I probably read hundreds of angry, tear-filled tweets denouncing the physical manifestation of white supremacy in Charlottesville. My timeline was filled with Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesus. Women and men, mostly white, in sheer disbelief that 2017 looks like bygone centuries, a time only experienced through history books. Lady Gaga, the “woke” millennial superstar lighting the Twitter-path with #ThisIsNotUs and her followers falling in line.
These are the things currently informing my space. The space built long before the organized domestic terrorist protest at the University of Virginia. Decades before the homegrown terrorist rammed his car through a parade of civil-seekers killing Heather Heyer. Years before Jocques Clemmons (Nashville), Eric Brown, Philando Castille, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon…
This crazy space that occupies America’s view of white and wrong through a monochromatic lens. Where a peaceful, non-threatening stand (or knee) for one’s rights leads to dire and sometimes fatal consequences. This funky space contains the knowledge that for some a traffic stop is a mild inconvenience while others must deploy life-saving respectability tactics even before the officer’s advance toward the car.
This sorrowful space also includes acts of discrimination against one’s social standing. The haves versus the have nots. Private education over public education. Zip codes. We suffer from both racial and economic supremacy.
Because in my eyes Charlottesville is more about the rest of us than the wilting madmen.
So, I’m not with you in this.
Because nothing is enough and everything is too much.
I don’t want your sympathy, your best Brainyquote, or well-worded passage highlighted from some highfalutin book that’s really intended to represent your intellectual prowess.
I’m not interested in your safe platitudes, stale calls for kumbaya, and short-sighted disavowing of one supremacy while reaping the benefits of another.
I’m not with you.
Because this is us. This is America. I can’t—with your lack of acceptance, ignoring the generational cries of black mamas, condemning slavery yet slow to recognize its transformation into mass incarceration, coddling the public school system for personal benefit even as it perpetuates a cycle of poverty for black and brown children.
Recognize your dissonance. It’s easy to stand against injustice through memes. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Who is in your circle?
- Who do you invite into your home?
- Who do you invite to your place of worship?
- What’s the complexion of your staff?
- Do you desire to socialize only with those that match your ideology, money, and education?
Charlottesville is us. Always has been and will be for the foreseeable future. And because too many acknowledge problems only when blasted in the face with tiki torches and others remain quiet to protect or further one’s own station, it’s best I go solo on this one.
Don’t mind me I’m just a blogger in a weird, painful, bitter space. I’ll try to do better, I promise. See meme below.