All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk…But Leave It To Our Community
Is it really that hard to attack, call out someone without attacking their marginalized identity? Apparently so for quite a few people, and that says something about what you notice and feel is a negative more than anything else. Too many ignore racism, anti-Blackness, misogynoir, sexism, xenophobia, when it’s aimed at someone they don’t like. Suddenly, all of it becomes acceptable.
How Are You Different?
Say a Black man supports Trump and is right-wing conservative. He may have conversations with white people in his circle who constantly attack Black people who protest while simultaneously praising him because he’s not “like those Blacks” and he allows it. Because, hey, he doesn’t like them either. He doesn’t see the racism, or he chooses to ignore it because it’s both directed at someone he hates and he is trying to maintain and increase his power and economic success. So, it’s fine.
Same could be said for many of you who praise someone (white or non-Black) for attacking a Black person who supports Trump. Because you do not like a person does not mean you allow someone outside of our community to attack them for their race. Nor do you allow them to hand out levels of “Blackness” simply because they’re an ally.
Oh, it’s different? Because the Black person is caping for the white man. What do you think you’re doing when you allow racism to go unchecked simply because you don’t like one individual? It may not always be a white individual, but you are still caping for the white supremacist system.
They Are Still Black
If a Black, Latinx, or Indigenous person supports Trump, it still does not erase their race. They will still find themselves a target of racism at some point and them refusing to acknowledge that reality does not alter that immutable fact. “Death and taxes”? Hell, should be death, taxes and racism in the U.S. Just like power and money will provide a modicum of cover for Black celebrities, but it will not prevent all of the pitfalls. As soon as they misstep, or encounter someone who doesn’t know them or doesn’t give a damn, they will be crushingly reminded of that fact.
Is it tragic and horrible that some non-white people are Trump supporters? Yes. Does that mean they lose their race or skin color? Of course not.
You’re Giving Non-Black People Permission To Overstep
By allowing someone outside of the Black community to decide who is Black and who isn’t, just because we agree with their politics, you open the door to them attacking other people in our community.
Politics and who we like or do not like, should never be a factor. We use “coon”, to refer to a Black person who uplifts white supremacy. We still would not feel comfortable seeing a white or non-Black person refer to, say, Terry Crews, as a coon. How do we dismantle the system when we allow racial attacks against our own from those outside our community?
It’s no different than when white people, who are offended and uncomfortable by how a particular Black person or PoC talks about racism and allyship, says they won’t help dismantle white supremacy because they are upset. “Like” is irrelevant. “Like” is personal preference.
This change we are pushing for is bigger than that: it has to be. Otherwise the movement will falter, when people don’t like someone, instead of focus on the end goal.
Same with AAVE. If we claim no one outside of the community should use it, then give a pass to people we like, we have now downgraded the discussion of white people and PoC mining our language and culture for profit, to “we just don’t like that one”.
We have to do better than this. We have to look past what we like and strive for what we want for everyone. Don’t give people your blessing to attack one of us, it only makes it easier for them next time and, eventually, they will reach someone you like and then you’ll have a problem.