White Folks Can Turn Away
Black Folks Have To Fight Back
*Trigger Warning* This post details experience with sexual abuse. Please be cautious when reading and seek help if you need it.
“If today we have, indeed, stepped into a chapter of true freedom, then it is our responsibility to speak boldly where our ancestors had to whisper, and to prioritize justice where our ancestors had to prioritize white comfort.” — Jamila Lyiscott, PhD
I became The Loud Mouth Brown Girl because I was tired of being quiet. By the time the cop that arrested me for having a panic attack got to me, I’d already been beaten, raped, and tortured, by white supremacists, who thought they were entitled to my body because “God said so.”
In 2017 we were talking about race and racism on a global scale. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were still alive and Chris Cuomo was still a good guy.
Things were a lot…of fucking crazy actually because Trump was in the office and I never felt like I could calm down. I was scared for the future because I could see what was happening with Black Lives Matter, but I coulda also see the rising racial tensions happening around the world.
And then suddenly it’s 2023 and we’re here and I’m still the Loud Mouth Brown Girl, but everything around me has changed.
Protest season is about to ramp up. Eventually, somewhere there will be a protest and I am going to ask you seriously before you go to stop and think about why you’re going.
What are you protesting this time? And is there a better use of your time? And I say this because I want you to think about the millions of folks who rally together every year and then think about the small group of community leaders that gather them.
It’s one thing to go on a march — that’s an amazing show of force — but it can’t be the only show of force. We have to keep doing the work in the winter and fall months.
We need folks to call their representatives, send emails, go door-knocking, and connect with your community all year round, not just when it’s warm and sunny.
Lots of folks are doing that, but for those who aren't, I’m going to assume it’s only because you need some direction of things you can do that go beyond the performative action of protesting.
If we are to be loud when our ancestors had to whisper, then it is important for us to share our stories out loud. Share your experience, and make it uncomfortable as fuck for those who are hearing your story if you need to, because sometimes our stories are fucking uncomfortable to live.
Protesting is one action.
Phone calls are another action.
Email is a third action.
Sharing your story is a fourth action.
There are other things you can be doing besides taking your children to protests right now and I say that because we’ve now learned that the FBI (for certain), is promoting and inciting violence at protests, so we need to change our tactics.
We need to make it as difficult as possible for them to catch up to us so they don’t see what we’re doing until it’s too late.
And unfortunately, while large protests make a statement, they don’t really get the work done.
We need people to run for office. We need people to support our leaders, and while it may not sound as sexy and as powerful as going to a protest, talking to people in your neighborhood one on one can make a huge difference.
AOC ONLY won her seat because of the hard work she put into connecting with people one on one. And I bet she was fucking terrified going across the state to do that, but she did it. No matter what you think about her politics or policies, she worked damned hard to get into that office.
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There are great things that have been accomplished through protesting, but if that’s your only weapon then you are under-armed.
We need to work smarter, not harder.
And we absolutely can do it, because we’re educated in ways they are not. We know what words like CRT mean and I bet you will find that once you learn what CRT means, what it means when they strip you of your right to have an abortion or access to proper medical care, you’ll be ready to start knocking on doors too.
“If today we have, indeed, stepped into a chapter of true freedom, then it is our responsibility to speak boldly where our ancestors had to whisper, and to prioritize justice where our ancestors had to prioritize white comfort.” — Jamila Lyiscott, PhD —
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Either we achieve racial equity or white people remain comfortable. Both cannot happen at the same time.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall, The Loud Mouth Brown Girl