Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Do better: America 2017

Understanding freedom of speech
Freedom of speech protects you from the government - not from the consequences of what other people think of what you say or how they mobilize against you. Do I support the right for racists and Nazis to assemble on the street? Yes - but without guns and goddamn torches because if any other group assembling did that they would be mowed down immediately. Do I also expect the entire fucking world to rise in opposition? Absolutely.

They look like mediocre white boys to me
So I guess they are blaming the world for their mediocrity? Whatever they look like to you and me, they themselves think they are an army and that they have brought about war. How do I know this? I spent some time reading through their bible, the Daily Stormer website. Do not recommend. I do recommend this 20 minute video. It's insane when you hear a known white supremacist say the same things people on facebook that you know are saying.

Really seeing and processing the differences in how angry white men were treated over other groups
What would happen if 200 black males walked the streets with torches and guns under the cover of night? What happened when Indigenous people held their ground with prayer and sage and literally bothered no one? There actually are two sides to this: people who are  racist Nazis and people who are against racist Nazis. There is no in between. This guy in the photo in the middle who is armed with a large rifle and dressed in fatigues is NOT an agent of the United States Government, but is doing his best to look like one, isn't he? Why do you think that might be? He's a militia member.

Call it what it is
Nazi. Racist. Domestic, white, or white christian terrorist in many cases. Not soft and deceptive white nationalism or alt-right. People throwing around the term nationalist like it's something to be proud of should read up on how Hitler used nationalism to rise to power. If you love your country you are a patriot. If you insist on being a nationalist you're something else entirely and it's not something good. Save your breath trying to convince me otherwise.

Get the fuck out of here with your whataboutism
If your response to Nazis on the street in America in 2017 is engaging in Whataboutism - what are you even fucking doing? What about you stop deflecting. Get the fuck out of here comparing Nazis in the streets to the Black Lives Matter movement or invoking Hillary, Obama, or black on black crime to shift the conversation away from Nazis on the street in America in 2017. When you attempt to deflect the conversation like that, it makes me think you're a racist. Are you? Tell me the truth. p.s. you also might be racist if you say I'm not racist but.

Things to read without getting butthurt
Being part of the solution instead of part of the problem takes an awareness of the privilege we have as white people. If you are kicking and screaming against the term white privilege or you truly don't understand what it is or how you have it, let's talk. When you start to read this stuff, it feels bad. And it should, because it is bad. But the key is not to take it personally, read with an open mind and heart, don't read to refute, and don't look for people of color to absolve any feelings of shame or guilt you might have. They need not take time out of pursuing justice to pat the backs of people who have benefited from their oppression. We'll need to put our big girl panties on and deal with that privately.

We have always lived under systemic racism. Most of us have contributed to it or supported it. We've participated in it. Discomfort is not an excuse for remaining silent. No one is perfect and no one is being asked to be perfect or dwell on things in the past. Everyone is being asked to move forward with equality and equity and dismantling systemic racism in mind. It's not wrong to be white, it's not bad to be white, but it's bad to be pissed when other people just want the same opportunities and reception our skin color affords us that we never even think about.

Nice White Ladies - dedicated to bringing white folks up to speed on the racial justice conversation
Dear White Women: This is Definitely Us - why we should not be saying "we are better than this" but concentrating on BEING and DOING better
Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement - Here's What You've Missed - Expect no coddling
Safety Pin Box - if you are serious about being part of the solution

Do you have resources to share? Please do.

The Blame Game
White people, we need to confront our crazy cousins and not just let them go on as they are because they've always been like that. No. The buck stops here. We cannot leave these hateful idiots for people of color to deal with. This has remained a stain on this country because we have not collectively told the racists in our lives to go to hell with their bullshit because we don't want to make waves or hurt feelings or because we were not as evolved or bought into the systemic racism or we're really fucking uncomfortable or a million reasons but we can make the decision at any moment to do better and to be different.  White supremacy is still a thing and will always be a thing as long as other white people ignore it and purposefully or inadvertently protect it or attempt to explain it away. White supremacy will have a seat at the table as long as we continue to invite it to dinner and excuse its poor manners. Fuck not making a scene or causing tension. 

For those butthurt that the president is taking blame for this, I say he must assume responsibility. He has at least three out and proud known white supremacists on his staff - Bannon, Miller, and Gorka, all who are still on staff - and refused to say white supremacy when he initially addressed this. Like he didn't mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. See a pattern? White supremacists themselves think he is their person and his unwillingness on more than one occasion to be really fucking clear that he's not has perpetuated a situation. The left photo below is from the Daily Stormer, the hate filled place these dicks with ears organized their hateful march and use as a platform to spew their propaganda. By the way, they don't only hate jewish and black people. They hate women too. Sorry ladies. If you'd like to see some of their propaganda for proof, let me know.
I guess at least some citizens are happy with the president's response? File under: company you don't want to be in.

Things to do
Stop thinking this is about politics. It is about human beings.

Read Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide by Southern Poverty Law Center.

Talk to each other - and children - about equality - and EQUITY. For all of us. ALL.

See the ninth point under the Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement piece. It is not your fault  that you were born with white privilege but if you are serious about making a change it is your responsibility to use that privilege in a way that will advance this work. Or you can just tell a racist to sit the fuck down even if it does cause tension at the family barbecue. Whatever you do, do something. Say something. I am sure I am not saying the right things but I'm trying.
Rays of Light
It's easy to get crushed under the weight of this over the past few days, right? Imagine how non-white people have felt crushed under oppression for a few hundred years. As always, good stuff is happening though.

-Crusading internet people got the Daily Stormer moved off of quite a few platforms yesterday.
-People are making statements out loud that they have not made before.
-Conversations are happening - hard ones, dirty ones, but necessary ones.
-Yes, You're Racist on twitter
-The next white supremacist rally scheduled for Texas A&M was cancelled by the university. They're not done though. Not until we shut them down.
-People of all faiths are standing together.

If you think bills introduced by government representatives to protect drivers who hit protesters are bullshit
And a violation of the First Amendment, let me know. I have some phone numbers, emails, etc. You can get your calls in today. Rest in peace, Heather Heyer.

Did you know the president retweeted a pic showing a CNN journalist being hit by a Trump train days after a white supremacist ran his car into activist Heather Heyer, killing her? That's where we are.

We must set aside differences and address fascism in this country
Take it away, Linda.

Things that have sat with me that I don't want to rely on you to click so I'm going to copy and paste and it's going to be long but please read both if you can: 

"If I speak out, people will call me a liberal"
If you don't, they will call me a n***er.

"My child may be ostracized if I'm vocal about oppression"
My child may be killed if you aren't

"I'm afraid of what people will say about me"
I'm afraid of what people will do to me

"I'd rather focus on the beauty in the world"
So would I, but while you focus on the beauty, the ugly is shoving itself in my face

"We need to just drop all of the labels dividing us"
It has never mattered what they called us, the meaning was always the same. The label isn't the problem.

"My father is just old-school like that. He doesn't mean anything by it"
My father has had to live with your father's 'old-school' actions all of his life.

"She's really a good person at heart"
I'm less interested in her heart than I am in her actions.

"This isn't the time to discuss this"
I promise you that when they follow through on their threats, it won't be at a convenient time.

"Just pray about it and have faith"
I did. And I was reminded that faith without deeds is dead.

"Bullies just want attention. You're giving them what they want"
I just want to live. We'll discuss their motives when the threat has passed.

If your ancestors had spoken out against injustice, we would not be in this situation today. Are you going to leave the work for your children to do or are you going to accept the burden as yours? Are you going to continue making excuses or are you going to start making changes?

"Imagine if these people ever faced actual oppression.

Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry. Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for 'male health care.'

The law never:

Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed

There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote.

There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to 'proving' their intellectual inferiority.

There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly.

Their churches were never burned. Their lawns never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors never hung from trees.

Their mothers aren't being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won't be forced to leave the only country they ever knew.

The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.

They are chanting 'we will not be replaced.'

Replaced as ... what?

I'll tell you.

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena. Replaced as the only life that matters.

THIS is 'white people' oppression: We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone.

THIS is 'oppression' of white Christians in this country. Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged, now it's not.

I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.

Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can't say Christmas. A world where the name "Geoff" on a resume puts it in the trash.

Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.

Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they're kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really is.

Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out."\

In Sum
the story of the photo on the left's resurgence is interesting (it's from 1992), the artist on the right is Meyer
Apologies for being all over, but I had to purge some thoughts from my head. Maybe you'll find something amid the rubble that speaks to you.

I think the majority of us are not racist idiots. But the majority of us are silent which makes it look like white people on the whole are racist. We can't be the silent majority any longer. Ignoring it won't make it go away.

I find myself more than a little undone. 


  1. No one was born a hater. Thank you for all of this, I am saving this to go back and look and read all your links when I have more time. Ugh my mom is such a Whatabouter and I hung up on her last night because I was so disgusted I walked down and watched the protests when they took the third of four down here and I am so happy it was not this bad, but I still saw nothing but hate and ignorance of privilege and it was sad. I was conflicted at first about taking down the monuments only in a architectural historic preservation perspective (that's my job). But now that I see the hate that comes out to protest it, I no longer feel that way. Take them all down. Thank you again.

  2. This entire clusterfuck makes me so sick. How are we here right now?
    I come from an extremely republican family. My brother and I are the only two who branched out and changed our tunes in our late teens/early 20s. Under this presidency, my dad (who's always been a GOP-donating, NRA-supporting, COAL GUNS AND GOD kind of person) is starting to change his opinions and thoughts, too. It helps that I wear him down in every discussion/debate we have. But all that said, I've told K that we aren't sitting quietly at the extend family dinner table any more. Nazi sympathizers and racists are getting called out. I won't do it, I won't listen to it, and I won't let people get away with feeling alright about themselves while spewing this bullshit.
    I never engage in FB feuds but a friend posted about how despicable the POS POTUS is right now and someone commented defending republicans and the alt-right at Charlottesville. I don't know him and I don't care to engage in arguments, but I let him know he's defending nazis, racists, and klan members. You don't get to mask your sympathy or "support." It is what it is. You have a right to march and to defend those who do, but you will absolutely suffer the consequences. You're not fucking welcome here and you will know it.
    I am so fucking over the hate in this country. I'm over the hate and blindness and privileged. And it's 100% time to start calling motherfuckers out on it- it's well past time, actually.

  3. Thank you for this post and thank you for not staying silent (to be clear that was never a concern I had about you!) and thank you for your disgust and anger. The JuliusGoat twitter thread was spot on and I love that it went viral. I applaud the efforts Yes, You're Racist for IDing the white supremacists at the march. And yes, we have to start having uncomfortable and even occasionally ugly conversations about white supremacy, especially with Christians who give cover to hate. Silence is complicity. And too many of us, even unintentionally, have been complicit in the past because we didn't want to create waves. It's time to put on life jackets and makes lots of waves.

  4. I read the Texas reps bill eliminating fault for hitting someone during a protest a couple of weeks ago (because work) and thought "you privileged white son of a B." THEN, he staunchly defended said bill on twitter yesterday. Absolutely sickening.

  5. Yes. I refuse to stand by while people parade around swastikas and chanting about white power. Not gonna happen. The whatabouters disgust me.

  6. Thanks for putting this all down in one place. Sharing this post in mine, which is a pathetic mumbling compared to what you've shared. Thanks for being a resource and model American.

  7. ok that 20 min vice news clip was absolutely eye opening and terrifying

  8. I think I've typed the phrase "this world is so scary" too many times to count recently and I hate it. I believe you hit it on the head with this is about being human and not political. Humans need to take care of humans.

  9. texas a&m is my alma mater and I am just sick over the fact a "cancellation" may or may not matter - nothing can restrict unwanted groups from forming in public spaces, on 9/11 no less. so awful.

  10. Just seeing this now. God help and heal and bless all.
    Love. Your. Momma. Only love ❤️

  11. Wow. Just wow. This is so powerful. The truth usually is. Thank you.

  12. I'm interested in all these links. So many thought-provoking things happening on twitter - how people get perspectives without it, I can't understand. As much as 45 is a HUGE part of the problem, he isn't all of it. Now that it is in front of everyone's face that racism is not dead, we have to do something about it. Tearing down statues is only the first step. None of it matters if no one changes their mind.

  13. Bravo. Such a great post. Thank you for putting into words the things that always seem to be in my head.

  14. So so powerful, so so true, so so necessary. and so so sad that it needs to be sad.

  15. I am in utter disbelief that there are still people in 2017 acting this way, it's beyond disgusting. And we are being portrayed to the rest of the world via the media this way. I am thankful to not live anywhere near where this madness is occurring, and that I do not know anyone or of anyone who speaks or acts this way towards other human beings. I'm trying to avoid the news, but it's impossible :(

  16. So well put together. Sharing.

  17. I cried when I read this the other day. Every word in it is true... and I'm a little tired of people refusing to acknowledge the realities in this world. I'm tired of white people acting victimized and refusing to understand. Those images I sent you Friday night were horrifying. HORRIFYING.

    Someone in one of my professional groups asked today if you would tell your students to ignore this stuff going on at a college campus. No one was really speaking up aside from being scandalized. I finally had to call a spade a spade. My kids will absolutely be the ones without an attorney/legal counsel and whose lives will be ruined (if not ended - because #truth), so yeah... I'm going to have to tell them to ignore it.

    Also. Texas A&M canceling a white supremacist rally and citing safety concerns as opposed to THE FACT IT IS A WHITE SUPREMACIST RALLY is absolutely sickening. But they are the only public university in Texas that makes a public education affordable for my kids... so quandary. Gut wretching awful quandary. EVERY DAY.

  18. Unsurprisingly, a well-researched and well-thought-out post. You know how I feel about all of this. It's taken such a toll on me this week -- I've never respected, liked or wanted Trump in office, and THIS was it for me. He's done SO much in 7-8 months that I feel warrants his removal, but this crossed the line by leaps and bounds. I'll never get over it. He needs to go, and we need to fight, resist and continue to counter protest and speak out against these white supremacists/nazis/terrorists. I'm heartsick that I spoke to my jewish best friend today and heard the sound of her voice while explaining what it's like to be her. In 2017. I weep for society but am thankful for people like you.

  19. Thank you for this, Snotty. I have been out of town for the better part of the last two weeks, but as soon as it all went down, I knew you would write about it and I was looking for your strength and leadership. I will be donating to the Southern Law Poverty Center this week.


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