DEAR PROGRESSIVE WHITE FRIEND
POSTED AUG. 22ND, 2017 | BY PALMIRA MUNIZ
Dear Progressive White Friend,
I am writing this because I need you to know that I am tired. Tired of having to pick up the pieces after another Black person has been been murdered by the hands of white supremacy, after an undocumented person has been taken away from their family by the hands of white supremacy, after a Muslim person falls victim to a hate crime by the hands of white supremacy.
We are tired of picking up the pieces of this broken society that has been constantly smashed by the hands of white supremacy.
You, as my designated progressive white friend reading this, are angry, disgusted, and ashamed of this country’s history and how it has directly disenfranchised people like me, and directly benefited people like you. You’ve signed a petition, did a march when you were free on a Saturday, and you sure as hell wrote the shit out of that Facebook status. Now you have come to me, ya know-the friend who’s a person of color, queer, trans, poor, fat, disabled, undocumented-and you stuck out your hand in order to collect your reward for being this country’s number one best ally.
Well, my progressive white friend, I am sorry to say, but we have nothing to give you. We cannot congratulate you for practicing common decency amongst your fellow humans-we are too busy uplifting ourselves after every single social trauma. For many of us, the only love, support, and strength we have left while living in this god forsaken society, is the strength to give one another, so that we can find a will to live another day in a world that wants us dead more than anything else. So no, I will not congratulate you, progressive white friend, until you understand that it is the marginalized who should be praised for living another day in the skin and body they were born with-because that is the true accomplishment here.
To the designated white friends who live in complacency and feed off of the energy of your friends of color: I understand that nazis and white supremacists are scary and the idea of even being compared to a white nationalist makes your stomach churn. But here is a secret, tw//: the truth: to marginalized people...you are, in fact, the exact same.
By this I mean, you pose the exact same threat to people of color every single day-just like we are a victim of this system just by simply existing, you are an abuser just by also existing. Did your POC come to work today in a normal mood and you thought it was okay to show them a press conference clip of whatever president 45 said today? Do you feel left out when your POC or queers friends hang out without you so you insert yourself in their space? Was your voice the loudest in condemning white supremacists while around your POC friends? Did you at at some point while reading this ever think, “I get it, but she’s not talking about ME”?You just participated in the retraumatization of your friend and refuse to see your participation in racism, so a congrats is in order: Congrats! you’re an abuser.
Your whiteness shines so bright that it is keeping you from seeing how your actions are affecting those around you. In all honesty, progressive white friend, for many people of color, your presence is violent enough. You taking up space, even asking how we are feeling about this tragedy and that political statement, is violent. You-your face, your presence, your every being-is a constant reminder of violence. Even if you smile at me every day, the second you bring up what’s happening in this world (to us, not to you), that is violence.
I’m not saying to stand there and do nothing-I mean most of our progressive white friends are doing that anyway-but I am telling you that even though you may be putting in the actual work as an “ally”, there will be a time where we, your marginalized friends, will ignore you and see right through you, and will not have the time and energy to give you a cookie every time you tell a nazi to “fuck off” on facebook. There will be a time where your Black and Brown friends will be more inclined to be with each other, empowering each other, comforting each other, loving each other, than they are with you, because you represent a force that wants to tear us down every single day of our lives. We have every right to keep and save our energy to heal our own wounds, because if not us, then who?
So, progressive white friend, this is when you need to ask yourself if you still want to take a stand against white supremacy, even if there is no one to thank you in the end.
And if you think this may not apply to you well...it may apply to you the most.
Palmira Muniz is a CSUITEMUSIC Blogger
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