“This afternoon I took a walk down our block in Los Angeles and a white man yelled, ‘Go back to Inglewood or Ima shoot you like they did that Trayvon Martin!’
I was going to say something, but I had my son. And I didn’t know if the white man really had a gun. And I want my son to stay alive. So I left and came home. Then I read the text my sister had just sent me that Zimmerman had been acquitted of murdering Trayvon, and I understood why that man felt he could run out after us and say what he said. This verdict has set a precedent giving racists the carte blanche to kill people of color and get away with it. And I am terrified.” – What About Our Fear?: An Open Letter To My Fellow American Friends and Neighbors
This is not okay. To my white friends: it’s not enough to just coolly sit back and assess the case and look at this visceral response from people of color and somehow think that this is “their” problem. Nope. Racism, the overt kind as well as the subtle biases and everything that comes with that…that is very definitely OUR problem.
And it pisses me off that the onus of proving that point is always on people of color when WE need to do the work and LISTEN when they tell us what’s wrong, and analyse our assumptions and beliefs and privileges, and learn where we can do better, and call out our friends and family for their bullshit and teach them how they can be better and more aware, and always, always, always stand up when we see injustice.
Every damn one of us should be enraged. Every damn one of us should want to stop this. And every damn one of us is a starting point. So c’mon. Let’s do the work. Change starts right here, right now.
I’m not sure who ever told y’all that voting was meant to be a soothing salve for your soul, or some high-minded, philosophically untouchable measure of self satisfaction. It seems like everyone’s been viewing voting as if it should be some amazingbeautifulsoulfilling experience; that we should get Stendhal Syndrome every time we pull a lever or fill in a fucking Scantron because we MUST be able to vote for the perfect candidate who says everything and does everything right, right? Or maybe it’s because we somehow think that those we vote for should already be doing the right thing, without us making them do it first?
Does it make it somehow less important that I tell you it’s actually a really ugly fucking hammer? A blunt, simple tool meant to accomplish one small facet of building something? One small step on the way to a larger goal? That’s it, y’all. It’s a tool. And using that tool? It’s fucking strategy, people. I know you want to vote for the perfect candidate who totally represents each person’s every soft and cuddly need, but you know that’s bullshit pie-in-the-sky childish wishfulness, right?
To start out my favorite month (because it contains my birthday), I have linky!
The topics are pretty varied today, because I was finding some interesting things all over ye internets.
So, I had this long rant that was building up in my head to refute Bishop Harry Jackson’s idiotic claims that birth control for women is a eugenics program against black people. He claims that contraception is a “silent effort of the powerful to control black breeding”. Really. That’s what he said.
Then I realized that my argument was much, much simpler and doesn’t necessitate a huge diatribe. So here. I’ll let you read his remarks and then make a few brief comments of my own.
Amidst all the brouhaha about “religious freedom” that has become attached to the discussion about reproductive rights and contraception, it has become clear that the word “freedom” is not a simple word when belief gets thrown into the mix.
Do you remember the old adage that “Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my face begins”? It’s simplistic yes, but it’s the root of distilling the complexities of these political fights. Certainly, in a country as large and diverse as the United States, you can’t please all of the people all of the time (to steal yet another old adage). There will always be policies that help one group that other groups don’t like. It’s sometimes difficult to even find the middle ground with so many different belief systems and ideologies.
But what isn’t difficult to figure out is this: if your “freedom” actually requires the REMOVAL of someone else’s freedom, there is a serious problem with your understanding of the concept.