Friday, July 17, 2009

I am Guilty of This

Ota to Ishi, Malia and Philly
I want to stop hearing words like " can't believe, and unreal and unbelievable".

Because all your telling me is when we say there is racism, you don't believe us .

All it tells me is that for every cred from the left to the right you flash, you still believe the ultimate decision of racism is up to you.

Save me your indignation that "forced you to write a letter".

All that says to me is that for you , a letter will fix this.

For these few morsels , it is expected that some vein will be slit open , some damaging memory laid forth , some heartache on display , attached like a post it note

" This one this time you should do something ,here's my soul to prove it"
Your shock and amazement and horror show me nothing except that when we spake and spoke and speak.

You do not listen, except for the show.

here you are excited because you can use your force your screaming your yelling.

And I will quietly think that every news source that looked like us... Had between two and three days ago.
I read this post and I thought: "oh fuck."

And like the title of my post here says... "I am guilty of this."

And you know what else, I think this is probably worthy of a: "stuff white people do," because most white people I know do this.

There is some amount of social conditioning at work here, I think, because I see this mimicked all around me. If something is offensive enough, horrifying enough, "I can't believe it!" is the way we express that.

But as Black Amazon points out here, what exactly are we saying there?? If we "can't believe it" then did we not believe such things happen? Doesn't that mean we don't believe the people who have been telling us so? Doesn't that directly contradict what we say elsewhere, which is specifically that we DO BELIEVE these things happen?

Um. Yes.

I have had, for, I don't know, maybe the last six months, had a growing discomfort with my own tendency for such words to be the first to pop into my head. It was a quiet discomfort in the back of my head. And one to which I clearly did not pay enough attention and which apparently didn't bother me quite enough to dive in and unpack it.

Instead, once again, I have relied on a woman of color to point something out I should have done myself.

I am very grateful to BA for that.

But I am frustrated with myself (as I should be) for it.

Hopefully, I will at least do something by this post.