I hastily wrote the following in response to an evangelical friend of a friend who commented that BLM is Marxist and uses violent tactics. She asked me “where have you been?” I started off listing the things I do for my fellow humans on a daily basis, then continued…
Where have I been? I’ve been ingesting multiple reliable news sources (so no OAN, Fox, or InfoWars) to make the most well-informed analyses of what’s going on in the world.
I’ve been fact-checking anything that seems incredulous.
The arsons in MN and GA were started by white agitators. Protests in MN were turned to destructive riots by white agitators. The overwhelming majority of the violence in this years’ protests and riots were committed by police and by white people. These are the facts.
Black Americans have been treated as sub-human for generations. Parents worry if they are going to lose their children to a police bullet on the way back from school. Unarmed black people are murdered for being suspected of maybe doing something wrong in the near future while white murderers get a bottle of water and a fist bump.
And when they and their allies protest peacefully, they are humiliated, demonized (see: Kaepernick), assaulted, and murdered—all with the overt approval and encouragement of the POTUS and millions of their fellow Americans who are so entrenched in their selfish privilege that they refuse to open their minds to the reality of Black lives, and choose only to have empathy up to a shallow degree.
And then they (you) have the gall to invoke names like Jesus Christ and MLK, whose words they (you) cherry pick to fit their (your) worldview, rejecting any of the words that make them (you) uncomfortable.
If you think that Jesus or MLK would publicly condemn ANYTHING that BLM is doing, especially in light of WHY they are doing it, then your values are antithetical to those of Jesus and MLK.
Oh? Am I Harsh?
“Can’t we be civil? Can’t we disagree? Can’t we blah blah blah?” you (and other seemingly well-meaning people) will insist.
No. Let me tell you why.
As what you would call an oriental, I have experienced racial harassment and violence (I got scars to prove it) from whites throughout my childhood. I believe that I maybe, possibly have a small understanding of of what it MIGHT be like for Black Americans. But in truth? Nope. Not even close. What my experiences have given me is eyes to see racism where it exists—and it exists in far more places than even the most woke white person can imagine.
Throughout my life, I have listened to whites’ POVs, I have been civil in the face of unrelenting bigotry, and I have allowed them to label their hate speech as mere “disagreements.”
But no more. I’m done being civil to people who insist on perpetuating the subjugation of people of color, no matter how much they smile, go to church, and use nice words. The velvet glove over the iron fist trick won’t work any more.
So I’m going to say this to you, knowing that you’ll take offense, but also knowing that no matter how nasty my words are, they couldn’t possibly equal the hatred and the damage that YOUR beliefs and words have done to others: You are morally corrupt, you are culpable in the suffering and deaths of children and adults of color, and no amount of denial or prayer will clear you of your crimes. 🖕🏽
I’m going to keep repeating this until people wise up.
Once again, there have been many posts and comments (seriously, like dozens) in FB groups, and on friends’ walls—all from moderate-to-liberal folk—asking for their own to be more civil, understand the other side, and/or some other bullshit that implies misbehavior that should be corrected.
Made-up Examples: “Maybe if we considered that the people we disagree with are human beings, we can find some common ground.”
“If we respond to their hatred with hatred, we are no better than them.”
It SOUNDS nice, right? But when you’re talking to anyone but a straight cis white male, it’s not. It’s ignorant and offensive, and it needs to stop. Either that, of the people who post this kind of thing need to preface it with “Dear straight cis white males…”
Here is why these sentiments are offensive:
- The people who are targets of conservative hatred have been civil toward conservatives for generations. We have bent over backwards to be civil in the face of their hatred. We protest, use our words, and occasionally resort to aggression in response to hundreds of years of oppression and violence. Understand who is the civil group there? Many of us are done being civil. We’ve turned so many cheeks, we got no cheeks left to turn.
- The people who say these kind of things are lacking in empathy, yet they criticize others for lacking empathy. We DO have empathy toward conservatives—we feel their fear. It’s just that we have learned that responding politely only provokes their hate. If you work on your empathy toward conservatives’ targets, you’d see that we are actually being unreasonably accommodating of their hatred.
- It is offensive to be told by people of privilege how people without that privilege should behave toward other people of privilege.
So please just stop that shit. We know that you think that you’re working to make things better, but the hard reality is that these kinds of statements make things worse.
I’ve been explaining to a lot of folks that:
- The Confederate statues being taken down are not monuments to the dead. Their original purpose was as public symbols of white supremacy, meant to intimidate Black Americans following different periods of racial unrest.
- Same with the Stars and Bars.
- The history and heritage that these people claim/believe these objects represent is a false, manufactured history.
- Nothing positive is lost with the removal of these objects. Our schools will continue to teach history, and schools that now teach the Lost Cause will be pressured to teach more accurate versions of history.
- Racism is not a permanent condition. Racists can shed the scales of racism and become decent human beings.
When a white comedian makes a racist joke, whether or not it is comedy is up to each individual listener. Whether or not it is racist is not up for debate: It is. Same goes for men making sexist jokes, cis/trans, het/LGB…
Comics are free to say what words they want to say. Those they offend are free to call them on it and bring down consequences upon them.
This is not censorship. We need to all be clear on that. This is people of color (women, LGBTQIA, Jews, etc.) being empowered to call out bigotry in whatever form it takes.