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Ally Basic Training Part 4: Trust

August 20, 2015

Ally Basic Training

Don’t demand it.

Don’t expect it right away.

Don’t complain that you don’t have it.

Earn it.

We’ve been fooled too many times before.

Part of your privilege is your ability to check out and go ghost whenever you feel like it.

We’ve seen that happen all too often as well.

A number of people I know have lately taken to informing everyone who is already allowed on their social media as well as anyone interested in joining that they have rules for who they will friend or follow or whatever.

It basically goes like this “If you’re white and I don’t know you personally from back in the day I’m checking you out before I accept a connection. If I have to scroll more than three time to find something Black Lives Matter related walk on.”

On their own feeds, that belong to them, wherein they get to make decisions and decide who they interact with.

In reaction people are losing their shit.

Losing. Their. Shit.

And making all of the excuses.

“But if I post about BLM my friends will get angry at me. I don’t want to make my white friends and family angry.”

OK then. That’s where you check out. Keeping peace on Facebook is more valuable to you than Black Lives. Got it. You do you. It’s your life. You make decisions for yourself and your interactions. I am not judging.

OK that’s a lie. I am totally judging, but I don’t care enough to read you for it. You do you. Just do you over there. Because we are busy trying not to die.

Also, we aren’t going to trust you that far because, you know, you’re not even willing to risk a dust up on your Twitter feed while we are out here fighting for our lives.

“But I have real life friends and I can’t talk about this to them because reasons.” Yeah. I don’t care about your reasons. And I don’t trust you because you care more about that friendship than our lives. Cool. Oh wait, not at all cool. That one. The second one.

That’s where you check out. You’re fine interacting on your social media page but confronting someone on their racism in real life is a step too far? No trust then. Because you’re proving you aren’t willing to do the work to earn trust.

I’m not saying that you have to be lying in the street at every die in and confronting cops in riot gear every weekend. I’m saying that we are in a state of constant mourning and we are never allowed to finish the process because there is always a new name, a new story, a new brutality for us to learn.

As I type this right this second, the police in St. Louis are attacking peaceful protesters. People are dying out there. I don’t have time for your virtual friends or your family and their feelings. And I don’t trust that you will value the next piece of state violence, the next set of official lies, the next death more than your temporary peace.

Prove me wrong.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2015 1:31 PM

    This is just one reason I’m glad I live in the UK. I don’t have to worry about the police, but I am white, so I don’t have fear verging on paranoia of the police, they’ve always been people that will keep us safe to me. Of course black lives matter, just as much as other lives matter. ALL LIVES MATTER. For 1 person to die unnecessarily, is 1 person too many.

    On my social media, I post what I want, when I want, and if others have a problem with that, then they know what they can do, something I’ve had to tell my sister recently. You can’t let others dictate your life, its not theirs its yours, and we all have to do what’s best for us first, as selfish as that might sound.

    • August 20, 2015 5:14 PM

      So, if you’re following this issue at all, you know that All Lives Matter is a racist comment as it originated and is used largely to counter Black Lives Matter. So one of two things happened here; you didn’t know that, in which case now you do. or you did know that, and you decided to post it anyway. .

      • August 20, 2015 6:02 PM

        I didn’t know it was being used by racists, but the point still stands that all lives matter, no life is worth more or less than another. No disrespect was meant by it anyway on my part.

        • August 21, 2015 3:39 AM

          Just thought to add, I think any backlash over the “black live matter” hashtag, is the implication that only black lives matter, which of course isn’t the case. I’m sure this debate has already been had several times, but a better hashtag may have been “black lives matter too”, because that leaves no doubt that other lies are equally as important. Hope I’ve phrased that so it makes sense.

          • August 26, 2015 5:03 PM

            I disagree specifically because Black people shouldn’t have to pause even in the midst of literally begging for our lives, to make sure that white people know we are thinking about them and their feelings. It is long past time for us to simply be able to talk about and concern ourselves with ourselves.

            • August 27, 2015 2:58 AM

              No one, should have to do that. No life is more important than another life. I’m not a racist, I’m not being racist, black live do matter, but white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Mexican lives matter, European lives matter, the list can go on and on. I don’t experience the kind of racism that appears prevalent in the USA, because I’m in the UK and I’m not black, but you’re issues in America seem simple enough to resolve (ie gun control is a no brainer) but it’s convincing society to change that’s the hard thing.

        • August 26, 2015 5:03 PM

          Ok so, I pointed out that this is a racist statement and you decided to repeat it? Nope. Wrong. Not acceptable. Return to Step 1.

    • FairlyGirly permalink
      November 13, 2016 9:25 PM

      Wow. Did you really waltz on in here and say all lives matter? Seriously? Sit down. Shut up.

      • November 14, 2016 5:38 PM

        Erm, I said that months ago, I know more about the situation / issues now, but all lives DO matter equally, and to suggest otherwise? My life matters as much as your life, as much as the persons next to you, as much as the next person you see walking down the street. That was the point I was making.

        • FairlyGirly permalink
          November 14, 2016 5:44 PM

          Why do you think saying #blacklivesmatter in ANY WAY means other lives do not matter? Examine that. Think long and hard about why you’re making that leap. It’s a defensive position. A group of persecuted, marginalized, undervalued people who built this country are literally being slaughtered, they have the audacity to say “hey, uhh maybe stop killing us?!” and your answer is “everyone else matters too!!” Think about that. This is not about you. This is not about other lives. This is not about saying other lives don’t matter. This is not about saying other lives aren’t undervalued or threatened. It just isn’t about them. Not everything is about you.

          • November 15, 2016 12:37 AM

            I know everything is not about me. I’m not the one being defensive here. Of course black lives matter, but they’re no more or no less important than other lives.

            • FairlyGirly permalink
              November 15, 2016 12:54 AM

              You’re completely missing my point. This isn’t about whose lives are most important. It’s about black lives. It’s about black people. It’s about black people being slaughtered by the hundreds, thousands if you include those who die because they don’t have adequate access to medical care, food security, safe housing, employment opportunities, equal education. This is not about you. This is not about other lives. This is about black lives, not because they’re worth more than other lives but because they’re under attack and because they’ve been under attack literally since before this country was a thing. One of the reasons we fought the revolutionary war was to protect slavery. The British had outlawed slavery and it was being outlawed in British colonies. This country was very literally founded on racism. It’s right there in our constitution. It’s baked into the cake in this country more than any other kind of bias or discrimination. It’s our original sin. This movement is about raising awareness, fighting back, defending one of the most marginalized communities in this country’s history. It’s about black lives. To try to co opt it, to try to make it about anything else is deeply racist. There are plenty of organizations out there defending other oppressed groups in this country. There is a time and a place for that and it isn’t here or now. To step in and try to take the microphone away from the black lives matter movement and use it for any other purpose is the exact thing the movement is fighting against. To an oppressor, to a privileged group, equality can feel like oppression. You see the black lives matter movement and you, on your own, take that to mean “black lives matter more than all other lives.” You did that. Not BLM.

              • November 15, 2016 1:05 AM

                I’m getting pretty sick of you calling me racist here, so I’ll just reiterate my point. It would have been better if the slogan had been “Black lives matter too”, as the actual bigots and racists see black lives matter and thing they’re saying black lives matter more. It’s a simple language thing. I would happily march with black lives matter in protest, because I believe ALL LIVES MATTER EQUALLY. We’re on the same side here, it’s just semantics that appears to be the issue between us.

                • FairlyGirly permalink
                  November 15, 2016 1:12 AM

                  This is NOT semantics. There is no need for black people to say black lives matter too just because racists think they’re saying black lives matter more. It is not incumbent upon black people to bend over backwards to make sure racists don’t misinterpret what they’re saying. They’re busy trying to not die. Your assertion to the contrary IS racist.

                  • November 15, 2016 1:17 AM

                    You’re determined to read everything I write wrong so why should I bother replying anymore. I know what it’s like to be marginalised, I know what it’s like to live in fear that some idiot may turn round and attack you simply for being who you are. Don’t you dare call me a racist or a bigot or similar. Just because we have a slight disagreement on this does not make me or you a racist. Grow up!

                    • FairlyGirly permalink
                      November 15, 2016 1:32 AM

                      I don’t care if you’re a gay middle eastern Jew, you don’t get to say all lives matter and claim it isn’t racist. It is, whether you like it or not.

                    • November 15, 2016 1:33 AM

                      It is racist to say all lives matter, because saying all lives matter includes black lives you idiot.

                    • FairlyGirly permalink
                      November 15, 2016 1:40 AM

                      It is racist because the black lives matter movement isn’t about all lives and it doesn’t have to be.

  2. DogMom permalink
    November 16, 2016 12:29 PM

    Maybe, just maybe, if people keep saying that you are saying/doing some racist shit, it’s because you are. And instead of looking for a rebuttal, just shut up and listen.
    Do you realise that you are sticking up for your racist statments on a blog post written by a woman of colour, about being a good ally?! THIS IS NOT WHAT BEING A GOOD ALLY LOOKS LIKE.
    If you have to continually say “I’m not racist” clearly you are coming across as such. In which case, that’s a problem with you, not a problem the people calling you out. Reflect on what you said, not what you want to say next.

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