White people are having a hard time right now.
Ever since mee-maw and gramps tried to overthrow the government, everyone who owns a pair of wraparound shades has been targeted by law enforcement officials. The most prominent member of White Twitter has been kicked off the internet. Parler (also known as Caucasian Clubhouse) has been dismantled. And, because the TSA put them on the no-fly list, our beloved Brads and Beckys are literally forced to sit on the back of the bus.
Sure, they control 95 percent of the Fortune 500 corporations, legislatures, courts, media outlets, financial institutions and police departments in America. But white privilege also means that, when times get hard, they need someone to speak up for them.
Our silence has to stop.
For years, the Black community has ignored economic anxiety, racial resentment and white fragility. Very few African Americans attended the March on Wypipo-ing in Charlottesville or the Coup Klutz Klan cookout on the Capitol. We make excuses like: “There were too many Nazis there.” But, if we are being honest, it is because Black America loves to engage in this selfish practice called “minding our damn business.”
To help unite the country, The Root asked some of the leading racial reconciliationists in America to help us come up with ways to bridge the gap and overcome our differences.
But, for some reason, Van Jones wouldn’t pick up the phone
So we came up with our own list of five ways to be a Black ally to the white community.
Did you know white people are really concerned about the erosion of the First Amendment rights?
According to white people, having their Twitter account and Facebook pages shut down is tantamount to big government censoring conservative voices just because it might lead to election interference or mob violence. I know you’re thinking: “But the government doesn’t own Twitter!” Why are you focusing on facts right now? What’s important is that they feel silenced because they can’t spew unfounded conspiracy theory memes on Facebook.
If we are going to understand how the world looks from their point of view, at some point, we need to hear what they say. Like me, you probably erroneously assumed that owning the vast majority of newspapers, television stations, movie distributors, streaming services and radio stations meant that white people didn’t need any help amplifying their voices.
Apparently, we were wrong.
If you saw the video and photos of the Capitol insurrection, you probably noticed that the warriors participating in the Battle of Shittysburg were overwhelmingly white.
Perhaps they were really concerned about election integrity in Georgia. No, not the undervotes that only happened in Black precincts during Georgia’s governor’s election—that was different. Not the voting machines switching Black voters’ ballots, that was different too. When Georgia purged 200,000 disproportionately Black voters, that was also different.
Oh, they were talking about white election integrity.
Just because most white people have been silent about voter suppression, election integrity and democracy in general for 244 of the first 244 years, 6 months and 23 days of America’s existence doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help them when they need our assistance. Aside from women’s suffrage, gun reform, the #MeToo movement, climate change, income inequality and literally every war that America fought, when was the last time Black people stepped up to help white people?
I’m gonna need a more specific answer than “every goddamned time.”
We often talk about microaggressions against non-white people, but when was the last time we talked about how white people are openly discriminated against? Take the word “Karen” for instance. Can you imagine what it must feel like to have your name dragged through the mud?
Oh, you can?
Well, having your resume tossed into “file 13" just because your name sounds Black isn’t the same as having absolutely nothing happen to you when some white woman calls the police on a Black person. Sure, there are states that literally created a system to purge Black and Hispanic names from voter rolls, but it still doesn’t measure up to the systemic sullying of the name “Becky.”
Why are you always bringing up race?
Here are a few ways you can learn about white America’s aversion to washcloths, seasoned salt and equality:
- Television: In 2019, the average American household received 179.5 channels, less than five of which aired Black content. So, if you turn on your TV to a random channel, you only have a 96.6 percent chance of finding some decent white content.
- Movies: Black directors were responsible for 5.5 percent of theatrical releases in 2019 so, you have a great chance of learning about something about the whites if you go to the movies.
- Schools: According to a Southern Poverty Law Center report, only 8 percent of American students could identify slavery as the cause of the Civil War, so any classroom in America might be a good place to study white history.
- Find out where the white people live: Despite making up 62 percent of the country, the average white person resides in a neighborhood that is 71 percent white, according to the Brookings Institution. So you’re going to have to leave your diverse neighborhood if you want to learn more about white culture. If someone calls the cops on you, don’t be afraid; think of it as a cultural experience.
- Podcasts: Every white person in America over the age of 18 is legally required to start their own podcast.
When we’re talking about why white lives matter, what kind of idiot would bring up white-on-white crime issues like domestic terrorism, anti-LGBTQ hate crimes or Fox News’ assault on the truth? Only a shitty, insecure person would switch the subject to avoid discussing the issue at hand.
When they explain why they had to fabricate history for the 1776 Commission, it would be wrong to mention that every society had slave owners. And when they mention crime in Chicago, don’t mention Charlottesville...or the Boogaloo Boys...or the Proud Boys...or how white men are the biggest domestic terrorist threat.
If you really want to be a good Black ally, you don’t even have to focus on the racists and the white supremacists, just look around.
Look at the history of America and all that it has wrought—the underfunded schools, the wealth gap, the unfair criminal justice system...Look at all of it. Look at the sweat stains under Black women’s arms from working so hard to save this motherfucker. Look at the scars from the bullets left by the fear of Black men. Look at the Black girls who will one day be called “angry” for demanding their humanity. Look at the ones who will have to consider if their next job will allow their hair to grow out of their scalps. Look at the Black boys waddling on the precipice of becoming a threat. Look at how their clothes will criminalize them and their gait will make them a ghost.
Now, look at the white people.
Look at how they are unaffected by white nationalism. Look at their unmasked faces demanding spontaneously manufactured privileges. Look at their complacency knowing they are fireproof as they toss kindling into the flaming dumpster fire. Look at their whining and their lying and their cheating and their neck-kneeling and their trigger-pulling and their storming and their knowing that this marvelous land of luxury and liberty will never, ever, ever hold them accountable for their actions.
Look at the ones who sat silently in the room of power and did nothing to specifically fight inequality. Study the ones who didn’t vote for a white nationalist but sat idly by as their friends, family members and associates did. Look at how they demonize any Black movement to gain the rights they already own. Look at how they always want more. Take notice of all the oppression, hate, violence, gaslighting and apathy that white people have displayed towards Black people in America.
Look at all the white people.
Now, do one more thing:
Don’t be like that.