This might be my third “I’ve had enough” post in the last month. One should be enough to convey the depth of my crushing weariness, but just when you think people can’t get crazier, they do.
My friend posted this screenshot of a text from a good friend. Apparently they had been out to eat with their toddler child when a group of BLM/Antifa protesters approached them and demanded they chant in solidarity.
I don’t know the friend, but I do know the person who received the text very, very well and this person has no reason to lie and certainly wouldn’t (and couldn’t) take the time to fake a text thread. I did make sure to receive permission from the people this happened to (via my friend) to post about this. Some on Facebook questioned the validity of the text when I posted, and that’s fair. All the identifying information is cut off on purpose and this is 2020, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable to question its truth.
I’m not posting this as “proof” that this stuff is happening (and God knows there is enough video floating around out there to confirm that similar incidents have indeed happened). This isn’t a report. This is declaration.
Anyone who thinks this type of behavior is “justice” or is in support of Black America is either lying to themselves or downright evil. So let me, a Black American woman, set the record straight here.
If you think this is okay, if you do this, you do not represent me. You do not represent my family. You do not represent the hundreds of years of struggle to be seen as equal. Many of those years entail a struggle to even be seen as human at all (see David Walker’s Appeal in Four Articles for more on that). These types of antics do more to roll back the struggle to be seen as human than any modern politician we are currently labeling as Literally Hitler™. They associate us with barbarity, illogic and violence. People like the ones in this incident, or those surrounding an unsuspecting woman in a Washington, D.C. beer garden, thrust upon us the perception that we are wild animals, incapable of reason or compassion.
This isn’t the movement that Black America is trying to foster. There are issues with Black Lives Matter™ the organization, but the notion of Black lives mattering is very real, very necessary and very nuanced in the reasons such a slogan came to be a part of our national vernacular.
We look at situations like the one my friend shared and shake our heads. We are parents too. We are educated too. We are Americans too.
We are not animals. Unfortunately animals have attached themselves to a movement that had some valid merit and have now rendered that movement nearly worthless. It is becoming a wasted opportunity, hijacked by privileged children and envious maniacs. On my podcast Just Listen to Yourself I work hard to find the valid points in every argument, and to suss out the logic attached. My most downloaded episode ever is on the difference between the BLM organization and the movement itself. I cannot be accused of bias in this instance. I’ve worked hard to find objectivity insofar as it exists in politics.
I can objectively tell you that surrounding a family, injuring their baby and then physically preventing the parents from reaching said baby is in no part a representation of me, my own family or the varying racial struggles I believe still plague the Black community. I can objectively tell you that most Black people I know have no interest in bullying White folks into chanting nonsense or raising fists. We’re not morons and we’re not wild beasts. We don’t want the police to disappear. No one needs them more than many of our urban communities do and we live the reality of those lives every day.
Anyone who would swarm innocent bystanders like this, or shout and hiss at a scared woman trying to enjoy her limited social life is not a part of any justice movement. That is not justice. That is anarchy. Black Americans have lived through anarchy over and over again in this country. We have no desire to be a part of it.
It has not escaped me that many of the vicious attackers are young, White kids. Sometimes Black kids are with them, but rarely do I see anyone who seems over the age of 40 in these shout-down circles. These are babies, doing what spoiled babies do…throwing tantrums and making demands. These are people who have been raised in privilege and affluence and who have no idea what they ask for. They have no idea what it means to be oppressed and they certainly have no idea what life is really like in the communities they claim to fight for.
We are the minority in a majority White nation. We live with White people and work with them. Some of them work for us and we work them. Some of them are our church brethren, our neighbors and even our relatives. We are not hateful creatures unable to contain our base natures. Most of us understand very well that real change doesn’t come from harassment. And we want change, not whatever it is the diaper-babies who keep telling us they want “justice” are trying to bring us.
If you’re a supporter of the movement for a deeper valuing of Black lives, then I think you need to pack up and go home and start figuring out how you can work with your local legislators to see the change you want. Antifa and BLM™ have teamed up to sow violence, division and chaos. They are not your allies. Quite the opposite. They are a bunch of privileged kids using our history and struggles to prove to the world that they are not the bad guys. But they are the bad guys, and I will not sit idly by and let them paint an entire community of people over 20 million strong as barbaric little pigs who have no self-control. The truly peaceful protests are now inseparable from the violent rioters who follow law-abiding protesters around and set fire to our own streets. Every time you hit the streets, you bring them with you. It’s time for a new strategy before we completely waste this unique and historic opportunity to be heard in a way that effects real change.
If you’re one of the people out there burning churches (Lord, I cannot think of a more shockingly terrible way to represent a culture in which such a thing carries such disturbing history), demanding people participate in your fascist salutes or idiot chants, shouting at women and children and demanding an end to the police altogether, let me reiterate…you do not speak for me. You do not speak for my family and you do not speak for justice. Go home, apologize to your parents for your wastefulness of the gifts they’ve given you and get a job, go back to school, or…heaven forbid…volunteer to serve the very people you’re knocking children in restaurants over to “protect.” We don’t need you and we don’t want you. Your behavior doesn’t represent us, even if you’ve been lied to by a few Black people who are too young to know better and didn’t get whupped enough as kids. You are a scourge and I’ve had enough of your pathetic, thoughtless brand of activism.
Your usefulness long ago reached its apex. Get your dumb asses off the street and go the hell home. And don’t forget to pick up your trash before you leave, you filthy fools.
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