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Editor’s Corner

Ain’t Y’all Tired of Calling on White People to Stop Their Own?

My social media timelines are bursting with talk about Charlottesville. No, I’m not providing a link because you all know what happened down there. My friends are all sharing news of the coverage with captions about how this is still happening in America. I keep seeing screenshots of tweets from witty white people calling out American hypocrisy, criticizing Trump’s inadequate response, lamenting that in Trump’s America we’ve regressed to white hate groups (Klan, Nazis or whoever, all those motherfuckers are the same to me) and calling on other white people to stand against this injustice. The rest is a hodge podge of Black people calling on white people to check on their Black and brown loved ones, pictures of the white folks involved in that shit show with captions giving their names, addresses and employers, memes about how those white folks down in Charlottesville starting shit are our coworkers, teachers an politicians, and Black people detailing how traumatic an experience it was to have to explain to their young children why this is happening.

And frankly, I’m tired of all this shit.

I’m tired of Black people, my people, who have centuries of empirical evidence that white people will never renounce their claim to the white supremacist system they inherit as soon as they take their first breath, having any expectation that white people will wrangle their own people. I’m tired of the descendants of the enslaved expecting white people, even the ones they fuck, break bread with and love, to care more about our collective safety and well-being than they do about their own ability to continue to move through this world as the sole heirs of a system that pedestals them. I’m tired of people who look like me believing that they can appeal to the white conscience when history has shown and the present continues to illustrate that any collective white conscience is purely hypothetical.

White people will never take responsibility for the terror they create and maintain. They will never sit their fucking children down and explain to them that their success has less to do with working hard than it does not fucking up the leverage their phenotype affords them. They will never fucking abandon their meemaws and papas who casually call us niggers and long for the days when “niggers knew their place.” They will never care enough to do more than “speak out” on social media about the disgrace that racial injustice is. They will never fucking vote against their own interests to uplift us.

They will never organize to outcast the overt racists within their community because those “nigger” shouting, MAGA-hat-wearing, Reddit-using, trolling white folks who are unabashedly against anybody not white are the poison that makes the covert, “I didn’t mean anything by it,” “I’d never use that word,” we’re all God’s children racists tolerable. They can pretend they’re appalled as they shout at the TV watching their neighbors and friends chant “blood and soil” on CNN, but not so fucking appalled that they take their asses into he line of fire to put down the beasts they’ve emboldened. They can call their Black and brown friends to check on them, to ask if they’re okay after seeing this shit, but can’t call their white friends and family and strategize how the fuck they’re going to use their political and financial capital to ensure that the white folks marching with torches are jailed and permanently blacklisted. They can go to church and listen to their pastor talk that shit about all of us coming together and loving one another, but won’t demand their pastor opens the church’s purse to fund UVA’s Black Student Union.

White people don’t need to see this shit to believe it’s real. Believe me they’ve seen the regalia from lynchings. They’ve found the bones — literal fucking bones — from Black people murdered and mutilated in their grandparents attics. They’ve found Klan robes in the back of the closet. And some of them, many more than will admit or than you will suspect, have been there for the shit. And whether they’ve been there for it or found the mementos or not, they’ve all, even your friends who “recognize” their privilege and attend BLM protests and have never given you a reason to suspect they’re anything but genuine, indulged in and accepted the spoils of white supremacy.

They can feign outrage, fuck, maybe it may even be genuine for a few, but they can’t deny that shit like what happened in Charlottesville continues to secure their existence. They can’t pretend that they’re willing to really put down he violent, narcissistic, sociopathy that secures their favor in this world. They can’t convince me that if they were as committed to ending the violent oppression, exploitation and lynching of Black and brown people across the globe as they have been to adding bike lanes in Brooklyn, Baltimore and DC or any of the other convenient concessions they’ve used that political capital to gain, that this system wouldn’t be a relic of the past.

I’m fucking tired. I’m not tired of white indifference or performative solidarity and concern. White people and their expressions of sorrow and helplessness ain’t never meant shit to me. I’m tired of my own people not realizing that our concern, our focus, our energy must continue to be poured into each other. They are never gonna destroy that which nourishes them and we’d do best to stop expecting humanity and action from those who sustain themselves on our blood.

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Kinfolk Kollective avatar About the author: LaSha is a writer who’s obsessed with Black people. Find her work here of course, but also on Ebony, The Guardian, Essence, Salon, Everyday Feminism, Teen Vogue, HuffPo and For Harriett. She’s loves trap music & 90s R&B, watches Jeopardy faithfully and believes fried chicken is her soulmate. The clapback queen is loud and clear about loving her kids above all else and kinda digs her Yankee husband too. Anti-Blackness gives her hives. Get at her @lashawrites on Twitter.

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