I’ve been Black in America for 73 years and that will be 74 in less than a month. My family survived enslavement. I’ve lived through Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. I’ve been arrested, jailed, and persecuted by the FBI. I’ve lived in white flight neighborhoods where Black folks moving in were firebombed. Survived a race riot when bused into an all white school. Have been turned down for jobs I was qualified for, simply because of my melanin.
Through all of this I continued to have white friends who were just as activist as I was. I never developed a “hate whitey” reaction simply because I could honestly say “some of my best friends are…” and that wasn’t ducking the truth. Funny thing is, my grandmother, who was white, was the most vocal proponent in our house of not trusting white folks, which is a long story I won’t go into here.
I never could have imagined that in 2021 an entirely wayyy too large segment of this country, led by the Republican Party they vote for, and loony anti-vaxxer Libertarian types would openly support killing us all off with COVID in the name of FreeDumb. I never thought I’d have to side-eye all the random white people I see in the mall, or when I’m walking down the street. The proliferation of Karens and Beckys and Chads in the day to day lives of Black folks just trying to go about their bizness is an indicator of far deeper issues like police and vigilantes killing us — with impunity. We fought and died for the right to vote, and white folks are electing dudes and dudettes who are hell bent on taking those rights back.
To be honest, I don’t understand why this is where we are today. Is it a backlash for having elected Barack Obama? Is it the last gasp of a long history of white supremacy? Are so many of y’all scared of a future where power has to be shared with the rest of us? I have no clue. What I do know, is that as a Black person I am only a member of a small minority here; I’m just one of the 13%. So any solution to my problems ain’t gonna happen unless y’all deal with your parents, spouses, partners, kinfolk, co-workers and neighbors.
Don’t talk to me about capitalism vs socialism, economic anxiety and the working class when you are really talking to white folks, since most of the front line workers doing shit jobs for low wages I know are not white.
Don’t talk to me about black on black crime when y’all have most of us boxed into segregated and deteriorated neighborhoods that may just as well just be called prisons without bars.
When every damn piece of health data shows that being Black means higher maternal mortality and health “disparities” (read death) do you wonder why I’m enraged?
Y’all have had over 400 years to get it together and fix this mess you’ve made, and we are not your maids or mules. I see too many white people cheering about how Black folks, especially Black women have been saving this nation from itself, from within the Democratic Party.
Well that’s a nice sentiment — but it isn’t going to work. The only thing that will is if y’all gather your kin and stop them.
How you do that is on you.
To paraphrase my hero Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”…of waiting for y’all to undo what you have done. ‘Cause it ain’t gonna be just Black folks who are going down with the Whitanic.
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