**Some of us ARE talking. I found this wonderful post and blogger called Beverly Diehl. She has sponsored a blogfest on racism commemorating MLK. Check it out.**
Sometime in December, I was on Twitter raving about the racism reported in the media that has become a daily onslaught. I was enraged by the the unholy triumvirate of Newt Gingrich’s ideas on the poor and his brilliant solutions; Gene Mark’s article on Poor Black Kids and Rihanna being called a Nigga Bi*** in a Dutch magazine.
Imagine my surprise, when one of my soon to be ex-followers sent me a tweet implying that the reason for all this blatant evidence of racism was just that it was an election year. Coincidentally, he was White.
My head spun. Truly. I think sparks flew out of my head.
- As if, racist attacks only occur during an election year and magically dissipate when they are over.
- As if, such behavior is merely talking points for rich, white, moneyed elitists and politicians to increase their hit rates, book sales etc. No one else says, or thinks these things, heavens no.
- As if, said opinions do not inform, or affect, the minds of the populace.
Distilled to 140 characters, I sent back one, or two, irate (but respectful) tweets, stating that as a Black person he would never get me to agree with that synopsis. Indeed, the evidence of what we are seeing has widespread implications.
Silence. No response. He’d gone off to resume drinking and sending out drunken tweets. Speaks volumes, yes?
I guess the complexity of the subject was too much, or *gasp* I was coming across as yet another angry black woman. No matter, I’m in good company :). If you’re not angry in the face of the soul-stealing evil being sold to you under the guise of truth, you’re too far gone for help in my book.
It’s a secret that many Americans continue to vehemently deny, racism is alive and well and *gasp* it’s pervasive roots spread beyond the Grand Old Party. The GOP, who, in my opinion, merely reflect back an ugly, and not so silent, reality.
The hypocrisy of Americans and their ongoing refusal to discuss racism, past and present, is sickening. Silence is, rarely, if ever, your friend. The cry that talk of race is divisive is so insulting that it leaves me speechless. An intelligent, mindful, open person recognizes the need for discussion, acknowledgement and adjustment. Curse me for my thoughts of a truly mutually beneficial resolution.
A great starting point, for such as he, would be to understand that it is easy for White people not to be concerned about race. It’s a wonderful offshoot of white privilege.
When your daily life isn’t riddled with attacks on your race, in the media; from the mouths of the would be leaders of our country; from the police who you pay taxes for protection but routinely fail to protect you; from the stranger on the corner who shifts away from you to safeguard their valuables; neighbors who watch you out of the corners of their eyes waiting for the “other shoe” to drop; every moron who is visibly surprised at the success of a Black person who is not a rapper, drug dealer, comedian, or athlete, or, even from so called well meaning friends of other races whose speech is riddled with insulting stereotypical questions, and jokes, then you have the luxury NOT to be concerned about race.
For The Clueless
Here’s an idea, instead of asking Black people to stop talking about race…
Think about it in a deeper fashion. Showing respect for the feelings and thoughts of others beyond how the world effects you personally is a giant step. Getting the money out of politics and financial reform are not the only ills of America.
Perhaps, for just one moment you might also consider that the construct of race was not invented by overly sensitive African Americans, but White colonialists/imperialists who used, and continue to use race, as a method of divisiveness.
Much of the Black defensiveness and anger you see, is a result of the overt racism and microaggressions that we deal with and internalize. Ask yourself how you would feel if your so called non-Black allies, who weren’t racist, actively engaged in attempting to get you to (a) contribute to the cover-up that says we live in a post-racial society, or (b) move “past” racism to some utopian society which is clearly out of reach. How exactly would that help you?
Then, perhaps, you might contemplate that not every Black person who brings up the issue of race is pulling the race card but has a legitimate gripe.
In the same way, that I acknowledge and am happy that many White people, and non-Blacks, are not clueless and insensitive to these facts and are intelligent and empathetic enough to seek to change.
In the same way, that I listen to Jewish people when they speak about anti-Semitism, or the Holocaust. Experience informs their narratives and trumps any supposition I may have.
Dismissiveness is insulting and disrespectful. We understand that it’s easy to walk around in your own head but please, please, please don’t articulate your one-sided BS opinions and not open your ears to listen. The veils have been ripped asunder and we are clever enough to see this for the deep down, self serving ignorance it actually is, despite what you may believe. If you can’t stand hearing about it, imagine how it would be to live with it.
We all have our issues but I do my best to listen to, validate, and accept all people because the width and breadth of the human experience is not only mine to claim and I know others have something to teach me. It is a conscious choice that we all have the option to make.