a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

What To Do With Your Liberal White Rage

Posted on: November 10, 2016

white fists in the airTuesday night was a shock to a lot of us. After Florida was called for that racist bigot who might be the president elect I went to bed. I watched from my phone as the race continued to tip in his favor and I somehow fell asleep. I slept until my wife came in and snuggled me.

“Did he win?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she responded.

In the last 24+ hours I’ve cried bitterly, desperately, angrily. It isn’t a shock that the United States is racist. I knew that. I guess it’s best described as disbelief. I just didn’t realize the full extent of the racism. It is that disbelief that I’m seeing across my Facebook timeline, and some white folks (and some brown folks, too) have expressed their anger, sadness, frustration and solidarity while others have said things like, let’s come together, let’s try to love, let’s give it a chance. When POCs have responded with how hurtful, dismissive and frustrating sentiments like these are I’ve seen some white folks get defensive.

I get it. This is a shock to a lot of people, and that shock is unsettling and everyone should feel the feelings they are feeling. We also need to realize that the feelings of other people may night quite align with yours.

Be upset.

Be fucking pissed off.

Be sad.

Be angry.

See rage.

RAGE.

Feel hurt.

Feel let down.

Hold your kids tight. And get to work.

For too long we’ve believed that this place or that place we live in is Liberal so it’s okay. I live in X and everything is fine here. My friends, my spouse, I don’t think that way and everything is okay. I’m a feminist.

Whatever your reason for sitting idly while others worked, protested, gave of time and money and sweat, now is the time to get off of the sidelines and to join in the fight.

I cannot bleach away the blackness of my skin. I cannot straighten the kinks of my hair. I cannot hide my pussy. I am exactly what you see. And for half of this country I am what they hate. And I have to walk these streets in a body they hate.

Two dear friends said things to me that I disagreed with. One, in dismay at a homophobic attack, said it’s unfortunate because where the attack happened was a liberal area of LA. Another said that we should fight hatred with love, a sentiment Dr. King based his non-violent platform on. I disagree with my friends.

Liberal areas are no less a threat to someone who looks like me, to someone who wears a hijab, to someone who wears a kippah, to someone who loves someone of the same sex or someone who doesn’t conform to “gender norms”. We can still get shot, five people did, in “liberal” Seattle last night.

Love isn’t there when synagogues are vandalized, when churches are burned. Love isn’t in the bystanders who watch as a woman’s hijab is ripped from her head or when a woman is called a nigger. Love isn’t there when children scream “build a wall” to their classmates and teachers watch in dismay. Love isn’t there when we’ve told the countless people who are victims of sexual assault and rape that not only can your attacker walk free, he can win the presidency of our country. That’s not love. Complacency isn’t love. Love doesn’t get shit done, it’s obvious that hate does.

For too long we’ve lived in our safe bubbles with our liberal friends, our neutral friends, our happy lives while black and brown folks raged in Ferguson, St. Louis, Detroit, Flint, Standing Rock and other communities fighting for the basic freedoms we (I) took for granted.

What do you suppose happens after he comes for the Muslims, the Mexicans, the undocumented, the Jews …

When blacks exclaimed BLACK LIVES MATTER, did you say it too?

When LGBTQ folks exclaimed that we DEMAND EQUAL HUMAN RIGHTS, did you demand it too?

When Water Protectors exclaimed WATER IS LIFE!, did you say it too?

For too long folks with white (or light) skin have been able to blend in, to not make waves, not stick their necks out too far. If you’re feeling the things you’re feeling and you want to create change, do it. It does no one any good to simply sit with the emotions. And it’s infuriating for you to try to tell me how I should feel, I’m not trying to tell you how to feel. I’m asking you to take how you’re feeling, all of that anger, raged, despair frustration, disbelief and put it into action.

 

1 Response to "What To Do With Your Liberal White Rage"

[…] I’ll close¬†with the words of my blogger hero, the deeply empowering scribe of Black Gay Jewish, Erika Davis, from her post of this week, What to Do with Your Liberal White Rage: […]

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