I’ve lived long enough to have the desire to give up. I could have stayed silent. Nah, I couldn’t. What fascinates me about this whole phone camera documenting the shootings of unarmed black people phenomenon is still, how white people feel the need to “educate” black people.
The “all lives matter’ and “blue lives matter’ hashtags are perfect examples of the extreme egoism of so many white people on this planet. Well meaning white liberals are getting on my last nerves these days too. I was one of two black women at a party recently and one white guy who was of Jewish descent (he told me this) had to tell me, as we spoke about police violence, within like 20 minutes of our conversation that his best childhood friend was black.
Okay, when a white person tells me this… what am I supposed to do with this information? This other guy at the party, who is married to some upper class black woman was “whitesplaning” to me why he thought #blacklivesmatter should be something that is more palatable to white people…. #blacklivesmattertoo.
I want to scream…FUCK YOU. #blacklivesmatter is specifically doing what it is supposed to be doing. The BRILLIANT black women Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi who created the #blacklivesmatter movement have wisdom and a strategy and are engaging the country exactly how we need to move forward in order to make change happen. But I did not scream FUCK YOU to either of them. I monitored my mind and thought before I spoke and ended the conversation tactfully when I could take no more.
I’m noticing when I’m in the room with a group of mixed race people talking about these issues often times, particularly if the group is not facilitated well, the whites tend to focus on their guilt and shame and their desire to gain some sort of absolution from the black people in the group.
On Facebook I’ve seen comments by white women who have black male partners lamenting about worrying bout the possibility of their husbands not coming back to them, without a word of empathy for the Black Women whose lives are being decimated by not only crime but police violence towards their men. Don’t worry “Becky” your professional black husband may face some uncomfortable situations, but once the police see he’s upper middle class, he will get away with paying a fine rather than paying with his life.
What about not making it about your damn personal fear and developing some empathy and compassion for the black women who are ACTUALLY losing their husbands to violence and are raising their children as single moms who have to deal with systemic racism. While you ride bikes in the park with your investment banker black husband.
It’s always got to be…about taking care of white people’s feelings their sensitivities. I’ve tagged out of taking care of “white others” and am committed to focusing on my personal self-care and the self-care of other black women.
Cause, you see, the black men that are being shot by police are the black men who are husbands and boyfriends of black women who are attempting to keep their communities together. The black men that are being shot by police are the urban black men who stay in their communities and are trying to build black families not the black men who leave black communities and reject black women. Yes all black people of all classes face the stresses of racism in this country. Black people hurt just like anyone else. We do NOT have a higher tolerance of pain and suffering.
Everyone has a choice and freedom to marry whoever they want and live wherever they want. And at the same time, when all the best resources are mined out of black communities how do we expect black communities to thrive? Face it..our society still is a male based society. Strong Two family incomes that provide homeownership are the backbone to building welalth in communities. Black communities are being mined of their potential wealth.
But at the end of the day….it’s gonna be alright.
I used to feel really judgmental about Christianity and the black church and the Black Muslim organizations. Even though religion is not my personal thing, I’m grateful to the peace it brings so many black women. These religions, (even though they can be homophobic and sexist) are, in terms of racial identity, safe havens from a major part of America that is harsh and unwelcoming. It’s interesting how black men have been systematically targeted since slavery and black families have been purposely removed from communities in order to weaken black culture.
But you know what? We are not weak and like Kendrick Lamar’s song we gonna be alright.
The thing that this new awakening of social justice is not taking into account is that Black Women have been dealing with this trauma ever since we were stolen from the African Continent and brought to America in chains. It took strength determination fortitude and grit to just exist and we did not only exist, we made everything out of nothing while others profited from our pain over and over and over again. Things got better because of our actions. Harriet Tubman. Ida B. Wells. Fannie Lou Hammer. Black Women are forces for good.
As black people are at the same time victimized, talked down to, sexualized, objectified, condescended to, feared, revered, and considered to be inferior by various groups….we know who we are and we also know how to live free. We know how to not just survive…we know how to thrive and we are not going anywhere. We look to our diverse forms of healing and out of these challenges we will continue to rise, connecting to the happiness that always resides within our souls that no one on this planet can ever take away.
At the same time…there are TONS of strong quiet black families who are thriving all over America. Our communities will never disappear. We just need to believe that we can and help one another to rise.
- “Deal with yourself as an individual worthy of respect, and make everyone else deal with you the same way. ” – Nikki Giovanni
- “There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.” – Nikki GiovanniAlright? Alright. It’s gonna be alright.