Tag Archives: white supremacy

I am afraid, or, 2017: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

I am afraid on the basis of all of my identities. That fear is not just of Trump himself, but of unchecked Republican control of the executive and legislative branches of our government, and likely soon the top level of the judicial branch as well.

As a black person, I’m afraid that Republican power will continue to deny that my and my people’s lives matter. That there will be no push from the federal government to hold police who kill unarmed black men and women accountable. That we will continue incarcerating absurd proportions of black and brown communities. That the fact that a businessman who was openly supported by the KKK was elected will give racists and white supremacists a larger platform, a stronger foothold, or even just make them more likely to take action in support of their beliefs.

As a woman, particularly as a sexually active woman of childbearing age who does not want to become a mother now or ever, I am worried about what full Republican leadership at the federal level means for reproductive rights. I have an IUD right now, that was made possible by the stipulation in Obamacare that requires all insurance companies to cover the cost of all forms of birth control. If (it pains me too much to say when) Obamacare is repealed, I will be required to pay for the medically necessary removal of my current IUD in 2018 and for the cost of inserting a new one, which can be upwards of $1000, if I choose to stick with this birth control option that has worked very well for me. If I choose to go with a lower cost, but also easier to misuse option, like the pill, I am scared that I’ll mess up and forget to take it one day, or forget to bring it with me on a trip, and then be faced with a potential unwanted pregnancy under an anti-abortion federal government. I am afraid of catcallers and other predatory men feeling emboldened by a president who has bragged about grabbing women by the pussy.

As a queer person, I am afraid that Trump himself doesn’t care about us, as he has released no policy plans for LGBT rights or HIV/AIDS. But I know how anti-LGBT the Republican party generally is: 2016 has seen pushback on marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples, bathroom bills that have devastating consequences beyond just where we pee, endorsements of gay conversion therapy for minors, and a resurgence of “religious freedom” bills designed to allow businesses the ‘right’ to refuse to serve us. Trans women, especially trans women of color, are being killed every week in this country, and I have no hope that they will be protected under our new president-elect’s leadership. In fact, as the people who oppose QTPOCs very existence see how strong their numbers are, it’s hard to do anything other than expect the violence to get worse.

And speaking of the twisting of “religious freedom,” as a non-Christian, I am worried that a conservative majority in all branches of the federal government de facto pushes church and state closer together. I have extended family members who are Muslim (of the black power, Nation of Islam variety, but that didn’t matter to folks who abused and discriminated against them post-9/11). I am afraid for their safety in the red states of Georgia and Florida under a Trump administration.

As the daughter and granddaughter and niece and sister of people who have worked in the casino industry, literally for Trump himself and/or for people like him, I am worried that Republican control means even further erosion of what little safety net is there for our senior citizens who didn’t work fancy desk jobs with 401ks or pensions and now depend on Social Security and Medicare to literally feed, clothe, house, and care for themselves. I am afraid of what will happen to my father and my grandmother. I am worried that people who don’t make living wages will lose the scraps of support they are currently able to receive from programs like SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid, and won’t be able to literally feed, clothe, house, and care for their children. I am afraid that this administration will do nothing but widen the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, and further marginalize the voices of those being trampled upon.

As the daughter of a woman who has held down a full-time teaching job through multiple rounds of chemotherapy in order to keep her healthcare coverage, I am afraid that people will literally die as a result of this election. Obama was able to bring health insurance (albeit imperfect) to hundreds of thousands of people who did not have it before, and made it so that people couldn’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I am afraid that if my mom gets too sick to work, a post-Obamacare America will be one in which she cannot be insured, and my family will have to watch a disease she beat once before overcome her because we can’t afford the treatments.

I feel America’s distaste for people like me, a distaste that ranges from a lack of empathy to a straight-up hatred, writ large this morning, feel it in my bones and in my spirit more heavily than I’ve ever felt it before. This place was built by us, but not for us, and is about to be run by people who aggressively don’t support us. I feel unsafe and unwanted here on the deepest of levels. If I joke or even more genuinely consider fleeing, don’t tell me it’s my responsibility to fight through and fix this. I didn’t break it. I don’t know how to heal the divide between rural America and urban America, between white America and diverse America, between people who legitimately support Trump’s platform and ideas and people like me. I don’t know if it can be healed. I am not hopeful this morning.

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The absence of Officer Wilson’s indictment is consolidates a series of historic and systemic protections and managements of Whiteness and its fatal “fear” of Black bodies. Despite studies of “unconscious bias,” the American consciousness puts an economic and socio-cultural value on Black folks and its utter disregard for justice on these bodies speaks volumes.

Only Whiteness can kill an unarmed Black boy with his hands up and leave him for dead in the street. Only whiteness can assume terror on the body of a Black woman asking for help. Only whiteness can shoot a Black girl in her home as her grandmother tried to protect her from police raid. Whiteness can with kill in cold blood freely despite revolutionary documentation. Whiteness can have a criminal history of abuse and assault and walk free from dashing Black life so young. And as we have seen this weekend in at Keene State whiteness can even wreak havoc in streets with out so much of a single bullet shot.

Jay Dodd, Iconography of Supremacy: Officer Wilson, Keene State, and Whiteness

(via spinsterette)

I will state flatly that the bulk of this country’s white population impresses me, and has so impressed me for a very long time, as being beyond any conceivable hope of moral rehabilitation. They have been white, if I may so put it, too long; they have been married to the lie of white supremacy too long; the effect in the personalities, their lives, their grasp of realty, has been as devastating as the lava which so memorably immobilized the citizens of Pompeii. They are unable to conceive that their version of reality, which they want me to accept, is an insult to my history and a parody of theirs and an intolerable violation of myself.

–James Baldwin

(via Gradient Lair)

After a while you may want to respond to every request for a take on the day’s newest racist incident with nothing but a list of corresponding, pre-drafted truths, like a call-center script for talking to bigots. Having written thousands of words about white people who have slurred the president over the past six years, you begin to feel as if the only appropriate way to respond to new cases—the only way you can do it without losing your mind—is with a single line of text reading, ‘Black people are normal people deserving of the same respect afforded to anyone else, but they often aren’t given that respect due to the machinations of white supremacy.’

Imagine an editor asking a writer to passionately articulate why a drunk driver hitting and killing a boy on a bicycle is wrong and sad. That would never happen, because a drunk driver killing a boy on a bike is a self-evident tragedy. Asking a writer to exert lots of effort to explain why would be a disservice to the dead, as if his right to life were ever in question, as if our moral obligation to not snuff out our fellow citizens via recklessness were something in need of an eloquent plea.

When another unarmed black teenager is gunned down, there is something that hurts about having to put fingers to keyboard in an attempt to illuminate why another black life taken is a catastrophe, even if that murdered person had a criminal record or a history of smoking marijuana, even if that murdered person wasn’t a millionaire or college student. There is something that hurts when thinking about the possibility of being ‘accidentally’ shot on some darkened corner, leaving a writer who never met you the task of asking the world to acknowledge your value posthumously, as it didn’t during your life.

The Racism Beat: What it’s like to write about hate over and over and over

(via the dopest ethiopienne)

We need to remember that, as powerful as it is to identify as people of color, black people face a unique set of oppressions that non-black people also perpetuate. And we need to recognize that, as non-black Latinos, our silence does, at times, protect us. We find comfort in our silence around our anti-blackness, but that silence is nothing more than collusion with white supremacy. We need to talk about anti-blackness in our communities — half as much as we need to listen to and take seriously what black people say about it, in digital spaces online, as well as in everyday life. It is impossible to assert that we stand against white supremacy while we allow it to inform our anti-blackness. It is impossible to be allies to black people if we are unwilling to carry a conversation about our biases, and begin to lay claim to our faults.

All too often, anti-blackness is literally a matter of death and death. If he already weren’t so famous for the killing of a black child, George Zimmerman (whose mother is an immigrant from Peru) may himself be racially profiled in places like Arizona, and perhaps even in Florida. But his investment in white supremacy both informed the way he hunted down Trayvon Martin and the way he was acquitted for doing so. While many non-black Latinos took to the streets in anger after the verdict, some of us also remained silent about our friends and family members who told us that Zimmerman was correct to kill Martin. Yet it’s only in discussing these things openly — through our discomfort, our confusion and our contradictions — that we’ll find concrete ways to end the perpetuation of anti-black racism where it exists in our families, our communities and our movements.

Aura Bogado, “A matter of death and death”: Confronting anti-black racism among Latinos

(via the dopest ethiopienne)

…the magic of white supremacy is that its presence is obscured by the focus on race. When a black teenager is unfairly profiled by police, we say it’s “because of the color of his skin,” which—as a construction—avoids the racism at play, from the segregated neighborhood the officer patrols to the pervasive belief in black criminality that shapes our approach to crime. Likewise, it obscures the extent to which this isn’t just different treatment— it’s unequal treatment rooted in unequal conditions.

Jamelle BouieWhy Do Millennials Not Understand Racism?

(via KEW)