Stop Lecturing Black People
A statement from Aishah Shahidah Simmons.
A brief word.
I do not want to hear another politician, entertainer, athlete or anyone else of any race/ethnicity, use the media or other platforms to lecture to Black people about how we should respond to the virulent and relentless violence happening.
I ain’t heard nary an auntie, uncle, mother, or father patronizing tone (or word) spoken to white folx when visible ARMED white people marched to state capitols to demand their right to endanger ALL of our lives to work in a global health pandemic.
Do not talk about the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the absence of the Deacons for Defense. Read or at least peruse through Charles Cobb’s groundbreaking text, “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.”
Do not talk about forgiveness in the absence of accountability and justice.
If you are white, please start looking to the examples of radical, anti-racist white people who put their literal lives on the line to challenge systemic and individual white supremacy and racism. Ask yourselves, “What would John Brown do? What would Anne Braden do?” If you do not know who they are, investigate.
I wholeheartedly believe in non-violence and yet, I am enraged, distraught, and bereft. I am TERRIFIED of the ravages of white supremacy, anti-Blackness, the police state, as I am TERRIFIED of other forms of death-dealing oppression destroying #ameriKKKa from within. They include but are not limited to patriarchy, misogynoir, rape culture, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, audism, classism, anti (Brown and Black)-immigrant sentiment and more. Too many of us are not safe anywhere — in white supremacist society or in our homes.
I don’t have answers or solutions. All I know is that we must eradicate all of it. Our lives depend on it. No one is free while others are oppressed.
Invoking some Black women warrior ancestral spirits — Sojurner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Ida Wells-Barnett, Lorraine Hansberry, Claudia Jones, Eslanda Robeson, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruby Doris Robinson, Prathia Hall, Pat Parker, Audre Lorde, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Rosa Parks, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Aaronette M. White, Linda Spooner, Kagendo Murungi, Gloria I. Joseph, Na Tanya Daviná Stewart…. Ashé
Aishah Shahidah Simmons is the author of Love WITH Accountability: Digging up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse.
This piece originally appeared on Medium.