What Do We Want From White People?
One of the most consistently frustrating things about many interactions Ive had with white allies is the constant state of nervousness, even fear, they are in when discussing anything related to race around any person of color. I often cannot help but roll my eyes when I see a white ally almost trembling, eyes panicking, as they attempt to get their words out. Its like watching someone move through a minefield; you can just tell they are thinking through every possible step, worried constantly about the ground exploding underneath them. Its annoying. But also who can blame them?
"...advocating for ones needs forces one to confront white powerand to do that one inevitably must deal with white people. One must convince the white people in power as to the validity of your cause or grievance. And that often means making them, or those around them, into allies. And thats a bummer..."
I was born advocating ...then given much enlightenment by a rainbow of poc (and gay trans whatever - theatre kid, yanno) along the way, and today. Also learned much through observation and wide compulsive reading. Also the Ivory tower, looking down...you see it. You hear it. You fight it best you can using logic and bravery and debating skills - although folks didn't listen much to girls and women...still don't...
This much I know: stroking with a broad brush is dehumanizing.
What is it that you believe? Can you even tell us or just reprint this?
We have a god damned fascist in the White House who popularity is rising!
Response to elehhhhna (Reply #4)
From the author's conclusions:
"Friendship however could be a more genuine, more equal, and ultimately more equal positive alternative. We are each in this because we care about the other. That feeling of mutual care and love with white friends is the closest thing to equality I have experienced. And it is what I believe our country should aspire to. I suppose that is what Martin Luther Kings famous dream was all about."
Not sure why you are equating negative replies with not reading the piece.
I would say one could only back this awful piece had they not read it.
Neither of us would be using good judgement in our argument using this as a metric.
You're right, I'm not you...
but I can empathize.
No, I haven't had your experiences, but I can understand and relate from my own experiences.
When we seek to teach and end up dividing, we learn nothing and help no one.
While I haven't walked in you shoes, I have walked miles in my own and use that experience to try and seek out common ground to understand not just your plight, but all people who have suffered.
I have tasted the bitterness of poverty and have eaten from the golden apple of success. I have had to beg for food and I have had high dollar meals served at no cost to me. I have felt crushing defeat and the sweet beauty of victory. I have been judged and I have judged. I have had the hateful looks of scorn because of who I am and the embracing arms of acceptance.
I will never ever know what it's like to be a minority in this nation, I will not know how it feels to be looked upon, in some circles, as second class. I will not know what it's like to be passed over solely because of the color of my skin. I will never know these things.
However, it does not stop me from trying my best to empathize with the plight of a fellow human treated unfairly or killed because of the color of their skin.
Hate, ignorance and racism are exhausting. Acceptance, empathy and understanding is fulfilling.
We learn from positives and belittle ourselves as humans with negatives.
I am surrounded by a number of white allies who do not live in fear when it comes to fighting for rights or speaking about inequality.
They would read this and think two things:
1) Maybe the crackers being referenced should do some self-reflection about why they are truly "trembling" over the topic.
2) Who the fuck wrote this horse-shit outlining whites as victims in the context of our societal conversation?
This piece is void of any reality that I live in or the allies I'm surrounded by.
We demand an end to the war against Black people. Since this countrys inception there have been named and unnamed wars on our communities. We demand an end to the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people. This includes:
An immediate end to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youth across all areas of society including, but not limited to; our nations justice and education systems, social service agencies, and media and pop culture. This includes an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students, the removal of police from schools, and the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services.
An end to capital punishment.
An end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees, court surcharges and defendant funded court proceedings.
An end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs.
An end to the war on Black immigrants including the repeal of the 1996 crime and immigration bills, an end to all deportations, immigrant detention, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids, and mandated legal representation in immigration court.
An end to the war on Black trans, queer and gender nonconforming people including their addition to anti-discrimination civil rights protections to ensure they have full access to employment, health, housing and education.
An end to the mass surveillance of Black communities, and the end to the use of technologies that criminalize and target our communities (including IMSI catchers, drones, body cameras, and predictive policing software).
The demilitarization of law enforcement, including law enforcement in schools and on college campuses.
An immediate end to the privatization of police, prisons, jails, probation, parole, food, phone and all other criminal justice related services.
Until we achieve a world where cages are no longer used against our people we demand an immediate change in conditions and an end to all jails, detention centers, youth facilities and prisons as we know them. This includes the end of solitary confinement, the end of shackling of pregnant people, access to quality healthcare, and effective measures to address the needs of our youth, queer, gender nonconforming and trans families.
We demand reparations for past and continuing harms. The government, responsible corporations and other institutions that have profited off of the harm they have inflicted on Black people from colonialism to slavery through food and housing redlining, mass incarceration, and surveillance must repair the harm done. This includes:
Reparations for the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education including: free access and open admissions to public community colleges and universities, technical education (technology, trade and agricultural), educational support programs, retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.
Reparations for the continued divestment from, discrimination toward and exploitation of our communities in the form of a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people, with clearly articulated corporate regulations.
Reparations for the wealth extracted from our communities through environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism in the form of corporate and government reparations focused on healing ongoing physical and mental trauma, and ensuring our access and control of food sources, housing and land.
Reparations for the cultural and educational exploitation, erasure, and extraction of our communities in the form of mandated public school curriculums that critically examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism and slavery, and funding to support, build, preserve, and restore cultural assets and sacred sites to ensure the recognition and honoring of our collective struggles and triumphs.
Legislation at the federal and state level that requires the United States to acknowledge the lasting impacts of slavery, establish and execute a plan to address those impacts. This includes the immediate passage of H.R.40, the Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act or subsequent versions which call for reparations remedies.
We demand investments in the education, health and safety of Black people, instead of investments in the criminalizing, caging, and harming of Black people. We want investments in Black communities, determined by Black communities, and divestment from exploitative forces including prisons, fossil fuels, police, surveillance and exploitative corporations. This includes:
A reallocation of funds at the federal, state and local level from policing and incarceration (JAG, COPS, VOCA) to long-term safety strategies such as education, local restorative justice services, and employment programs.
The retroactive decriminalization, immediate release and record expungement of all drug related offenses and prostitution, and reparations for the devastating impact of the war on drugs and criminalization of prostitution, including a reinvestment of the resulting savings and revenue into restorative services, mental health services, job programs and other programs supporting those impacted by the sex and drug trade.
Real, meaningful, and equitable universal health care that guarantees: proximity to nearby comprehensive health centers, culturally competent services for all people, specific services for queer, gender nonconforming, and trans people, full bodily autonomy, full reproductive services, mental health services, paid parental leave, and comprehensive quality child and elder care.
A constitutional right at the state and federal level to a fully-funded education which includes a clear articulation of the right to: a free education for all, special protections for queer and trans students, wrap around services, social workers, free health services (including reproductive body autonomy), a curriculum that acknowledges and addresses students material and cultural needs, physical activity and recreation, high quality food, free daycare, and freedom from unwarranted search, seizure or arrest.
A divestment from industrial multinational use of fossil fuels and investment in community- based sustainable energy solutions.
A cut in military expenditures and a reallocation of those funds to invest in domestic infrastructure and community well-being.
We demand economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership, not merely access. This includes:
A progressive restructuring of tax codes at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.
Federal and state job programs that specifically target the most economically marginalized Black people, and compensation for those involved in the care economy. Job programs must provide a living wage and encourage support for local workers centers, unions, and Black-owned businesses which are accountable to the community.
A right to restored land, clean air, clean water and housing and an end to the exploitative privatization of natural resources including land and water. We seek democratic control over how resources are preserved, used and distributed and do so while honoring and respecting the rights of our Indigenous family.
The right for workers to organize in public and private sectors especially in On Demand Economy jobs.
Restore the Glass-Steagall Act to break up the large banks, and call for the National Credit Union Administration and the US Department of the Treasury to change policies and practices around regulation, reporting and consolidation to allow for the continuation and creation of black banks, small and community development credit unions, insurance companies and other financial institutions.
An end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a renegotiation of all trade agreements to prioritize the interests of workers and communities.
Through tax incentives, loans and other government directed resources, support the development of cooperative or social economy networks to help facilitate trade across and in Black communities globally. All aid in the form of grants, loans or contracts to help facilitate this must go to Black led or Black supported networks and organizations as defined by the communities.
Financial support of Black alternative institutions including policy that subsidizes and offers low-interest, interest-free or federally guaranteed low-interest loans to promote the development of cooperatives (food, residential, etc.), land trusts and culturally responsive health infrastructures that serve the collective needs of our communities.
Protections for workers in industries that are not appropriately regulated including domestic workers, farm workers, and tipped workers, and for workers many of whom are Black women and incarcerated people who have been exploited and remain unprotected. This includes the immediate passage at the Federal and state level of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and extension of worker protections to incarcerated people.
We demand a world where those most impacted in our communities control the laws, institutions, and policies that are meant to serve us from our schools to our local budgets, economies, police departments, and our land while recognizing that the rights and histories of our Indigenous family must also be respected. This includes:
Direct democratic community control of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, ensuring that communities most harmed by destructive policing have the power to hire and fire officers, determine disciplinary action, control budgets and policies, and subpoena relevant agency information.
An end to the privatization of education and real community control by parents, students and community members of schools including democratic school boards and community control of curriculum, hiring, firing and discipline policies.
Participatory budgeting at the local, state and federal level.
We demand independent Black political power and Black self-determination in all areas of society. We envision a remaking of the current U.S. political system in order to create a real democracy where Black people and all marginalized people can effectively exercise full political power. This includes:
An end to the criminalization of Black political activity including the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to the repression of political parties.
Public financing of elections and the end of money controlling politics through ending super PACs and unchecked corporate donations.
Election protection, electoral expansion and the right to vote for all people including: full access, guarantees, and protections of the right to vote for all people through universal voter registration, automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16-year-olds, same day voter registration, voting day holidays, Online Voter Registration (OVR), enfranchisement of formerly and presently incarcerated people, local and state resident voting for undocumented people, and a ban on any disenfranchisement laws.
Full access to technology including net neutrality and universal access to the internet without discrimination and full representation for all.
Protection and increased funding for Black institutions including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Black media and cultural, political and social formations.