Quote of the Day

[Content Note: White supremacy; racism; misogynoir; eliminationist violence; sexual trauma; disordered eating; disablism.]
I told her that loving white supremacists in the face of white supremacy is a hallmark of American evil, and a really a fundamental part of the black American experience in this country.

It's what we're supposed to do, I said.

Many of us have made a life of hoping to get chosen for jobs, chosen for awards, chosen for acceptance from people, structures and corporations bred on white supremacy. We're hoping to get chosen by people who can not see us. Knowing that they hate and terrorize us doesn't stop us from wanting to get chosen. That's the crazy thing. Everything about this country told Grandma, a black woman born in Central Mississippi in 1920s, to love, honor, and forgive white folks. And this country still tells me, a black boy born in Mississippi in the 1970s, to titillate and tend to the emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of white people in my work.

...Like good Americans, I told Grandma, we will remember to drink ourselves drunk on the antiquated poison of progress. We will long for "shall's" and "will be's" and "hopes" for tomorrow. We will heavy-handedly help in our own deception and moral obliteration. We will forget how much easier it is to talk about gun control, mental illness, and riots than it is to talk about the moral and material consequences of manufactured white American innocence.
—Kiese Laymon, writing in the Guardian (under a headline he did not choose) about a conversation he had with his grandmother about how he learned at church that "loving white folks in spite of their investment in our terror was our only chance of not becoming them morally."

I hope you will read the entirety of this powerful piece and really hear what he is saying about his own lived experience, and further what he is saying about how white supremacy, and attendant systems of oppression like the rape culture, oblige their victims' silence for survival and invite compliance with empty promises of a better future, while never delivering meaningful accountability. "What I do know is that love reckons with the past and evil reminds us to look to the future. Evil loves tomorrow because peddling in possibility is what abusers do."

I hope white readers will hear that, and will understand that is why there is no neutral in white supremacy. If we're not actively challenging and working to dismantle white supremacist structures, we are upholding them. And we are abetting the profound and sustained abuse that is central to their very existence, that underwrites white privilege.

White privilege is not something of which we must merely be aware, something to be examined and nothing more. It's something that needs to be utterly destroyed.

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