For White People Who Want to Attend #BlackLivesMatter Protests
Ashleigh Shackelford, Jul 11, 2016
But after a while, I started realizing that trying to work with white people in direct actions became extremely triggering and tasking. I would witness many white people show up and want to be in the front — not to protect us, but to be visible and be in a photo. There would be swarms of white anarchists showing up, chanting “F#$% the Police,” completely disrupting our original chants and heightening the potential for violence against the Black protestors. Easily though, the anarchists almost outdo the groups of #AllLivesMatter folks who come out to walk in the protest but miss the entire point — even when most of the Black people call them out.
… So when I see white people show up to rally excited and smiling, ready to march like it’s a hobby — I’m disgusted and absolutely f#$%ing livid. When I witness white people taking up space, pushing myths of whiteness as political truth or using white saviorism to reframe their power and privilege, I’m ready to fight.
… Here are the things that matter the most at this point in time for white people who want to show up to a #BlackLivesMatter protest:
- Ask yourself why you need to go to a #blacklivesmatter protest.
Unless Black organizers have specified that you need to come to a rally for buffers against the police, as a legal observer, or to collect other white people, why are you going to a protest when you’re the oppressor? …
Nothing you have is yours. Let me be clear: Nothing you have is yours. Also, Let me be see through: Reparations are not donations, because we are not your charity, tax write off, or good deed for the day. You are living off of stolen resources, stolen land, exploited labor, appropriated culture and the murder of our people. Nothing you have is yours.
Whiteness operates in a way that means that using your privilege “for good” often requires Black folks to still be a position to be “saved” or “in need.” We don’t need white saviorism. We don’t need white people to speak for us. We don’t even really need white people to show up to rallies. We need our reparations, we need intentional disruption that involves high risk and we need y’all to stop playing.
First a couple of not insignificant points where I agree with her. First, anarchists and other political groups are trying to co-opt BLM to their purposes (though Shackleford shows in one of her “things that matter” that she herself is somewhat of a tear-it-all-down anarchist). Second there are many libs & Progs who have been playing savior to and exploiting blacks. What Ms. Shackelford seems not to realize is that the chains that have been used to hobble and exploit blacks are the social programs and other freebies that kill the necessity to work and create (it has the same sort of effect on whites, too) of which she demands more.
But underlying BLM and other semi-related protests is something very ugly, that Ms. Shackelford reveals very clearly - racist hatred for whites. Some MSM folk have experienced this at first hand. How deeply they understand it, that nothing but blood and destruction will satisfy that hatred (and even then, temporarily), I won’t try to guess.
Cloaked in lots of convoluted words and pretzellated arguments, Ms. Shackelford’s real message to whites who wish to support them is twofold and rather simple: stay away; we will hurt you without giving a @#$%.