of white people intent on victim blaming and other stupidities. Several days ago, I wrote this in response to one of those people:
Gee, I think I was just ‘those people’d’. I’m honored, thanks.
Of all the people who blow through here, I often take great pains to be patient, clear, and explanatory. Why don’t I do that with you? Because every time I’ve read a post by you, it’s saying something egregiously stupid and wrong. I’m not obligated to be nice to you, or hold your hand while attempting to get victim blaming 101, racism 101, privilege 101, and bias 101 into that brain of yours.
A lot of us have been curating news for 10 days straight. That involves having to read a great deal of racist shit, which is stressful on its own, let alone on top of the stress of shaking, crying, and feeling like we have vomit up our anguish and anger over what is happening to a town full of people who are rightly angry over the murder of an 18 year old, then having their humanity and rights blatantly stripped from them. A lot of us recognize the dire nature of this situation, and that sooner or later, that rumble will mow down our towns. A lot of us recognize our common humanity and the necessity of solidarity. We empathize. We feel their pain. We feel our own pain. We feel the shock and disbelief over events in Ferguson. That shock and disbelief is being shared the world over.
This is Terror, writ large and inflicted on us from those who have set themselves above and beyond people in general, people struggling to live their lives, people who want to love, create, work, educate, and enjoy themselves and others. People who should not have to live in fear every. single. day. of. their. lives. Adults who, every day, know the insidious and horrible fear that someone they love may be summarily executed by one in authority, who will face no consequence. Children who, every day, know the insidious and horrible fear that they may lose a friend, sibling, parent, relative to execution by cop. Young people who, every day, know the insidious and horrible fear that someone might decide to gun them down. People who, every day, know that if they are gunned down, the media will portray them in the worst possible light, and stupid bigots will eat that up with a sage nod of the head. People who, every day of their lives, live with harassment from those in authority. People who cannot gather without mass amounts of bigots, many of them in positions of authority, assuming they are naturally up to no good. People who are always blamed, no. matter. what.
Me? I. Am. So. Damn. Lucky. Y’see, I’m mixed race, but that is not apparent on the outside. On the outside, I’m white, white, white. I can pass, so I get white privilege oozing out the ass. I know how fucking lucky I am, and I know not to presume on other peoples’ experiences. I know it’s better if I listen than pontificate. I know that no matter how much I empathize, I’ll never know the deep every day fear that POC get to live with. I know I’ll always be more accepted and have more opportunities than people who are visibly POC. I know that all those things mean I cannot afford to play dimwitted, clueless white person. I know those things mean I need to listen all the time, I need to read, I need to learn, I need to educate myself and educate others.
You, [redacted], have had absolutely nothing to say about any of that. No, what was important to you was to nitpick and criticize people in an impossible situation. That certainly paints you in a very bad light, and no one is obliged to suffer your foolishness kindly.
There’s more. So much more. Today, though, I’m going to let Jonathan H. Gray speak for me, because he does it so very well: I spent my lunch break drawing this. It was more personal than taking a picture.
#HandsUpFriday #LastWords #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/yMyYcd3my9