After challenging the Colorado political machine, white feminists, white liberals and the entire Democratic Party, a Colorado woman is causing an avalanche of white tears after she responded to a rhetorical question about giving up on white people by answering: “Yes.”
Before we begin, I must acknowledge that Saira Rao and I are best friends.
Actually, I have never met Saira Rao in person, and I have only held a brief conversation with her. But after watching the daughter of Indian immigrants from afar constantly call out liberal white women’s complicity in white supremacy, trust me, she’s my bestie. I don’t care if she doesn’t know it. I’ve checked with my attorneys and there’s no law that says you need a signed agreement that to call someone your BFF. (BFF stands for “best fucking friends,” right?)
Unbeknownst to Rao, our one-sided friendship began in December 2017 when the former Wall Street lawyer penned a much-publicized op-ed kicking the Democratic Party to the curb. She wrote that the party was enamored with white women and had forgotten about people of color:
“I realize now that the love has been one-sided, unrequited. You’ve never recognized me, as a brown woman. You’ve taken my love, my money, my tokenism, with nary anything in return. You married the white woman and hooked up with me on the side.
Black Lives Matter is a second ― or third ― thought. Where is your outrage over the national epidemic of police brutality against black people? You continue to call angry white men who commit mass murder “lone wolves.” But if someone who looks like me screams “Allah” and fires a gun, it’s “terrorism.” And you wonder why angry white men are gunning down innocent brown men at bars, in their yards, on the street.”
Last week, Rao lost a bid to oust longtime Congresswoman Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) for Denver’s congressional seat. During the campaign, Rao called out white feminism, police brutality and white liberalism, causing white people to clutch their pearls and Colorado Public Radio to call Rao “DeGette’s most serious challenger in years.” Rao spent the race forcing Denver’s heavily white and liberal political community to address the realities of white supremacy.
She had me at “white supremacy.”
But that’s still not how she became my spirit politician. (What? If people can have spirit animals then...) On Thursday, Rao shared a New York Times opinion editorial by Emory University professor George Yancy titled “Should I Give Up on White People?” Instead of simply retweeting the article, Rao decided to answer the article’s rhetorical question:
And that’s how Saira Rao became my best fucking friend.
This obviously caused some consternation in Denver’s large Birkenstock-wearing community. Poncho sales plummeted as people gasped in horror at the implications of Rao’s tweet. Colorado State Representative Paul Rosenthal even jumped into the fray to combat Rao’s reverse racism.
Could you please hold on for a second while I laugh at Rosenthal’s tweet? Pardon me.
Okay, I’m back. In my absence, I hope you did something useful with your time like wait for racists to “get the message they need to change,” as Rosenthal suggested. But it was not just Rosenthal. Denver’s shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one community was really upset by Rao’s tweet:
Let this be a lesson to you all. If you ever think about challenging bigotry, supremacy or America’s ambivalence toward the oppression of people of color, you should be aware that white people attack you with a fervor they have never shown towards actual inequality and injustice.
Because, the truth is this: the political system, charity auctions, protest signs or candlelight vigils will never eliminate the silent darkness of white supremacy. It is light that it fears. Hate is afraid of loud voices. And whenever anyone insinuates that you should stop talking about racism, you should automatically know which side they’re on.
Fuck those people, BFF.
Fuck them all.
In other news, since Saira Rao announced she has given up on white people, they seem to be getting along just fine.