I was gonna make a video. Then I realized the whole thing would be me yelling at white people.
I may still make a video. I made a video of me yelling at white people once before and never posted it. A few folks I showed it to thought it might, y’know, offend some well intentioned people who were already hurt and afraid.
I’m real damn sick of keeping my mouth shut because some tender hearted people might not want to hear about their culpability in some dark shit that’s going on.
What the fuck.
It’s taken me a couple of days and a lot of comedic news shows. A lot of people have covered how goddamn fucked up 45’s response has been. (My favorite was John Oliver, who said something like, “Nazis are a lot like cats. If they like you, it’s probably because you’re feeding them.”)
I am not going into that. Mostly because I think he’s the kid who likes attention and I just can’t be bothered to devote any of my precious energy to his bullshit.
Let’s talk about the other thing here: Nazis. Self proclaimed goddamn NAZIS. Marching. In the open. With their faces all over YouTube. Because they feel totally safe to do that.
America right now? Is a safe space for fucking NAZIS. It’s like seeing that pink triangle on the outside of the school counselor’s office door and knowing it’s okay if you’re out to them. Except it’s a goddamn swastika. Which is pretty ironic, since we use the triangle BECAUSE THAT SHIT IS HOW THE NAZIS IDENTIFIED QUEER PEOPLE.
My country has a big old swastika decal pressed against the glass.
Look, racists exist. There are a lot of them. There’s a truck in my town that has a fucking hand painted sign on it advocating the lynching of a black man who was once president.
This is a good time to say if you are white and American, you should go to the Lynching in America website here: https://lynchinginamerica.eji.org/ You should go and watch all the videos, listen to all the audios. Do it right the fuck now or don’t bother reading the rest of this post, you’re wasting your time. I don’t want you here.
I am a white American, three and four generations off the boat. Literally none of my family was in this country when slavery existed, and none of my family ever settled outside of California and Connecticut during the Jim Crow years. But you know what?
I am a fucking white American, and I am heir to all the goddamn privilege that entails. I don’t get to cop out on this because it wasn’t my family who owned slaves, or because I haven’t personally fucking lynched anyone. I own this skin, and all the advantages that come with it every fucking day of my life. Every day.
You know what privilege is? It’s thinking Man, I should probably go look at that site, because lynching was messed up, and it’s part of our history…but I have so much to do. It might take longer than I have. It’ll be depressing. Plus I never lynched anyone. I’m not from the South/from the affected states/I’m a recent immigrant/my people have always fought for equal rights/I don’t let anyone say racist jokes around me. Things like that aren’t meant for me.
Any of that sound familiar? Maybe you just thought Oh, I’m far too busy.
But you’re not. You’re not too busy to look at some highly goddamn relevant personal stories about lynching right now, and you know how I know you’re not too busy for that?
BECAUSE YOU ARE READING MY FUCKING BLOG.
And this is where I yell at white people.
Look, you’re sitting here reading a white person’s words about some Nazi assholes marching in Charlottesville. I certainly hope you didn’t think you’d get brownie points. Because: no fucking brownie points. Go read around. And yeah, I actually considered linking you to all the fucking good stuff out there about race relations written by people who actually experience racial discrimination, and then I got super resentful that white people always need to be hand fucking fed shit like kittens who can’t goddamn feed themselves.
It’s like maybe if you’re super gentle with white people you can get them to eat a little bite of owning their privilege or seeing what it’s like for people who aren’t white right off your little pinky finger. But don’t scare them! Don’t scare the white people. Because people who’ve gone through life surrounded by an invisible safety net at all times resent the shit out of being frightened. And they will turn on you in a hot second.
And do not tell me about that one time you walked through a black neighborhood at night. Fuck you so fucking hard right now.
Yep. I knew I’d end up yelling. Because this is a situation that GODDAMN WELL CALLS FOR YELLING.
What’s it gonna take? Okay, slavery is legally over. Jim Crow is…uh. Well. All those voting restrictions go out of their way to screw over people of color, but let’s call Jim Crow “over”. Ish.
But what about black men–peaceful black men–getting gunned down by cops all over the country? (Did you watch the Philando Castile dashcam footage? You should. That’s a link to the Trevor Noah segment, which was fucking on point.) What about a president who won spouting a bunch of racist malarkey about immigrants in order to rile white people into a mob frothing at the mouth?
White goddamn supremacists are feeling liberated from the chains of having to hide their racism in polite company. Or at all. I want the Nazis in this country to go straight back into hiding. I can’t stop them from existing, but I never thought in my lifetime I would see them gleefully proclaiming their support of the current US president while marching with their flags in defense of a monument to a dead white guy whose troops captured free black people on his orders and fucking enslaved them.
Someone on Twitter the other day (and yes, I am the asshole who didn’t bookmark it and has no idea who it was) said that the goals of white supremacists, if met, would elevate the status of all white people. And that’s true. You, white people, and me, and David fucking Duke. All of us with in our skin shrouds of privilege.
If you can’t see how slavery led to lynching led to Jim Crow led to “blue lives matter” (please hear that in a sneery tone of voice) led to Charlottesville, you must have your pale-ass hands plastered over your eyes, because that line is in BOLD, motherfuckers. This ain’t ancient history. It’s right the fuck now.
Go. Don’t signal boost this bullshit, signal boost someone who’s not fucking white. Goddammit.
EDITED TO ADD: Okay, if you’re too busy to do anything else, at least do this: donate to Southern Poverty Law Center. That’s acceptable. Kick a few bucks to the folks who are gonna fight this thing (and all the other things). Also worth checking out: their updated Ten Ways to Fight Hate.
Featured image (of white people, but they’re British, so you know) is Silence is Compliance by Alisdare Hickson on Flickr, used under Creative Commons 2.0.