Right now, we're in limbo. After the disgusting display of white nationalism and neo-nazism in Charlottesville along with the onset of KKK rallies, there is no certainty on what's next. We thought we'd just about seen it all with Dylann Roof's terror, Trump's campaign constructed on racism, and the blatant disregard for Black and Brown lives, yet here we are. It's 2017, but some would prefer if this were 1717 and minorities and women were on the outskirts of society. Being both a minority and a woman, this affects me on two fronts - the compounding of racism and sexism.
Just a week ago, I was returning to school and flew into Atlanta. As I touched down in the peach state, I saw two things that grabbed my attention - a MAGA hat and an NYPD shirt...together. That was a sight to see, but the wearer was quick to his next destination (probably for fear of backlash). After what happened in Charlottesville, there needs to be some backlash. If you choose to wear that hat, be prepared to deal with the repercussions. Free speech does not exist to protect racists; it is made for us to fight back against racism. For an extended period of time, racism was openly treated like a norm and it will be a cold day in Hell before we let that happen again.
First of all, what are you even mad at? It's ridiculous to me that someone could seriously be mad that people who have been forgotten about, beaten, brutalized, and berated are demanding a normal life free from those atrocities. If that upsets you, we are not the problem; you are. Why is my comfort and equality threatening to you?
What this Neo Nazi gathering really tells us is that a bunch of white men are mad because we are dismantling their white, male privilege. I am between emotions as I think about what happened in Charlottesville because it parallels so many sensitive times in history that this generation hoped to never have to live through, yet here we are.
We have an openly racist president who encourages police to retreat to their bigotry and deems it a joke - except that it's not a joke. It's real life. It's my life; it's our lives. They matter. Until that is conclusively iterated, I don't want to hear that BLM is racist; that Kaepernick is unpatriotic; that cultural appropriation is not problematic; that Mexicans need to go back to 'their' country; that this is some white man's country (it's not); that Muslims are terrorists. The real terrorist threat is the one incubated by Trump and company - the one we saw in Charlottesville. I'm at a loss for words right now, but those are my thoughts on Charlottesville.
On the last part of the interview series, we talked race and one of the questions posed was as follows:
How can blacks be dignified in their blackness and still navigate through white spaces?
Basically, would you, and should you, sacrifice your dignity for money? The simple answer to this is no. However, let's consider a real life example of this: Colin Kaepernick. He's currently on the job search because he chose to take a stand (or better yet a knee). Many applaud Kaepernick for his bravery while others deem him unpatriotic.
That latter criticism is funny to me because the same people who call Black people unpatriotic when we don't uphold "American" values are the ones who will then turn a blind eye to the gross injustices we face. In the words of Langston Hughes, we, too, sing America. We have every right to live in this country without the fear of normalized bigotry that can range from cultural appropriation to police brutality, if we were to put this on a scale from micro- to macro- aggressions.
The "Rebellious Woman" blog is a periodic scoop on hair, love, race, politics, and everything in between. Stay tuned for reflections the life of a rebel with a cause!