White Libs Again Put Us On Stage To Perform
When I said white liberals were failing after the November election, it created a furor of sensitive, “focus on me” complaints in the comments. They weren’t like those white people. They were all different and yet, unsurprisingly, they all sounded the same. They wanted recognition for being different, which is a staple of whiteness wanting congratulatory pats on the back for doing the bare minimum of work—if they actually did anything. I did not think this fake nonsense could get worse…until I woke up the day after the Georgia runoffs and saw what white people had created online.
White people seem incapable of seeing Black people, in this instance a Black woman, as a fully fleshed out, nuanced human being. We see it in shows and cinema constantly. We are unable to exist except in relation to them. So, if you want a Black female lead their partner must be white. If they initially have a Black partner, they are either dying or breaking up early on to make room for the new white love interest so that Black women are relatable and not a threat. After all, there is nothing more terrifying to white people than when Black people stand and exist separate from white people. It’s precisely why a group of Black people are stopped and questioned by police, while groups of white people are seemingly invisible to an officer’s eyes. We have to be watered down in a manner that is easily digestible to a white audience.
So when the Democratic nominees won, praise was heaped on Stacey Abrams that she turned the tide for Dems to win in Georgia. Albeit she didn’t do it alone; however that matters little to the white gaze. It’s about how to remove the person and create an empty vessel to be lauded by white liberals. So, it shouldn’t have been surprising that of course white people who are supposed “allies” would share tweets raising Stacey Abrams up to the rank of savior as that is one of the common magical negro tropes we have always seen from Gone With The Wind to present day.
First, Black women having to come to rescue the nation’s ass is not something new. Reason being is none of you do the work to actually make a difference; prizing your comfort over actual change. You don’t challenge toxic friends or family, you don’t even treat the few Black women you may encounter or work alongside with respect. On the contrary, you’re often the first to question their experience and knowledge because you can’t possibly imagine treating us all equally. That is reserved for a few of those you decide are the “good ones” and, even then, if Stacey Abrams started pushing for changes that encroach on your comfort, you would turn on her as easily as you turn on your coworker, sobbing how they are so hostile when all you wanted to do was touch their hair.
While the above white women did issue an “apology”, the tweet is still up at the time of writing this. After all when it choosing between viral tweets or minimizing dangerous rhetoric of magical negro, saviorism. She fought to change circumstances for people in marginalized communities and white always reaps the benefits while doing next to nothing. Voter suppression has been going on for quite some time. How many white democrats or liberals actually did the groundwork early on to combat this?
Despite being the driving force of the Democratic Party, Black women are ignored and even when praised, it’s with a mystifying nature as though they can’t possibly believe in our success. These ridiculous tweets feel like the pat on the head.
When you elevate us to something higher it still allows you to not have to deal with us on a human level. You can distance yourselves from our Blackness by commodifying and packaging it in a manner that separates enough of our Blackness because we are wrapped in white capitalistic patriarchy. Either way you move, elevating us to savior, treating us as less than—you would rather move us to any other position other than equal.
White people should, for the most part stay quiet. After all, it’s your fault we are in this mess anyway. Rather than using our likenesses for performative allyship and viral tweets, reflect on how so many, with odds stacked against them in this society, were able to achieve goals while white politicians keep yammering on about a “someday” that was always here and yet never comes. Because they don’t want it to.
Rather than seeing the anger and horror from the Black community and calling out these disgusting tweets, they’re being liked and shared so people can superficially be a part of a movement that many of them didn’t speak on nor use any of their considerable white privilege to actively be a part of.
Stop constantly taking away our humanity to make us into memes, posters, t-shirts, art, and whatever they hell us you want to use to cash in on our images and hard work. No, you’d rather throw a tantrum because I used the words white liberal than actually think about the harm you and those like you consistently do. This is online minstrelsy that you’re doing so don’t be surprised when we view you as part of the problem. You are.