This Here Garden.
And you: listen. Yeah, you.
Better yet: go THERE and read it. I'm just posting enough for you to get the idea, here. And then: getting out of her way, because she's got something to say, goddamit; and i for one, if nothing else, want to keep my eyes and ears open.
An Angry Loveletter to WhiteSister
I’ve been dealing with some issues that have been overwhelming. Primarily, I suppose, it’s about the trauma of being a colonized person. I do not say this lightly. Being a black woman, decendant of kidnapped and enslaved Africans, in America is traumatic.
Many of us deal with it by living in denial, because the anger would consume us if we didn’t. Sometimes we turn the anger against ourselves because colonization is not just about taking control of resources, it’s about taking control of minds so that the colonized no longer resist...
I have white friends, my sisters in this deen who I love deeply. I also know that they are blind to so many of these issues and in that willing blindness (because they refuse to listen to people of color when we try to share these experiences, so I know they are intentionally blind) they uphold the system of oppression they claim to despise. Yes my leftie sisters, you are racist too. You can not marry out of it, you can not convert out of it. White supremacy is like alcoholism. Once it’s in you, it’s there. You are forever an alcoholic either your only hope is the ongoing struggle of recovery. And the first step is acknowledging you have a problem. Don’t worry, we victims are constantly struggling to recover too. It’s just a different road. You are victims too, because this has hurt is all, deeply.
... Like so many POC my life is schizophrenic. My experiences say, “you can not trust white people” but my heart and mind refuse to acknowledge it. They say in unison, “no that can’t be true.” My white friends, my sisters in this deen love me! I know they do, they love their angry little brown friend. They send me gifts and words of encouragement. They hold me when I sob, so long as that sobbing isn’t about the pain of being a colonized person, and pump their fists to my anger at sexism and war. Some of them can see the systems of oppression. But when it comes to one on one, they can not deal with me. And can you say you love me, when you refuse to acknowledge all of me? That’s not love WhiteSister.
They must hear my pain from white faces before they can even begin to acknowledge that it exists. I say to WhiteSister “I hurt because racism has hurt my family for generations.” WhiteSister says, “we all hurt because men have oppressed us.” I say to WhiteSister, “Damn it WhiteSister! I hurt because YOU have oppressed us.” WhiteSister cries or rages and throws a tantrum that lasts for months or years because internalized sexism has taught her that that’s the only way to win. Two months later WhiteSister contacts me about this new book she’s read by WhiteWoman talking about racism. WhiteWoman wrote EXACTLY what I told WhiteSister, but now that she’s read it from WhiteWoman it’s a damned revelation. WhiteSister wonders why I’m not jumping for joy at her newfound awareness. She wonders why I just want to smack her across her hijabed head and ask her what the hell her problem is. And she still doesn’t get it when I tell her she’s a racist, and she isn’t even in recovery yet. Nope, until you can really listen to us, you are still just a racist. I know, I’m just not quite as happy in person, as I look on your wall...