Truth - there is a storm, no rebellion,
scratch that a revolution coming. There is an uprising going on as we speak. There is a battle cry ringing out across the nation. Look for it but it will be in vain. Forget your TVs, radios, and newspapers - it won't be covered there. The revolution will not be televised. Turn the lights off, listen well, and take to the Internet or the streets. You are with us, that is this radical idea that human beings matter, or you are against us. The in-between - those who are silent, your silence has spoken for you and it says something sinister. It says I do not care and therefore am no different that the oppressors. It all has led up to this. This is the minority report.
"The minorities are no longer okay with being minor"
Let me start with my gratitude that goes to two specific groups. People of color, keep doing what have been doing. You were drafted into this chaos by virtue of your birth and your skin color. Know that your existence in and of itself is resistance. White people, those who are allies, activists, and friends, know that you are the game changer. You are the ones who have all the power to change everything and finish this. Thank you, sincerely, for your choice to do anti-racist work. Your social media posts, your intervening in situations, and your support in demonstrations is crucial. You amplify the voices of the unheard, the forgotten, and the silence. You make it so our stories, truths, and experiences are so loud they make people's ears bleed, their eyes water, and their hearts pitter-patter with some semblance of compassion for the plight of human beings. You rise to the occasion, continually keep it real by checking yourself and others, and join hands with us renouncing the power, privilege, and oppression from which you benefit to subdue the system from within. Welcome to the conversation, the struggle, and the revolution. That should be everyone but if you're missing I have some choice words for you. I apologize in advance for the amount that I do not care.
Wake up, open your eyes, your ears and your hearts to what people have been saying since this country was founded (literally upon the backs, bones, and blood of people of color). We do not have a race problem here, we have a racism problem here. When you use the word race in that you mean non-white and that puts whiteness as a default (supremacy but those syllables are silent). Some people say whiteness is the absence of race or the lack of culture. They are wrong. Whiteness is to be indoctrinated, engulfed, and celebrated in white your physicality, mentality, and actuality in addition to your culture(s) are all around you, so much so that you don't even notice. As in you breath yourself in daily, while everyone else has to get used to it or suffocate trying. Do you get me? You have race (and ethnicity). You are not normal - you have been normalized. There is nothing wrong with being white just like there is nothing wrong with being black, Asian, or any combination of them (Hispanic, Latina/o, Spanish are ethnicities) - the problem is when you are unaware of how our society (more broadly the entire world but let me keep it calm) epitomizes your existence, which unintentionally and rather purposefully devalued, stereotypes, and stigmatizes people of color. In other words, it's like thinking you're the best in the class because you believed yourself to be the best in the class and put everyone else in detention. Revolutionary or basic, you tell me.
Now, you know those incessant annoying stories, race riots, and deceased hashtag trends aka truths, protests of the unheard, and murdered human beings, yeah those have been going on since well the beginning. A whole history of the mass incarceration, expulsion, subversion, or extermination (yes, that's the right word to use here) should have been introduced in your educational socialization but that's how pretend we are a melting pot and that white people built this whole country, invented everything, and only do good. In your free time, Google school to prison pipeline, xenophobia, model minority and American indigenous people's genocide. Well this just in, it's still happening. There are too many people to list, and too many more that go unpublicized. Most recently in prominence, Sandra Bland, know her name and her story and get angry. Once you do that, keep looking up videos of police brutality, and the dehumanization of people of color. Racism works because we (and by we I mean multiple things, but that's not post on its own) do no see people of color as human beings. That's the only way, at least to me, to rationalize the ways in which we overlook or overhighlight people of color in ways that too often end up in their removal from society (imprisonment, impoverishment, or death).
This brings me to ask some questions. How come you're not doing anything about this? Yes, you reading this. This may be cliff notes or a diatribe of another angry black man but surely this cannot be it for you. How come you're not angry, sad, concerned? Why don't you say anything when you see something wrong happening? Do you even see/hear the discrimination, prejudice, or bigotry in yourself or around you? Do you want to do anything about it? If not, why? I think we need to teach people empathy but I'm also afraid that's not something that can be taught. How can I get you to care about the lives of human beings? I really want you to ask yourself where your heart is, why don't you feel anything, why can you scroll past a headline or flip the channel so quickly, why are you so quick to trust/defend authority figures? Where did you learn to do so? Why? Why don't you believe what other people are talking about? What are you afraid of?
Let me tell you what you should be afraid of. Forget losing friends/family, challenging spoonfed truths, or saying the wrong thing. This just in when you don't do or say anything, that is interrupt behaviors, actions, or words that are racist (those things are not the people that they come from) you are condoning them. You have inadvertently given your stamp of approval. You have just put yourself out there by doing absolutely nothing as someone who doesn't care. Your inaction and silence are perceived as apathy. You can think all in the comfort of your home, mind, or even your heart all you want that these injustices are unacceptable but if you don't speak that outwardly no one knows. Let me rephrase that for you. You we on one of those moving sidewalks in the airport. It's taking you towards racism, if you walk that way, you get there faster. If you stand there and don't move you still get there. You must choose to turn the other way around and walk towards equity/equality, love, and humanity - that is doing anti-racist work. Anti-racist is not code for anti-white. No one is inherently racist, people can say or do racist things but they themselves are not. This is an address to those things not you as a person but know that you are linked to those things if they come from you. Just like people of color have to deal with what their skin color says regardless of who they are, so do you. Better for you to do the talking and choose your message.
Breaking news the media is not going to give you the whole truth. Believe people not organizations. What blows my mind and enrages me even more than these heinous atrocities is people not caring. Sharknado 3 is your primary concern? Meek Mill calling out Drake for ghostwriting? Donald Trump goes on another tirade against minoritized groups? Taylor Swift subverts Nicki Minaj with her interjection of white feminism that invalidates the contributions of people of color to their industry (the message of that last one is relevant, vaguely)? Who the hell cares. Do you not understand that people are literally dying. Like dead in the ground, killed, and murdered. I know this is too hard. I know this is too much. I know it is sad but it can be stopped, you can do something about it, everyone needs to do something about it. If you want to know how all oppression of subordinates identity groups is connected, read my last post "Allegiance" and save the all lives matter nonsense because this is not the time or place for that derailing crap. I know, I know, I know. I live this. You get a choice, choose to enter the conversation. If it's ever too much, breathe, take a break, go back into comfort - it's okay. Make sure you come back ready to be an upstander not a bystander.
If you think this all conspiracy theories and imaginative stories feel free to transition of our this space. This is mine. I claim it. I am here to stay - unless they take me out first (and that's synonym for kill; let that sink in). You can unfriend me, block me, unlike all my stuff - I do not care. You are not my friend. If this doesn't mean anything to you, then we have come to an impasse. This shouldn't matter because you know me or someone who identities as a person of color, this matters point blank. This is a human rights issue. This is life or death. I just want you to understand that I could be pulled over for forgetting to signal a lane change and end up arrested and dead because who I am is threatening to some people. That doesn't make sense at all. Racism isn't always lynchings, fire hose sprayings, and segregated seating it's coded language, microaggressions, and refusing to believe the experiences of people of color. It's searching for reasons that people deserved to die. It's justifying excessive force. It's a lack of care for your fellow person because you don't value their life. I look in the mirror and see a black man, you look in the mirror and see a person - that's privilege. The way I look can get me killed - that's not right.
Here's where you start:
- Do your own research - it's taxing rk constantly share stories of pain, harm, and hurt; Google is your friend use it. Look up terms, trends, and facts.
- Listen - not just to respond but to take into heart what someone else is telling you; gauge how you feel and how you respond + question why you do so. This is the most important thing and literally all you have to do to be involved with anti-racist work
- Speak Up - if you see or hear something racist, exclusive, or xenophobic say something. Say that's not cool. That's not okay. Ask what someone means by that or why do they think that. Interrupt and question as you can.
- Do Something - if you want to join a protest do so; if a social media post is more your style, go for it; if you just want to check your friends and family, be my guest; whatever you do - make sure you do something.
I hope, pray, and wish with all that I am that this post, my others and my stories get you to feel something. Where is your love, compassion, and humanity? I need you to find them, and use them. I need you. You need you. The world needs you. Leave a comment, share this post with your thoughts, click on the labels below for more posts like these. You This is me signing off. X