The Black Lives Matter movement has fucking rocked my world. I’m so excited about how much progress they’re making! I love watching them make people uncomfortable! I love all of the conversations we’re finally having about race! I’m so excited that this movement means that I will have to explain white privilege less! Because white people everywhere are thinking about it RIGHT NOW, thanks to this movement. And, from my experience, getting people to understand their privilege is the first step.
Once they see how they’re lucky, then they start to wonder what unlucky feels like. And then they have to think about that. And decide if it’s fair or not. And they start to see it everywhere. And then they start to worry about/side with People Of Color. And then things get a little bit better, as they start understanding and helping their neighbors and new friends.
And I’m sooooooooo fucking excited that we have a shot, in our country at equality. It’s amazing. And horrible that so many people have died, without outrage. I think that the Black Lives Matter movement is a beautiful testament to the spirit of African Americans. It’s so fucking hopeful. And it’s hope that was begotten from injustice. Which makes it more amazing than regular old hope, in the face of hard circumstances.
And so I made some cards, to help a little. Since I’m white, and most of my friends and customers are white, I made a card for white people to give to People Of Color.
Actually, I made a few, I’ll post ’em every day for a little while.
One comedian recently said: “Black people and white people have a communication problem. Black people are all like “Stop murdering us!” and white people are all like “Shut-up! A white man is talking.”
He was right.
And it made me think that in order to Keep Black Folks Safe, we’re gonna have to start having less fucked up conversations.
As a white person, I have wanted to tell black friends, lovers, strangers and fellow bus riders that I was on their side. But, it’s fucking awkward.
And, showing is always easier than telling anyway.
But it’s not always easy to show it, either. No-one can see your intentions. They
might not believe you anyway… See, how you can kinda worry your way around the problem without actually getting anywhere?
So, I’m trying to help us all get somewhere. Talking is kinda my thing. Or COMMUNICATING, anyway.
So, I’ve made some cards, so that you, as a white person, can tell your black friends/co-workers, soon-to-be-friends that you’re on their side.
And I think that LISTENING to People Of Color. And BELIEVING THEM, when they tell stories about their experiences and BEING ON THEIR SIDE is the first step to keeping them safe.
So, this card helps you SAY you’re on their side. And reminds you how to ACT LIKE it. So that your words are believable.
This card can remind you, as a white person NOT TO:
1. Interrupt People Of Color (listening is super important!!!)
2. Side with or try to understand the racist dick that said/did some fucked-up shit to them. Racist Dickhole’s “motivations” don’t matter. Your friends’ thoughts and feelings and experiences DO.
3. Try to tell them that if they’d been smaller/quieter/smarter/kinder/more understanding than that racist shit wouldn’t have happened. Don’t blame them for being a victim of racism. That sucks. And it makes you racist. It sounds like rapist for a reason. Because they’re both fucked up. Don’t side with racism (or rapists!).
All of this listening and believing requires you to do some inner work too. This is the hardest part. I’ve spent two decades thinking about my thoughts. And pulling fucked-up shit out of my brain.
I was lucky, sort of. I had a lot of fucked-up thoughts in my head stemming from my abusive childhood. So, when I started examining my racism, and questioning it, I was already questioning some major beliefs I had. I started examining my reluctance to believe black women’s stories around the same time I realized that nobody believed me about my sexual abuse. And I fucking related. These two stories became the same kind of story, in my mind. And I vowed to believe black women, as well as other survivors of child sex abuse.
But, I live in the same society as you do. And everywhere we look, we see black women dismissed, ignored, discounted and/or ridiculed. And we see white men and women justifying their racist disregard. Which reinforces the underlying message that Black Women’s voices need to be ignored.
So, these messages about People of Color are messages I need to pull out of my brain, in order to treat them like people who deserve to be heard. I am constantly questioning myself, and my behavior and trying to make sure my actions match my beliefs.
In order to listen, and believe People Of Color about their experiences, you will have to examine your inner beliefs too. Being kind to someone you like is the easy part. Pulling the racist shit out of your head so you can do that is the hard part.
This is part of the reason why I like to paste pictures of People Of Color, being awesome, or just very human, everywhere I can. I seek out art that celebrates them in order to un-racist myself.
Looking at or buying this art advertises that you might be an Ally. But regardless of what you wear, or twat or share on your FB wall, the real work is how you act. Listening, and sympathizing are acts of courage that will change racism. One white and black friend at a time.
This card is the script that can help!