A lot of Black and Brown and Muslim people were murdered recently.
Stop white supremacists. Stop anti-Blackness. Stop Islamophobia. Stop xenophobia. Stop the police. Don’t stop reading yet —
1. If you’re not an alt-right white supremacist, why are you mad? I wasn’t talking about you.
2. Wait no, I was talking about you. I was talking about all of us. This isn’t just about white people (even though it often is). Anti-Blackness is everywhere. The police officer and self-appointed vigilante who killed Philando Castile and Trayvon Martin, respectively, are Hispanic. The police officer who killed Akai Gurley is Asian American. Three of the six police officers who killed Freddie Gray are black. (None of them are in prison.)
3. We are all complicit.
When we talk about “bad/sketchy/ghetto” neighborhoods, but we just mean “not white.” When we “don’t see color” but all of our friends are white or light-skinned. When “some of our best friends” are Black/Brown/Muslim/gay/bi/trans, but we wouldn’t want to fuck them. When we would want to fuck them, but we wouldn’t want to marry them.
When we smoke pot on the weekends and take molly at Coachella but also think unarmed Black men are dangerous for selling pot or cigars. When everything in our IG and Snap is #lit, goals, bae, and YASSSS, but Black people who speak African American Vernacular English are “uneducated.”
When we change our Facebook photo to stand with Paris but not with Beirut or Baghdad. When we pull our #DicksOutForHarambe and want #JusticeforCecil but don’t know about #FinsburyPark or #NabraHassanen or #CharleenaLyles. When animal deaths make us sad but not human deaths.
When we love that new expensive white-owned “fusion” restaurant, but don’t want to pay more than $7 at an immigrant-owned Chinese/Mexican/Arab/etc. restaurant.
When we think Arab mass murderers are “terrorists,” but white mass murderers are “gunmen” and “van drivers” with “mental illnesses” in no way radicalized by fundamentalist Christianity / Reddit / Breitbart.
When we think it’s okay to bomb Syria to protect its children from chemical weapons but that’s definitely not the same thing as Syria hypothetically bombing us to protect our children from being chemically poisoned by elected officials in Flint, MI, or to protect Indigenous people from being gassed by police officers at Standing Rock.
When we say Islam oppresses women with the hijab and the driving ban, but we love celebrities who rape, beat, and sexually harass women like Kobe Bryant, Casey Affleck, and Bill Clinton (don’t fight me on this, just google it please).
When we talk about how Democrats have alienated the “working class,” when we really mean the “white working class,” as if Black and Brown people and immigrants aren’t part of the working class.
When we say we don’t like “identity politics” or “silly bathroom bills” and would rather focus on the “real issues,” like “the economy,” as if the white working class isn’t an “identity.” As if police brutality and vigilante violence aren’t “real issues.” As if safety for transgender people in bathrooms without fear of being murdered by transphobic people isn’t a “real issue.” As if loss of income and wealth from employment discrimination and housing discrimination aren’t “economic issues.”
When we heap praise on white / non-Black / non-Muslim, etc. people for allyship but don’t give the same credit to Black and Brown mostly women and LGBTQ folks who have been saying the same thing for decades and centuries.
When we say MLKJ would have wanted protesters to be “more peaceful,” even though Dr. King was considered a radical in his day. Even though he said the greatest threat to racial equality was not the KKK but “the white moderate” who agrees with your goals but not with your methods/tone. (The same Dr. King who called America the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”)
4. If you agree with my post but think I’m being “too aggressive,” I will refer you back to what MLKJ said about moderates. Don’t create a false equivalence between criticism of violence and actual violence.
I wish I could also say that I don’t care if you think I’m being an aggressive anti-white/anti-male bitch/etc. I care a lot, but fuck it because as the brilliant Nayyirah Waheed wrote:
might make them angry,
it will make you free.
– if no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger.
5. If you want to learn more, I can recommend some great insta accounts to follow. DM me 🙂
If you would like to put your money where your hashtags are, consider donating to the families of Nabra Hassanen, Charleena Lyles, and Philando Castille.
If you would like the system to change, please VOTE in every election, not just the presidential one. Your state and local officials are often the ones legislating (and adjudicating) on policing, education, housing, etc.
6. Nothing I said here is original — thank you to the brilliant and tireless advocates (almost all of whom are Black women, NB women of color, and LGBTQ women of color) who educate and inspire me every day on FB and IG.