Most anarchists believe the coming change can only come through a revolution, because the possessing class will not allow a peaceful change to take place; still we are willing to work for peace at any price, except at the price of liberty. – Lucy Parsons, orator and author once described by the Chicago Police Department as “More dangerous than a thousand rioters.”We are welcoming in 2018 with new resolutions and new possibilities. After the election results of 2016 many people who had been asleep at the wheel realized that indeed what many People of Color had been screaming for years was in fact true. The nation became consumed with thoughts of revolution, and I took it upon myself to use my voice to write my way through a year of racism, hypocrisy and outright lies. While I appreciated so many new faces and voices to the movement, I was not willing to gloss over the reasons why we found ourselves in a nation where racism was live, in color, and on display in the highest office in the land. While I appreciate that White people were joining in the conversation; I was not going to pretend as if some of the very beliefs and policies they helped uphold and benefit from, didn’t get us to this place. Racism is woven into the very fabric of this nation, and I was not going to sit by and pretend as if we were all going to sing kumbayah and roast smores. There were some things that I needed to discuss with White America.
In 2017, I wrote several blogs that garnered quite a bit of attention and with attention always comes criticism. And I am okay with that. Trust me; I do not write with the belief that most people will agree with me. I write with the inherent understanding that most will not. What isn’t okay to me is that I switch up my message to appeal to the masses that want to feel good. That is not what I am called to do. I am tasked to speak truth to power.
Let me be clear in 2018 and beyond I am not today, tomorrow, or ever going to change my message so that you can feel good. I am not going to whitewash my message so that it is easier for you to read. I am not going to water down my message so that you can sleep better at night. I am not going to put blinders on when I write and pretend that history did not affect why we are where we are today. I refuse to remain silent so that you can rest in comfort, cognitive dissonance, and ignorance. I am not going to sugarcoat my message, so that is easier for you to swallow. Some medicine simply does not taste good going down. My job as a writer is to hold up a mirror to White America so that White America can catch of glimpse of itself in the past, the present and show a predictive future of where we are heading if we do not make some serious changes. History indeed does repeat itself, and in this slogan to Make America Great Again, some in America are merely trying to rewind time.
Not on my watch.
The argument that my style of writing turns people away from the movement doesn’t shake my spirit. If reading my blog makes you decide that you no longer want to work for peace, justice, equality, and equity for all people then you were never really about that life. I am reminded of men like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who sacrificed their very lives just so that Black people could have the right to vote. I am reminded of Carl and Anne Branden a White couple that purchased a home in Louisville, Kentucky on behalf of Andrew and Charlotte Wade, a Black couple and their friends. Andrew was an electrician, however, was told that he would be denied a home in a White neighborhood. The Braden’s purchased the home on behalf of him, and this kicked off a flurry of racist actions. Shootings outside the home, cross burning on the lawn and finally, a bomb planted and detonated underneath the bedroom of the Wade’s two-year-old daughter. Thankfully no one was home at the time. The Braden’s along with five other White people were arrested and charged with sedition another word for treason. They were accused of “hatching a Communist plot to buy the home, blow it up, touch off a race war and overthrow the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” Carl Braden was convicted and spent eight months in prison before his conviction was later reversed and all other charges dropped against the remaining defendants. History is filled with White allies that have sacrificed everything even to death to fight for liberation, and you want me to change the way I write my blog because that may stop White people from joining the movement and it doesn’t make you feel good?
If that is the case, I ask what are you in it for in the first place? Who told you that it would be easy? Who told you that you would always feel good? Who told you that you would not have to challenge your way of thinking? Who told you that fighting for justice meant you wouldn’t have to face some hard truths? Who told you that you would not have to take a long hard look in the mirror? Who told you that you would not have to have difficult conversations with your family and friends about race? Who told you that it would not require sacrifice? If someone has told you any of those things, then they lied to you.
You want to me to change the way I write my blog because it makes you uncomfortable?
Burying your 7-year-old granddaughter shot to death by police while she slept on a couch is uncomfortable.
Having an officer toss you across a classroom like a ragdoll is uncomfortable.
Seeing your son dead in the street for over 4 hours is uncomfortable.
Having a police officer wrestle you to the ground in an illegal chokehold while you whisper, “I can’t breathe” until you die is uncomfortable.
Being told your fiancé has been shot and killed by the police the morning of your wedding is uncomfortable.
Your son going out for Skittles and tea and never coming home again is uncomfortable.
Being raped by White men and the justice system does nothing because you are a Black woman is uncomfortable.
Walking miles to work because you are fighting for the right to sit up front on a bus is uncomfortable.
Getting a phone call that your daughter who was on her way to a new journey in her life is dead on a jailhouse floor is uncomfortable.
Being told that your son was murdered in jail because the was placed in a shower with water as hot as 180 degrees, is uncomfortable.
Being nervous every single time you get in your car to drive because you are Black is uncomfortable.
Existing in a world where your skin is your sentence, is uncomfortable.
Black people dwell in the realm of being uncomfortable every single day.
So, if you are coming to this blog and expecting to cuddle up with a steamy cup of hot cocoa and “Please-give-me-a-reward-for-doing-the-right-thing” cookies, I don’t bake so I suggest you stop right here.
However, if you come to this blog with the knowledge and understanding that you will be challenged to think and then act differently when it comes to race relations in this nation, you are in the right location. Am I infallible? No. Will I write things where I may have gotten something wrong? Possibly. Am I open to criticism? Indeed. Will we have intriguing conversations that challenge both of us? I hope so! I do not know what the future holds for Write Some Shit, but I promise to speak my truth, unfiltered and unapologetically. It may not feel good, but I believe it is good for the betterment of us and for this country.
Remember, I am not writing to entertain you. I am writing to shake a nation.