later shared to her feed with Danielle's permission. "I really appreciate you writing to me and following our story and our show. I feel like if Home Town resonates with you, maybe this will make sense, too," Napier wrote. "I want you to know that my social media quiet is not a difference of opinion; it's just a difference of expression. I think taking a 'bigger' stand lies in the small opportunities we meet every day as we go to the post office or order food in a restaurant."
Napier went on to write how she lives in a "60 percent African-American city," and attends church with people who are not White and has "loved those people and worshipped with them." Napier, who is married to her co-star, Ben Napier, also shared how the two will be teaching their daughter Helen to do the same. "I believe Jesus teaches us mercy, love and empathy. And I believe social media posting under duress from the world is not the answer. It is artificial. It will not heal what's wrong. Because a week from now, most of these same people will go back to posting the best summer sangria recipes and photos of their dogs because they feel they did their part with their post on Monday, and it's sickening to me."
Napier admits she tries to "pull away from any mass movement that feels insincere," and likens it to a "rebellious streak" that once worried her parents, though it now makes her "wary" of that "everybody's doing" it sentiment. "But know this: I think what Jesus teaches me is to show mercy and love and kindness and compassion to every person I interact with every day of my life. I don't have to post a black square for that to be true, and virtue doesn't happen by demand of a mob." The HGTV personality went on to say she was "sorry" to Danielle if she was ever "a victim" in her life because of the color of her skin. "I don't know your situation, but I will say a prayer for you today and continue my mission of making the next right step, doing the next right thing."
With Napier asking Danielle to repost their conversation on Instagram to share with others, the fan agreed and thanked her for the words in exchanges that followed. Napier went on to share how she wishes she could hug Danielle, writing: "I think we all have so much more in common than the world wants us to believe." The two women's conversation not only sparked insight, but a mutual understanding with Napier and Danielle now following each other on Instagram, for the home designer to further understand systemic racism and discrimination faced by millions in the Black community worldwide. Napier concluded her messages, writing: "Change happens one to one, just like this. That's the only thing I really want the world to know."