It Is Not Enough

“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” ~ Angela Davis

I am a black woman.
Being a black woman can get me killed.
My identity can get me killed.
Can we just sit with that reality for a moment?

My identity can get me killed.
But, I have known this my entire life.

If you had any doubt about that I hope that has changed in light of what we saw happen in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month.

Many Americans will tell you they know that racism exists, but they don’t know any racists personally.

I am here to tell you, that you do because racism is a system backed by violence.

You know the systems:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Policing
  • Health Care
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Economic System

This system is historic, normalized, taken for granted, deeply embedded, and works to the benefit of whites and to the disadvantage of people of color (Hilliard, 1992).

These systems, just like white nationalists, are killing me and other black and brown folks every day.

No permit to rally is needed.

These systems kill us whether it is the face of a militia member carrying automatic weapons or politicians using pens as they draft legislation.

Me and mine are in danger.

If I am in danger, then so are you.

When we talk about who we are as a country we never mention the laws, norms, and systems which make it clear that this country is built for the comfort, ease and success of some of us.

Racial purity was important to the founding fathers of this country as much as the men in Virginia earlier this month.

The main way this system continues is the lack of understanding what racism actually is and the ways we have been socialized to make sure whiteness is always comfortable.

So when you see me talking, teaching and working on dismantling oppression and creating systems that are fair and just what I am really saying is we need to create something this country has never seen, a reality it has never known.

We have to rethink structures, systems, institutions, and constructs.

Oppression is a machine and the systems I identified are the cogs that keep it running.

Only together can we stop the machine.

Only together can we create a new vision for this country.

It is not enough to not feed the machine, we have to take the machine apart piece by piece.

Let’s go get free together.

 

Whiteness at Work

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