I read your entire comment. I want you to know that it did not get ignored. There was nothing I haven’t heard before in it it, and 95% of it I already knew. There are six points I want to comment on:
- While you may believe it’s “identity politics,” it’s simpler than that for me. A group who has not consistently been profiled, harassed or discriminated against on a regular basis just cannot weigh in on what it is like to be on this side of the coin anymore than I can tell people all about childbirth. I voluntarily don’t have any kinds, so I know when it’s my time to shut up and just let mothers talk. I feel the same way about white people standing on a soapbox telling minorities to “win back individuals one crazy bigot at a time.” It’s easy for those who are not the target to talk about “winning” people over. Two FedEx guys just delivered a package this week and got ran off the property — for. delivering. a. package. You, as a white man (because we can stop playing this guess-who-I-am game, your opinions drip with the kind of privilege that reminds me of this every time) can win over people when you’re already on the side they’ll listen to.
- While Kanye West is the scapegoat, people also ignore the fact that he is going through a mental health breakdown that left him without his best friend/brother (Jay Z), his mother died during plastic surgery, he married into an elite family that gets off on shock value gossip and he’s been honest about not taking his medication. Additionally, he was also on the receiving end of backlash regarding his George Bush comment and Taylor Swift comment. He also did not vote in the 2016 election. Meanwhile Chrisette Michelle realized she made a grave mistake by performing at Trump’s Inauguration and learned the hard way. Kanye West is in a bubble and working through some mental health issues that do not help me believe he is working from a level-thinking place. Period.
- It’s not my job or minority groups’ jobs to try to tap dance and entertain bigots. I just don’t give a fuck about winning them over. If they come around, they come around. These stories about white supremacists who turned their lives around never impress me. Ever. Turning them around is a job I would happily observe white people do to each other. But asking marginalized groups to smile, wave and dance, and woo bigots, is just not something I have any interest in doing.
- As much as you would like to believe that Denzel Washington has not had situations of being profiled, this is yet again another example of the blind leading the blind. Denzel is fully aware — and vocal — that he is a black man before he is rich. There’s no way a man can talk about racism and prejudice so easily with Katie Couric and decide to play Malcolm X of all people without ever experiencing these passive aggressive moments. Hell, he’s been in the business since 1977. It took him being a crooked cop and 24 years of work to win an Oscar. The Oscars itself is problematic.
- We could definitely sit in a room and have tea/coffee and thought-provoking conversations. I don’t doubt it. I’d enjoy it (for the most part). But there are certain topics that you simply cannot speak to the way I can. There’s a level of entitlement you were born with that makes you simplify things that just aren’t that simple. I encourage you to have these conversations regarding Trump and anti-racism with more white people instead of minority groups. That is the group who needs to hear it far more.
- As far as that snippity comment about whether they would kill you in 30 years, again, that’s the kind of paranoia that lead to Jim Crow. While ex-slaves just wanted to live their lives peacefully, the same paranoid ass group (i.e. slaveowners) were still living in their own guilt and swore up and down somebody wanted to kill them. IT is no accident who is more likely to preach the Second Amendment laws. Generally speaking, black folks (and other minority groups) would much rather people just leave them alone and stop harassing them. More often than not, crime is monetarily related. As jobs are provided and money is guaranteed, crime goes down. As jobs are lost and money is scarce, crimes go up. So, in other words, no one is so special that they’ll plot on you in 30 years. We’re too busy trying to live for 30 more years — or just make it to the age of 21.