Thursday, February 11, 2016



I have noticed that we can be quick to dismiss questions in activist spaces. Instead of helping each other, we often tell folks to “Google it” on their own time. Looking up a concept on Google is not available to everyone. For reasons of class, disability, and educational privilege, we need to be wary of answering people’s questions by telling them to just look it up themselves.
Of course, there are times that saying something like “Google it” protects us from having to offer unpaid teaching moments to people who hold privilege over us. These people ask us to teach them about oppression as a way to demand labor and to derail conversations, and in that context, telling them to consult Google is completely okay...
~black girl dangerous

Stopping cultural appropriation, for example, is more than screaming "mine, mine, mine" as I've said before. And I wouldn't tell someone not to be angry about cultural appropriation, unintentional sexism, or unintentional racism because I actually think it's time for anger and snatching scalps bald. We, as black and brown people or as women, have been reasonably explaining our position to those who claim to be well-intentioned and not racist and/or not sexist for decades now. And I promise you that white folks that are in their 40s and 50s have given rise to white adult children that are not in their late teens and early twenties that are every bit as stupid about race and enabling of racism (for example) as their parents were.

That is --using race as an example-- white people aren't nearly as crazy and violent and less apt to ignore the crazy violence as they were pre-civil rights movement. But there's been little or no progress since The Civil Rights Movement. Even the election of President Obama, that looks like a sudden surge forward, is not indicative of much because this type of white progressive surge has happened before.

When white folks were getting their @$$ets kicked in the Civil War, they let black men fight and they also followed Harriett Tubman, the Union spy, when she said "Let's go." When white folks were going down for the last time during WWII (watch the Ken Burns documentary) they let black men fight then too (watch the original-ish 1980s Tuskegee Airmen movie). And when it looked like the United States was about to slip into a serious depression in 2007, the guy that looked like he had the best ideas was elected president, despite his skin color. (Theory by Lawrence Bobo)

That is, white people see past skin color when they need cooperation from non-white folks very, very badly. And once they have it, they are sometimes shocked that non-white people are actually people too...then we can force some changes through....for a short window of time 

The only true white progress I've seen in decades is based on Black Lives Matter. The women of #BlackLivesMatter have moved so many issues into the white main stream news that pleading white ignorance doesn't work as well.  Fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement has ended this change is precious because of its potential but this change is also precious little because it came after so very much time has passed. 

And since this white change for the better is so little after so long, I do see the reason for anger and resentment and also the reasoning behind expressing that anger more openly.  After all, polite explaining did precious little for us. It's time for anger. It's time to make white people take responsibility for themselves and the natural outcome of our anger. So when a oppressor walks up asking or demanding answers about your perspective "Google it" is the right answer if that's how you feel about it.

To an ask-er, but not a demand-er, I still explain things at this time in my life. But I only do it for so long as I feel good about it -- regardless of the oppressor's apparent sincerity because I don't owe anybody anything. 

However, I do explain all I can to other people of color because we need one another.

I've been in groups where black and brown numbskulls are looking to jump up, be self-righteous and say "google it" with other black and brown folk. Usually too young to know any better, they still seem like they are out to commit a form of out-victiming a person from another POC group. And while that is incredibly destructive, the good thing that being receiving end of said-bullsh** has done for me is made me a little more patient. Intellectually, I know it's time for anger and honesty with the oppressor. But my desire to cut loose on white folks is a little less when they say they don't understand something....that their parents should have taught them when they were five. I understand that I know virtually nothing about a whole bunch of other groups.

As I've said over and over again, people of color being the majority isn't going to mean jack if we don't unite. And let's face it. Anything that doesn't pass through the white dominated main stream media?  White people don't know about it for sure, but more importantly we as people of color don't know about each other either. So if we get lucky enough to be together with people of color from another race/ethnicity, that are minority in number, we need to be as patient as we can.

And now that I've called some of the ready to jump up and say "google it" as fast as they possibly can a few choice names, here's the rest of an article written by somebody that's willing to be a lot more patient about this subject than I am.

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