TW: For Racism
During the Ferguson protests, during the Baltimore uprisings, during countless demonstrations that took place because black children, black men, and black women, are being murdered, there were countless and endless condemnations by white people of the protestors as being too violent, too angry.
Last night, white people came to a Black Lives Matter demonstration for no other purpose then to commit violence. Their purpose wasn’t to raise awareness, to express anger and hurt over government sanctioned murders. No. They were there to kill people who had the nerve to protest being murdered. They were there because they don’t see PoC as being human beings, as being people. They shot five people.
When the police responded, their response included macing protestors after they had just been shot at.
Not long ago, white people were burning churches that hosted primarily black or PoC congregations. Whose purpose was to instill fear, to subjugate.
At the same time a white man opened fire in a church full of black people. Killing people. He was allowed to live by the self-same people who put to death black people for being “too scary” despite being unarmed and frightened.
Before that another black woman was murdered by police while in custody.
Countless of Muslim men and women have been attacked in the last few days, because white people seem to be under the impression that all brown people are the same.
Black people are dying. People of Colour are dying. They aren’t trying to start a race war, they are responding to one that has been waged by governments and society for several decades.
They are responding to being told that racism is over, while at the same time lynchings are taking place.
White people are standing by while a CVS burns, they are actively seeking to harm, to kill to maim. And yet, the choir of concerned white citizens stands curiously silent.
Just weeks ago armed white supremacists, armed white people showed up to terrorize, to threaten, to hurt, and possibly even to kill students. STUDENTS!? Young people whose only crime is daring to think that they could have an education. The goal of these white men was violence. The goal was fear. The goal was pain. It was terrorism motivated by skin colour.
Reading the experiences of the students who dared show their faces at school, whether because their professors wouldn’t excuse them, whether out of a need to present bravery (as though existing in a world that hates you isn’t bravery enough), or whether because they just weren’t warned in time, reads like something you would expect to be accounts from decades ago during the very height of the civil rights movement. Not in 2015.
Where are the memes from white people telling white people to “control our own”? Where are the condemnations of them, the accusations of trying to start a war? Where are the reminders to other white people that “violence isn’t the answer”?
Where is the outrage?
Here is mine. We as white people need to do better. We need to take a seat on matters of race and start listening to what PoC are telling us. We need to start paying attention and not turn our eyes away from a war being waged, by our governments, by our police forces, by our inattention. We need to start demanding more of our justice system, more of our governments. We need to stop putting barriers up to make already difficult lives more difficult. We need to recognize the code words that are being used to pretend that the wars we wage are not influenced by racism. We need to stop giving even tacit agreement to politicians who spread the rhetoric of hate. We need to hold our own accountable.