Hate In The Offering Plate
Come play with us, we said,
To the Black Woman led, people of color centered, organizing organization.
It’ll be great!
You’ll spread the word about your work, the Sunday offering will be yours
And we can celebrate our faithful generosity and your work with the families and friends of Louisiana’s waaaaay too many incarcerated children. (Any is too many).
And so we did.
We did good and, my friends, we caused harm.
In the midst of our celebration and awe
Was the knife of hate
The entitlement born of white supremacy
Slipping through in the offering plate.
So you see, it isn’t “them.”
It isn’t them.
Each one of us. Each one of us saturated in the ideology of white supremacy, taught since birth (or immigration) that white is right and entitled to all that is fair and bright and light. With gratitude to all the people of color and anti-racist/racist white folk who have been a part of my white supremacy education, I affirm that:
Yes, it’s a set up.
Yes, in part, to enshrine class and gender disparities.
Yes, it harms everyone.
Yes, it harms some people MUCH more than others.
Yes, anti-blackness is taught to everyone as a part of upholding white supremacy.
Yes, exoticizing and fetishizing and destroying indigenous people and other humans who cannot or will not assimilate into whiteness is an aspect of white supremacy.
Yes, white supremacy objectifies humans (and the planet). It changes I/Thou into I/it and establishes the conditions in which humans (and this earth) can be treated as property, as things, as abstract concepts, as inventory.
And so, friends, we must practice resistance, practice courageous naming, practice collective liberation in the presence of white supremacist institutions and systems of entitlement and destruction.
We must not be afraid to name the system of belief that has warped the fabric of our humanity. Naming really is half the battle. Centuries of consciousness raising, of bending the moral arc of the universe toward justice, have made a difference.
Talking about the patriarchy made a world where women can be moral agents for their own lives.
Talking about heterosexism made a world where gay and lesbian and pansexual people can love out loud.
Talking about white supremacy can make a world where the social construct of race no longer determines the social outcomes in your life.
Now is the time to talk about white supremacy — how it has been internalized in every person and in every institution and in every system in the United States of America. Now is the time to talk about how this worldview was formed and why. Now is the time to talk about what life could be like if all of us decide that a different belief system is necessary and possible in this nation.
Now is the time to acknowledge the existence of and the impact of hate in the offering plate. Now is the time to acknowledge the existence of and the impact of white supremacy in our hearts and our political, economic, and social systems.
In the commissioning words of singer, organizer, and lover of life, Wendi Moore-O’Neal, “We are all, every one of us is responsible to build power in service to radical, fearless, liberatory, ancestor-blessed Love.”
No matter how you identify or are identified in the racial hierarchy of the United States of America, white supremacy has been done to you. Let us be about the work of co-creating a loving, collective liberation for all.
Let there never again be hate in the offering plate.