If you can’t muster the courage to be an ally– at least be very mindful of what you do say!
Oh, white people it’s going to touch you
How much longer do you think you can ignore it?
You love your favorite basketball player, but the racism—you didn’t sign up for it
But it only starts with Lebron
It doesn’t end there…it goes on
It’s your boss, your neighbor—even your best friend becomes hate crime victim
While you sit idly by, still pretending there is no racism
I mean, what year is it?
You are above it
You voted Obama as president
You deserve the right to be passive and silent
I am just so curious
I need to know how long does it take to notice the elephant in the room has already had babies
And is raising an entire dysfunctional family
I am not asking you to fight for me
Just wake up and acknowledge that yo, you fucked up, B
Every nigger joke that you let slide—hell, every nigga lyric you rapped
Every all lives matter post you hashtagged
You don’t get it, and now you missed it
The revolution has already begun, son
And you have chosen Switzerland
Because of that we can’t be friends
I don’t have the luxury of ignoring social unrest
My mental is distressed
My brothers and sisters are dying
Please don’t say you don’t know why, because in the back of our minds we want to say fuck you
And your whole crew, too
We were brought here for your labor, allowed to stay for your entertainment
It feels like living in a zoo
And it’s cute when we have our rallies and marches as long as it doesn’t bother you
You are not neutral
You are lazy and apathetic
You are pathetic
And it ain’t right but I almost have more respect for the so-called “alt-right”, at least they had the balls to choose a side
Behind Facebook reposts and thumbs up on Kiana’s status
You don’t know what it’s like to live like this
It’s going to touch you
Better yet, hit you like a ton of bricks
And it will be too late to ameliorate this shit
“Black people should just stop committing crimes” is a phrase that echoes from your privileged lips
Tell me, who deserves to die from selling loose cigarettes?
Or for wearing a hoodie while carrying a Skittles packet?
Or from routine traffic stops
And take this moment to tell yourself the truth
You don’t care as much as you say you do
Maybe you fear the work involved and the loss of friends
Just remember, when you choose no side the evil party wins
It’s going to touch you
Creep into your soul; haunt your dreams at night
You Netflix and chillin while the rest of us are at war and we fight
I hope your grandchildren ask you your thoughts on fundamental civil rights
I hope they want to know where you were during the real emancipation
And I hope you give in and tell them something real
That you checked out because you just couldn’t deal
A “Fuck Trump” bumper sticker is as far as you could go
You didn’t know your voice could have a powerful impact
That you could do your part to pick up the slack and help bring decent humanity back
America is bullshit right now, for us it was never great
Your silence is not a worthy component to conquer all this hate
So sorry to wake you up out of your comfortable slumber
But are you grabbing a bucket or is this ship going under?
There is no fence to straddle
There is no grey, just black and white
Just wrong and right
…you gotta choose
Because my friend, it’s going to touch you
I have said it once and I am saying it again; I do not like talking about this stuff on the blog. The subject of race, politics, religion etc. is a minefield! As a practitioner and teacher of empathy I acknowledge that it is difficult to communicate with people in such a way that they not only come to an understanding of your personal plight, but also make the effort to change their way of thinking. Furthermore, addressing a group of people who consider themselves peaceful, non-combative and believe they are genuinely good people, free of bias and prejudice could perhaps even have me labeled as a bully. But it’s my blog, so here we are…
I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I live in Prince George’s County Maryland—one of the most prominent and prosperous black counties in the nation—and I have always worked in either DC or Northern Virginia. For those who don’t know, Southern Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC is known as the DMV and is home to a unique culture in and of itself. We are a melting pot of different ethnicities and diverse backgrounds on top of including the nation’s capital where all the dirty politicians dwell. Because of our culture of political correctness I never understood the different levels of racism, prejudice and bias until well into my twenties.
As a teen in high school I didn’t understand why none of my white guy crushes liked me. When I entered into the workforce at 19 I didn’t understand why white people were so taken aback by how articulate I am, and I didn’t really understand that white people were capable of appearing woke as fuck, but more than likely went home to their white lives and immediately stopped giving a fuck. In the DMV area we are the nucleous. News stories have a deep impact here and if you are not talking about Kaepernick, insert-protest-march-here or Trump’s latest tweet then you are not a part of the conversation. Washingtonian white people are a part of the conversation because it is their business and in their best interests to be so. However, it took me longer than I’d care to admit to realize that being in the know is not the same as giving a fuck.
For me, the worst kind white people are those who immerse themselves in black culture and claim to not see color but do not consider themselves allies nor do they want to acknowledge that the need for allies exist. I sat in silence during the election season as I listened to my Republican friends say things like, “Ugh, I don’t know who to vote for– both Clinton and Trump are so awful!” It felt like a stab in the back to my face—if that makes sense. I thought to myself, “So you are ok siding with racism and misogyny because your loyalty is to your political party and not decency and humanity? Duly noted.” I didn’t purge as many friends as I probably should have, but I peeped the bullshit and I am aware.
I am aware of the white people in my life who remain silent or eerily neutral when the topic of racism comes up. I am aware of the white people in my life who are uber liberal arguing you down about feminist rights, pontificating about LGBTQ rights and debating you about the top ten hip hop albums of all time. But, I peep when those same people are passive, evasive and vague during group conversations about race relations as if they are too afraid or unwilling to say, “That is racist. That is unjust. That is not ok.” Period. I liken it to a silent gaslighting where I literally begin to feel like as if I’m crazy and I ask myself “Am I playing the black card? Was that shooting indeed a racist act of violence or am I overreacting?”
The kind of white person that quietly wonders to themselves why all lives don’t matter and loves black people but wishes we would chill and stop getting shot is fast becoming my least favorite kind of person. Maybe I am getting old, but I just can’t fuck with the duplicity like I used to. As tensions rise in our country, I am starting to treat silence as acquiescence. As much as I hate covering these kinds of topics I do it because it’s my life—and my life and my reality are not up for debate or opinion.
If you can acknowledge that fake news and sensationalism exists, then why can’t you admit that racism still does? Obama voted in as president does not magically erase the disturbing history of a country that was built on the backs of African slaves. Ignoring the existence of racism is a dangerous game—a weak one. It takes strength to dare to step out of your own delusion, admit that injustice exists and to check your own privilege and prejudices as well as those of your peers. It takes strength to make the decision to stand up to bigotry and hate when the safest move for your physical and mental health might very well be to try to remain neutral. The decision is not going to be easy, but you must decide.
If only people of color had the luxury of making such decisions.