Hey, You.

 

My blog has generally been a place where I turn tragedy into comedy. But the thing is, you can only turn a personal tragedy into comedy. You can’t be like, “oh, ha, ha, the holocaust was so funny,” because there is no way to make that hilarious.

But you CAN be like, “remember when I pooped my pants at work because I saw I was on the FBI’s most wanted list, only to realize that was my evil twin sister and my boss almost fired me because he thought I was her? That was a funny time. Wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone, but it makes a good party story now. That’s why I have so many friends. It’s hard not to have friends when you’re the person who shits yourself at work. People want to be around someone like that. Anyway, what’s your name again?”

The tragedy right now is simple: Black lives matter. And yet, our society still says they don’t.

I have a unique position in this space. I don’t belong fully to either group. Sure, my skin looks white, but, in generations previous, people would have derogatorily referred to me as a “quadroon” (which is offensive because I hate fractions and it sounds like something pirates steal) and I would have been denied the same rights of which I now take full advantage.

D2006-CMD-056

To be fair, if I were a dubloon/quadroon, at least my skin would be darker and prettier, like this. 

Oscar. Trayvon. Michael. Eric. Tamir. Samuel. Walter. Laquan. Freddie. Sandra. Philando. Alton.

taylor-swift-boyfriend-list-shirt-badkidsclothing

It’s like a really, really fucked up version of Taylor Swift’s boyfriend’s tshirt. Only the media cares less about the victims of police violence than the victims of Taylor Swift’s feminine wiles. 

 

These past few days have reaffirmed my non-position in either community. I do not belong to the white people who immediately jump to #AllLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter (they do, but that’s not the point–the point is, we are treating Black Lives like they don’t), nor do I belong to the black community, as I do not have the same fears as they do, nor do I face the same persecutions. I have plenty of fears, all of them irrational, and none of them legitimate.

But I do have passing privilege. Which lets me hear all the racist things white people say when they think no POC is around. It lets me call out that community when they think they’re safe from scrutiny. It’s less hidden now,  thanks to the flaking whoopie cushion known as Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

Tell me that isn’t a whoopee cushion face. Tell me you don’t hear farting noises every time he speaks. 

 

 

So what can White America do? What SHOULD White America do?

 

White America needs to stop being silent. Look, I get it. Talking about race makes you uncomfortable because YOU didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t own slaves. You didn’t discriminate. You didn’t shoot that kid or that father or that public school employee. But staying silent IS wrong. Whenever a tragedy like that of Philando occurs and you don’t use your social media or your relationships to others to talk about how it’s wrong, you are reinforcing the status quo. Your silence is assent. Your silence allows this violence to continue.

And, as what happened in Dallas shows, violence is NOT the answer. The shootings of Dallas police officers is just as tragic, and is peculiar because it damages the cause and the struggle of the people with whom the shooter identified.

If you are white, and you are blatantly not engaging in discussion about the shootings of Alton and Philando, you are part of the problem. If you focus solely on the violence against police, you are part of the problem. If you don’t engage on social media (liking/disliking/emojiing/posting) in any form in regards to these deaths, you are part of the problem. Silence is approval.

So let’s squeeze out that giant whoopee cushion, get all its fart noises out, and then let the real people talk.

And white people? Sit quiet and listen to our stories, the way you all love to listen to Samuel L. Jackson read this book:

Categories:

Writing

9 Comments

Corey Jones, too.

And I agree with you 100%, it’s time we start talking, conversing, discussing the reality of our world today. And it seems the ones who are vocal only stick to their perspectives with the inability to see the objective truths. We need more compassion, more humanity, more openness.

While it is most definitely not a laughing matter, I did snort at “flaking whoopie cushion.” Yup, that sounds about right. Other than that, all the yesses go to this post. What I struggle with, as a white person, is HOW to talk to the racist fucks one occasionally overhears. The people I call friends would agree completely with this post, but there are, obviously a very vocal minority in this country who don’t. And engaging with them in the past has been, well, ineffective. I can say, “It’s not okay to say what you just said about “x” group,” but the fact that they’re saying it at all means, in my experience, that they’re going to dismiss me as an “x-lover” and go right on hating who they want to hate. It makes them feel powerful, which is an addictive emotion. Which brings me back to how to engage in a way that affects change?

I think, as long as you’re calling them out on their behavior, that’s the best first step. Telling them it’s not OK, and doing it repeatedly, is a great way to make them think about it. And we can’t change all minds, but we can point out their fallacies.

Saying that people who mind their own business are the enemy because there are no non-combatants, since not to oppose is to support — is the way left-wing terrorists with or without a state at their back have historically justified Terror against civilians. This is a terrorist’s credo.

What I object to is the fact that by saying Black Lives Matter is seems to be saying all the Native American, Hispanic, and white women who are also being killed by police violence are not as important as the black people who are being injured and killed. It is washing all those lives under the carpet. I think the focus should be stopping police brutality, stopping the militarization of the police force, and instituting some type of psychological testing to prevent this type of violence in the future. I know they used to do psychological testing to keep particularly violent people out of the police force for this very reason but it seems to no longer be the practice. And yes, I completely agree that the way to get this to change is for mainstream, white people to fight it. Just like people realized the true way to reach marriage equality was through the support of straight ‘allies’ and it worked. But so often, there is the experience where white people who try to support issues of black equality and fair treatment who then get verbally attacked by the people they try to help because they don’t need our help and we don’t understand their experience because we never had to deal with any type of discrimination. Which isn’t true if you are a short, fat, female, even if you are white. Ultimately, the issue is rampant, uncontrolled, police brutality that is reaching the point where people who try to film it are attacked and charged with resisting arrest when filming the police making an arrest or doing something they should not be doing IS NOT ILLEGAL! While racism is a factor, this has moved far beyond racism. It has become a situation of US vrs THEM. The US is the police force and the THEM are all civilians who pretty much all being treated like criminals right from the start. And when you read articles you see people saying, then so and so shouldn’t have done whatever…. The problem with this attitude is that more and more people are making those statements shows an attitude that jaywalkers and people who fail to use a turn signal should treated as if they are an armed murderer who just committed a mass murder spree. The people who make stupid comments like this don’t realize that every person is one mistake away from being on the receiving end of this treatment. The mistake might be their own or, increasingly, a mistake on the part of the police, seeing as reliance on GPS and sometimes questionable leads has often sent them after the wrong people, not to mention racial profiling against anyone, ANYONE, not lily white and preferably male.

While I respect your opinion, and, in general, it’s true–I must disagree. The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t about saying black lives matter more than any other lives. It’s about saying black lives matter, TOO. It’s not negating the value of others’ lives. That argument is too easy and too far off. It’s about creating equal worth of life, and how the black community has been targeted.

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