[CN: references to police brutality, racism]
Dear “Woke White Folk”,
I see you. I see the work you do, I hear your voice. It gives me strength that you are angry about injustice. We together are demanding change. We can support each other through the complexities of being an ally and unpacking our privilege.
I come from a place of fully acknowledging your emotions. They are valid. I come from a place of rejecting respectability politics. But white folks, please stop being short with your less aware friends on social media. Talk to them patiently. Politely introduce them to the concepts with nuance and grace. I know you’re mad, full of righteous indignation, and they still argue these basic points that we thought we were past!!
This isn’t personal for us. The bodies lying in the street aren’t like our bodies. Those bodies aren’t treated like our bodies. Black, brown, and native bodies aren’t viewed respectfully, as our bodies are. To do this work we don’t get to lose our shit and cry and block racists. If we are outraged by these injustices, we must collect our own. We must teach other white people that it isn’t that we think all cops are awful humans, it’s that the system of police in the US is corrupt, bias, and ultimately dangerous to black, brown and native people. We must explain again and again, how the media is misrepresenting these events and are complicit in perpetuating these injustices. We must convince them, draw them in, not alienate them and solidify their opinion that white supporters of BLM are cop haters, conspiracy theorists, PC obsessed, reverse racists.
This isn’t to admonish or reprimand you. It’s to say that I see the good you are doing, and imagining how much more we can do. It takes all sorts to change the world. Let’s do the most we can.