25Park (Alison Brettschneider) And Why White Women Are So Hard To Trust

Nia Wilson art by @broobs (Instagram)

I had not posted about Nia Wilson. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It was because it pained me to. I now live in England but when I lived in the US I started to recognize that the US was bad for my health and putting me in a perma bad mood. Police violence and white folks failure to speak out about it made it challenging for me to trust 80% of the population I knew in my home town. I know TWO white women who have #BlackLivesMatter tshirts in Reston. Two. If there’s more I don’t know them or I was unaware. But I’ve never seen a #BlackLivesMatter bumper sticker in my hometown. That definitely changed how I began to view it. I spent my last year there often scanning the crowd for kindreds and people who cared … but Reston, Virginia failed me in this way. Anyway it was time to go. I now live in a country which is not without it’s problems but at least guns aren’t easy to assess and healthcare is free. It’s a start. I didn’t post because it’s really painful to me and triggering. It’s too close to home. This young beautiful black life snuffed out by white supremacy. Sometimes it’s just too much. Violence towards people who look like me has officially worn me down and taken a toll on my mental health. This is the point where “allies” are supposed to pick up the load I guess. But if we held our collective breath waiting for that, we’d die too.

One of the things that has stayed with me ever since I began this journey of writing and speaking about race in a way which does not put the feelings of #whitesupremacy in the center of the conversation is the white lady tantrum. I’ve witnessed at least four in the last two years that have been epic, mindblowing and extremely hurtful. Because they have always come from a white woman who was so far up my asshole trying to prove that she was the superior ally. That it was she who loved social justice more than others. And that she didn’t have a racist bone in her body. White women who commented on my every post. White women who talked my ear off about all their good deeds and ways they’ve personally advanced my cause. White women who tell me the same stories more than once about the times they’ve personally stood up or how racist that one place they lived was. White women who claim that they spend countless hours helping people of color. White women who claim to prefer black men (which is fetish-y and gross and makes me deeply uncomfortable … there’s quite a difference between loving a black person and racial preferences based on inhumane fetishy reasons about human anatomy … and the latter is disgusting). White ladies who tell you they have black friends or black family members. White ladies who unload into the ear of any black person who will listen that they are here for you … or actually they are NOT the problem. White ladies who insist that they are NOT the dangerous ones.

But the minute you say something they don’t agree with, or something they don’t understand, or something which causes discomfort in any way or ask them to do better in some way … YOU ARE THE REAL RACIST.

You are the dangerous one (something I’ve been called). You’re making more problems than you solve. You don’t know what’s good for you. You’re attacking. You’re attacking the person who is trying to help. You’re divisive. (I just made a post about the word “divisive” on Facebook within the same day I was made aware that Brettschneider decided to show her true self over a post Rachel Cargle made calling in white feminists who had stayed quiet on the tragic death of Nia Wilson). You’re a dog (something Brettschneider who asked that she do better). You need to call out your own people (surprise, white ladies have more agency and privilege than black women, ESPECIALLY on platforms like Instagram as we saw later in the night). We need to “stay in our lane”. (The delicious irony of a white lady using African American slang to tell black ladies that we need to mind our business if our business includes telling so called allies how to actually ally instead of making empty gestures and declaring the title for yourself). Basically white ladies prove again and again that they cannot be allies to us if their allyship involves ANY listening to women of color when we tell you that you are hurting us or an action you are engaging in isn’t helpful or any correction of behavior. So what happened this time?

Rachel Cargle a writer and activist made a post on her Instagram account which was removed from Cargle’s account (by Instagram) but you can still find a copy of it on Alison Brettschneider’s account which tells you everything you need to know about the way Instagram works and who’s back they have. (Spoiler alert: it’s not black women). The post simply said … “I am still waiting for your favorite white feminists to say a single word about #NiaWilson”. The post encouraged followers to tag white feminist favorites and alert them that well … we’re waiting for them to show TRUE SOLIDARITY. The one that comes from actions, not words.

If anyone that knows you, knows you fight for people of color than why have you spent 48 hours gaslighting, white savioring, tone policing and doxxing any person who disagreed with your actions? This doesn’t sound like the work of an ally to me. If you walk the walk, than why can’t you let your actions speak instead of nasty comments to any and everyone who tried to gently call you in? Do you truly encourage others to use their privilege or do you encourage others to do what is comfortably within their arm length because you seem to twitch hard at any discomfort. Using your privilege to help someone at some point isn’t some sort of get out of jail free card for bad behavior and super meltdowns. Black women are SUPPOSED to call in so called “allies” … that’s supposed to be “intersectional feminism” but as Brettscheider proved so powerfully in the last 48 hours, doing so can be a danger to your health. Whenever someone complains that something is unfair to white people … I know then and there that they aren’t down to the cause and never really were. That their good deeds came with an agenda. And helping black folks wasn’t actually the point. And if you think because you’ve called out white women post the 2016 election, that that means you’ve done something … you have A LOT to learn. You’re only speaking up now because now it’s all very uncomfortable for you as well and you know Trump’s policies will hurt you too. Being called in isn’t an insult. Being called in will not hurt you. But #whitesupremacy … killed #NiaWilson. You have nothing to lose but your temper … and your shit evidently. And allies that give up any time there’s friction ARE NOT ACTUAL ALLIES. It will be uncomfortable. All of it. If you actually cared about anything besides your fragile ego, you’d know that. “… but as a white lady with black family who stands up to injustices …” oh give me a break. Tokenizing your black family members is sickening.

Brettschneider wrote several posts where numerous commenters tried to call her in and she double downed each and every time. She’s now deleted all the comments in an attempt to hide how badly she had behaved. How do you know when you’re doing it wrong? When the very people you claim to fight for tell you repeatedly that you are doing it wrong and instead of listening you double down on the bad behavior. Meanwhile all their comments have many likes and all your retorts have two or three from a couple of sycophants who will have your back even if you’re setting a black lady’s house on fire.

And lastly … the last thing you do is DOXXED PEOPLE. When called out DO NOT. NEVER. EVER. EVER. Harass people’s family members and place of work. You were called out. You weren’t tortured. Or beat. Or hurt. You are not being ganged up on by a group with more institutional power than you (as you so deftly proved in all your comments about being in talks with instagram about the “bullying” you were experiencing). No one denied your humanity under the supremacy of a majority which has oppressed people who look like you for hundreds of years. This is black women and allies asking a Jewish women to do better. Black women (and REAL ALLIES) simply asked you to do better and THIS IS YOUR RESPONSE? It’s shocking. It’s sickening. It’s the ultimate misuse of privilege and it’s just like many white ladies I’ve seen implode in my own personal spaces. Formulaic I’d argue. Wolves in sheep’s clothes. So really … abuse of power comes as no surprise.

A full archive of Brettschneider’s outrageous behavior can be found at Rachel Cargle’s Instagram under archived stories.