I’m sorry, Michael Jackson. You were wrong. It indeed does matter if you’re Black or White… or in my case, Black and White.
As my consciousness rose and I began to speak out against the systematic devaluing of and violence against my Black and Brown brothers and sisters (and other folks who are marginalized too), I began to hear a five word phrase that pushes me over the edge:
“Don’t forget, you’re White too.”
To my dear family, friends and strangers. The ones who say this to me every time I check their privilege or push back on their [insert *ist] comment or action. I have a five letter phrase for you: STFUP (Shut the F Up, Please). [p.s. Sorry, for the language Grammy.]
Trust me. I know that I am “White too.” First of all, you remind me so much that it would be hard to forget. Secondly, I live in a world where I do not have the privilege to be color blind, so I am well aware of my racial identity, despite your failed attempts to stifle it.
My Bro-Blackness is not Anti-Whiteness. Please, remember that. In fact, I’d argue my Bro-Blackness is an asset to you because while I fight to make the world safer for my Black and Brown brothers and sisters (and other folks who are marginalized), I am making the world better for you too. Let that sink in.
I know that I am making you uncomfortable. Challenging you. Inviting you to critically explore your privilege and the oppression of people who are marginalized. It’s not because I do not love you. In fact, it’s because I love you so much that I’ve made it my personal mission to support your growth as a human being.
Sit in your discomfort. It will pass. But unlike you, my discomfort is not temporary. It doesn’t arise when someone challenges me. I am uncomfortable every day as a Black woman in America. If I can survive 26… going on 27 years of discomfort, you can survive the few minutes of me holding you accountable.
In Peace and Love,
Your unapologetically Black AND White Pro-Black loved one