Sunday, April 8, 2012

Done

I am tired of talking about 'whiteness', tired of responding to and negotiating it, being assaulted by it, being drained by it. Here's why, literally EVERYTHING that could be said about racism and white supremacy has already been said.  People of colour have been prolific in naming it, resisting it and educating about it in ways that sacrifice our mental, emotional and spiritual health - even in our decisions to walk to the store just in our bodies can end in racial profiling, rape or death.  We've written books, manifestos, made movies, films, art - if you can google and find the address of the nearest hipster hangout with wifi, I know you can learn in detail about the legacy and continuing effects of systemic racism.  And then, WE STILL take the time to educate,  our friends, our colleagues, our lovers about the violence we are subjected to and we need to deal with defensiveness, derailing, name calling (too many of us have been called psychotic), tone policing - we are asked to say it softly or not at all, to ease up, while still having to negotiate the ubiquitous experience of racism - from which we get no break. To ask us to stop talking about it is exercising a privilege we don't have - the privilege to stop thinking/feeling/living racism.  And because we do this, we don't get to talk about ourselves, don't get to talk about the dynamics between us as people of colour. I wanna talk about the connections/love/pain between Black communities and Latina communities, between East Asians and South Asians, between First Nations communities and Pacific Islanders - I want to talk about the ways we live those experiences as Afro-Latinas, as Indigienous Pacific Islanders - I want to talk and learn and build together as communities of colour.  If you believe that Black Men are all violent offenders, that every womyn in a Hijab is oppressed and you don't understand why people of colour are so angry, I'm done.  Read a book, use the Internet, look around, do some work. No more apologies, do something. If you make $250,000/yr, break it up into several people's salaries and hire some brilliant womyn of colour. Tell your old racist aunt who means well to stop talking. Stop mining diamonds, for the love of all life, stop wallowing in self pity and change the system that you benefit from every single day. Do it now. And do it daily.

2 comments:

  1. Kim, you have no idea how empowered i am as a Muslim reading these lines. I work at a place as the only non-Anglo-French White Canadian. Everyone sees her/him self as an angel yet practice racism invisibly and very kindly with smiles. I don't know if they know they are treating me differently thn the white male employee. My ED never came to me when i went on a long trip to Middle East to say have a nice and fun trip. She hasn't come to me after i came back to say how was your trip, glad to have you back. When the white employee came back from her trip to Paris, she set a date for coffee so she can talk about her trip, wines she tasted, places she went to and how her boyfriend did that or bla bla. That little thing was unbelievably hurtful and i can't fathom how offensive this has been. Racism isn't going on the street with a gun and asking all non-white Canadians to go back to their countries. Racism happens in tiny, invisible places with smiles.

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