I was thick in the progressive movement when BLM interrupted Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation in PHX, then again when the 2 independent activists disrupted the event for Soc Sec/Medicare. My first reaction was selfish — I had just found a place to gather and was meeting some interesting folks (I’ve been lonely since my sweetheart died on 29March), and these girls started a ruckus that turned my new friends into raving white-privilege spouting spoiled brats.
Now white progressives, this is important: You don’t hold the moral high ground. You don’t get to decide the strategy of an oppressed group. Not everything is about you. And every time you talked about your frustration at being momentarily inconvenienced by Black Lives Matter, you show how white supremacy is benefitting you.
So my cause had presented itself. I was given the opportunity to *beacon* understanding for the clueless progressive whites and divert their anger over bad manners into a common ground. Still clinging to the selfish first reaction, as they were clinging to their selfish one as well.
If you support Black Lives Matter activists up until they do something you don’t agree with, then you were never really in solidarity. If you support the Black Lives Matter movement but have never done anything to challenge systems of privilege and power, then you aren’t actually an ally. You are part of the problem.
And I became part of their problem. That’s how you recognize privilege so quickly, once you’re trained on what to see. How that damn sense of entitlement snaps neatly into place, and locks tight, and the bubble bursts, un-Friending, Leave This Group, with only a bare minimum of new adds gained on the quick path to the exit door. Felt like I had a hangover from a celebration of old times.
Illustrating the moral dilemma is what makes the crisis real to those not directly affected or purposely obtuse. Being uncomfortable is the catalyst to moving this country forward.
. . . Posting that you don’t understand the strategy behind a tactic exposes you as clinging to white supremacy. Allies don’t decide the strategy of an oppressed group, they support the strategy said group develops. Period. Stop telling us that we need your validation of our humanity.
And thus I was led to a closed discussion group where we cleared the 1st level of privilege awareness — not from a book-learnin’ level, but from a personal reflection one. This short blog piece surfaced and says way more than the hours I spent at the public group pages.
Read more at the Daily Kos