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On Ferguson And Race…Sort Of

August 15, 2014

Dear Ali,

I fear you’re in for serious disappointment if you keep looking for ways to “create a dialogue” with your Caucasian peers.

As you can see





And in many of the comments on your own post, it is pretty much impossible for People of Color to talk honestly about race the ways in which it impacts our lives without being subjected to at least some level of racist backlash.

Watching the derailment and devaluation of the experiences of PoC?

Yeah, I’m done with that forever. i mean it. I’m done. I cannot with this anymore.

So here is my idea. Rather than taking on the every bit responsibility for keeping the conversation civil and, you know existent, we should instead raise the bar. Maybe, instead of asking again and again and again for meaningful, rational dialogue and being met with hate and derision we should, instead require more of our Caucasian allies. It’s time that we require them to listen.

It’s time for some monologue.We talk. They listen. We share our experiences, you know, the constant fear and pain that comes from being at best, a second class citizen and they support us. that’s how it needs to start working from now on.

Seriously, racism is a thing; a systemic thing that negatively impacts everyone but has a greater negative impact on PoC while benefitting Caucasians. Sexism is also a thing that harms everyone but causes greater harm to women while benefitting men.

Are you not tired of having to explain this all the time? Of having to justify and qualify and convince?

But you know what? Some of the very same feminists who were all over #YesAllWomen as a rallying cry to share our pain about sexism cannot bring themselves to show the very little respect it takes to listen when PoC try to do the same about racism.

We have to be done accepting that. Forever.

We have to be done accepting tone policing and white women’s tears and the concern trolling over “black on black crime,” which ignores the facts of crime, and statistics and how words and rational thought work. Instead, we need to just call them out for what they are.

In case anyone reading is confused what they are, are tools used to protect the system of racism that provides privilege to Caucasians.

The people who use those tools are not our allies. They might call themselves allies. They might appear to be allies in certain situations but if they are unable to resist the urge to take up the tools of their privilege in order to listen to us then we can no longer pretend that they are our allies. Neither should we want them on our team because clearly, they do not really want to help make things better.

When men and anti-equality women do this kind of thing we make it clear that they are in the wrong and in many cases go so far as to mock them for their ignorance. I’m not making a value judgment about that reaction, I’m simply saying that is what happens.

But when it comes to race we are expected to keep trying, keep policing our tone, keep engaging with people who belittle and discount our pain and fear until they are comfortable.

I’m inviting and advising you, along with all PoC and our actual allies to stop that right now because it’s not actually helping. It’s just us, spinning our wheels.

Oh and actual allies? A lot of this is on you. You’ve got to be the ones to step up point out the tools used by false allies and the instances when they are used. Because in the wake of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Ezell Ford and so many others, it is clear that the lives of PoC have no real value to our nation and our voices mean less than nothing.

Shame USA

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bonnie permalink
    August 15, 2014 2:33 PM

    The first, stark, comparative thought I had when I read the first “whitesplaining” arguments to her post (I assume it’s the one I read earlier today, can’t follow the links right now) was that the “but you’re being divisive!” complaint has precisely the same odor as the one that gets poured all over any post made by someone in the Christian community when one of their own, however respectfully, calls another member on damaging or otherwise ignorant behavior. It’s a very effective way to force the conversation *further* into Us v. Them, an attempt to push the writer/speaker into identifying either with the Fold or the Other, in defensive offense against their usually stated aim to avoid that in seeking true dialog. I’m sick of it there, and recognized it here, where I can only assume it’s not new, either. Blah.

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