I try not to throw salt on anyone’s game especially when they’re doing movement work but in light of recent events, I have to say something.
White folks and non-Black people of color, I know you mean well but y’all need to back the hell up. Seriously, stop your shit.
When it comes to organizing with Black folks on Black issues, you HAVE to take our lead. You have every right to be outraged but you shouldn’t be setting yourself as a leader in this movement because at the end of the day, you are a potential ally. Yes, potential because allyship is something to be earned. In her video about allyship, Chescaleigh dubbed allies the Michelle to marginalized folks’ Beyonce and Kelly but “allies,” you’re more like Letoya, Latavia or one of those randoms from Girls Tyme. You can’t sit with us until you say you can and we reserve the right to not let you sit with us or revoke your right to your seat.
When a Black person (or any other person you stand in solidarity with) asks you questions or expresses concerns about your organizing, take a step back and consider our position. One aspect of earning your title is establishing trust. When I ask you who is putting an action together, I’m not trying to be divisive or combative, I’m trying to make sure I can trust you. Honestly, if that’s your first thought, that’s problematic but that’s another point for another blog post.
I am trying to ensure my safety and that of my people because we have more to lose. Our chains are the heaviest. When shit gets real, we will be the first to catch the baton and have a V.I.P. section in the paddy wagon. We don’t have the option to retreat from our Blackness and the stigma that has been placed on our backs. When y’all want to throw your V from Vendetta Party City masks on and act a fool, we catch the slack. Also, as a student of Africana Studies, when I ask simple questions and get a runaround, COINTELPRO comes to mind. This might sound dramatic to you and if it does, you should know better and are no ally to me. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, stop reading and click here. Hopefully, you will have gone past Wiki and keep reading. Either way, you have to be initiated into this Black movement shit. You don’t just waltz in and get the big piece of chicken.
Tuck your manifest destiny and take your place.