Earlier this week, NYC protesters supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement decided to take it up a notch and encroach upon “White spaces” in order to express their outrage over police brutality against Black folks. I thought it was a splendid idea. More often than not, creating awareness about an issue to facilitate change means making folks uncomfortable. And nothing is more uncomfortable for a nice chunk of society than admitting racism is a thing.
In the most White Privilege-iest showcase of White Privilege since the Kale Kommunity Konvention (I swear this doesn’t exist; but, what if it does?!), the patrons of these “White spaces” were super miffed and expressed such grievances via social media. I could hear the tiny violins crooning faintly in the background of their spacious lofts as they typed furiously n their MacBook Gravities (this joint ain’t out yet; only a privileged few have it).
Look, I get it. No one wants their hipster-yuppie meal interrupted. And if we’re being really real, let me show some solidarity and admit that a lot of my fellow Black folks also enjoy some of that good brunch. See: Any post about Bougie Black folks on this very site.
However, if that is your greatest concern, then that must be nice. Sorry the blood of my Black brothers and sisters spilled on your egg white omelette and gluten-free home fries. I totes apologize if my homie’s “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt made you lose your appetite for your air-infused skinny mimosa. MY BAD.
When your biggest beef is centered around the way folks protest oppression and not the oppression itself? You need to be checked. In fact, the amount of frustration I have in general with people’s fixation on the reaction to racism instead of the racism itself is enough to make me implode. The problem isn’t rioting or protesting or looting, the problem is years of an institutionalized society whose main decree is to uphold a system in which a certain group of people are dehumanized as humanly (huh.) possible and then expecting said group of people to react to such in a humane manner.
But, focusing on the former is easier, right?
Of course, we all know that what comes easiest is not always the best for us. It’s not easy to sit at a restaurant surrounded by angry protestors, but guess what’s less easy? Being that angry protester because a person who shares your skin color is unlawfully gunned down by another person who was hired to protect them. And not even seeing a week go by without it happening again. And again. It may be easier to ignore the heightened tension surrounding police brutality against Blacks, especially when you can’t personally relate. Hell, this shit is heavy. We’d rather be able to ignore it, too. Difference is, we can’t. And quite frankly, since we’re all living here together, you shouldn’t either.