To the white guys who think everything is about them and 45'

I’m Black, a woman and look younger than I am, so sometimes people mistake me for an unexperienced and unprepared person. Two white men made this mistake last week during the first of two talks I would give that day at Washington State University. In the middle of warming up to the conversation, I noticed a white guy staring blankly in the second row. The room was packed, so I did my best to make good eye contact and engage the very racially diverse crowd. At the same time, I decided to keep an eye on him. In all honesty, I was afraid that he would either 1) be extremly disruptive or 2) physically harm me. Well, as expected, he spoke up about the man in the White House who I now call “45.” Peep what happened below.

So to him, his friend and every person who support’s 45’s regime — my message to you is that I did not start caring about my life and my people because your guy was elected.

I didn’t start speaking out and putting my body on the line against “Law and Order,” policing and prisons because the 45 regime came into power.

I didn’t realize that my ability to access breast cancer screening exams, fertility specialists, STI testing, pap smears or to decide if I want to an abortion and receive one safely mattered because the 45 regime came into power.

I didn’t decide that the fight to end the criminalization of immigrant and migrant people was also my fight because the 45 regime came into power.

I didn’t realize that policing and prisons fail to keep us safe, I’m a Chicagoan and I know that only we can keep each other safe because the 45 regime came into power. Side note: Keep Chicago’s name outta your mouth 45.

I didn’t decide that all children deserve access to quality public schools, not just ones from rich families, because the 45 regime came into power.

I didn’t have a revelation that capitalism would never liberate oppressed people, but that mass redistribution of wealth and transforming the means of production could because the 45 regime came into power.

I didn’t decide that now was time to care about how LGBTQ people are impacted by state sanctioned violence because the 45 regime came into power.

I did decide that now is the time to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks because the 45 regime came into power.

I decided that now is the time for increased collaboration with people and organizations that share values to fight against anti-Blackness, capitalism, hatred of women, homophobia and transphobia.

That means that now is the time for that revolution within ourselves that Grace Lee Boggs teaches us about.

I joined the fight for our lives 13 years ago. I’m ready for what’s to come. There are no sidelines. I’m of the strong belief that we have to know our enemy in order to defeat them. And my God, I learned alot that day. Our enemy is strong and on the wrong side of history. So, we’re gonna need everyone in the fight to divest from things that don’t serve our people and invest in us. Together, we must build something better and beautiful from the destruction coming our way.