We Can’t Always Hide Behind A Meme
If I see one more “let’s come together” meme after this week, I’m going to lose it.
We’re coming together to do what exactly?
We’re united for or against what exactly?
You’re holding my hand but I’m still angry.
Black folks and White folks holding hands and spreading germs is not going to fix this problem. Even if it looks nice and on brand.
I realize now what my Dad was trying to do. My Dad taught us to code-switch not so we could assimilate into the White neighborhoods that we grew up in but to rather keep us safe. The moment we make White folks uncomfortable, all Hell could break loose. As a product of the late 60s, my Dad came of age at the time when “I’m black and I’m proud” was the mantra of the day. He raised us to be proud in our Blackness even when he had to walk into corporate America everyday and play it safe.
But through that upbringing, I was taught to play that “why can’t get along?” card often. I didn’t understand racism at any level. We existed as a Black family in this White space, isn’t that enough of a sign? But as I got older, I realized that to keep our heads on our necks, we had to appear to keep the peace. Families that didn’t keep peace had crosses burned on their yard. And when it all hit the fan, when that Hell broke loose, we are all by ourselves. The people who loved on us didn’t get it.
I’ve seen that people I love do get it. It’s a welcomed change to what I’ve been taught to expect when moments like this past week happen.
But yet, there’s still an air that surrounds us that makes me believe that folks would rather ask for all of us to get along instead of asking how they can help or admit that they’ve been part of the problem.
This I do get. The air is thick with divisiveness. There is anger all up and down Facebook feeds. Most people are calling the President a “racist” — *waves hand* — or kept their opinions to themselves (God bless their souls…) or went as far as to defend what’s been happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It’s not rainbows and moonbeams. You’ve probably lost all respect for someone because of how they’ve responded to go-back-to-where-you-came-from ‘Gate.
You just want for everyone to get along. Can we all just get along?!
That’s the problem. We hide behind preconceived notions of racial solidarity when we don’t want to get down into the mud and do the dirty work. It’s easier to say that you have black friends or your church is inclusive or you “don’t see color” instead of meeting people of color in the dirt to lament over how you may have been complicit in the racial violence we experience on a daily basis.
Because when we do come to you with our pain, you don’t get it. Yet then, you turn around to tell us that we’re making things “racial” but then later want to use our race for your benefit, so you can look “diverse” or “inclusive” or “not racist” or “more of a true reflection of the body of Christ”.
Straddling-the-line season is over.
That’s what we’ve seen all week from both sides of the aisle. Folks are not calling a spade for what it is because they don’t want to shake the tables.
You can’t defend the President’s choice of words and then disavow those chants heard at the rally. The latter doesn’t happen without the former. You can’t defend yourself against alleged gaslighting by Liberal media but then fail to stop supporters directing “send her back” chants toward a congresswoman. The fire you’ve started has spread, Mr. President. Put it out.
Except they don’t want this fire quashed. This is exactly what they wanted whether their conscious wants to admit to it or not. “Lock her up” but then 78% of your election staff are threatened with jail time. That chant, that call, became mighty obsolete. What’s it going to take for this administration to kill this noise?
I’m surprised they haven’t found a Black or Brown to use a prop yet? To show that they don’t have a “racist bone” in their body. To hold hands with, you know?
This is my attempt to write every day in July. To read more, follow the hashtag #wedj2019!