Talkin’ Brexit Blues.
This isn’t about picking on the #UK, or saying that everyone that voted #Leave was an overt racist. This is about this: Whether you voted Leave or #Remain (or for #Trump or #Clinton or #Sanders or whatever you think makes you not a part of #WhiteSupremacy), White people need to stop with all the bullshit excuses and denial every time this ugliness rears its head. There is a cost for centuries of oppressing billions of people based on a fake construct (race may not be real, but racism sure is) in order to consolidate power, and then pretending it didn’t happen. It’s not only an impossibly horrifying cost for the generations we’ve murdered and ruined, it’s also rotting us from the inside. When we deny our past and try to polite our way out of it, or try to distance ourselves from the all-too-recent past and all-too-real present, we let these paranoid, shame-based fantasies persist and proliferate. We let important conversations about wealth disparity and #immigration and #terrorism and #guns and #crime and everything else go on and on while leaving out crucial and irrefutable truths, which is nonsensical and counterproductive. That leads to Trump, and to entire nations veering into ditches like #Brexit without even really knowing (or being honest about) what’s happening or why it happened. Bleach and repeat. This is where ‘everyone is too PC these days’ and ‘but what about reverse racism’ and ‘don’t judge me’ and #AllLivesMatter leads. It also leads to more misinformation, ignoring valid non-White voices saying things clearly based in reason and history, and a disconnect with reality that is ruining pretty literally everything.
It’s not enough to say ‘I’m not racist’ over and over. It’s time for truth & reconciliation, reparations, and all forms of sustained, active anti-racism, on personal and systemic levels. It’s been time for a long time. Yea, call out the ugly jokes and stereotypes that flood our whitewashed pop culture, call out people in line at the grocery store or yr family around the dinner table, interrupt the vaguely racist FB thread yr friend started with the dumb meme… but beyond all the arguments, just deal with yrself. Start there. Nice and quiet. Be real about what’s happened, be real about what’s happening. Try catching yrself being scared, or mean, or ashamed, or numb, or silent. Try looking at all the ways yr life has been made easier, cheaper, and safer at the expense of someone else’s being harder, more costly, and more dangerous. Try looking at the shows & movies you grew up with. Try on a ‘radical’ idea like reparations. Try looking at the ramifications of colonialism. Try following the path from slavery to the industrial prison system, or redlining to gentrification. Try looking at the effects of poverty. Try speaking up. Try posting #BlackLivesMatter, or wearing it on a shirt, or any overt statement of acknowledgment and support. Try Liking™ this morning rant, or sharing it, or writing yr own. I know it can be overwhelming, but enough with the #WhiteTears. Just try.
ps — And yes, if you’re a man, or heterosexual, or CIS, or part of any historically dominant, oppressive group, all this works with different words. It’s about consolidation of power, and fear of Other. It’s real, and it’s awful. Here we are. I love You.