Being White. Crying Black
I’m mad. At the world. At myself. And then at a lot in between.
I don’t blame the African American community for wanting to burn down our country. They are subject to a system that refuses to work from them. At the same time, I struggle with how that is going to help.
It is important to protest, to send a message. Again, I don’t blame them one bit.
I am tired of being caught in the middle of the heart and the head. A heart that bleeds in pain for oppressed communities and a head that feels that they don’t need more white people who “want to help”. I am white and I cry black as I watch what is happening to an entire community that is being told they are not wanted here.
I want to help, not just protest. I don’t know how and first, I have to deal with feelings of anger, guilt, and sadness.
I read an article on CNN yesterday entitled “A guide to how you can support marginalized communities.” It was largely bullshit. Talk to your kids. Learn history. Call people out on their misinformation. These are things many of us are doing already. But it’s not big enough. It’s not bold enough. I don’t know what is.
Here is how I feel:
I want to have more Black friends. I really do. I feel like this has always been something I wanted – not just Black but more diversity. This has been one of the main benefits of performing stand-up comedy. Most of my non-white friends have come from this and I am grateful. My experience outside, however, is that unless it is a work or school situation, communities tend to stick together. It’s not for lack of trying on any part and perhaps it has to do with not living in a city, but it’s a problem. It’s only when we spend time with each other that the power of ideas can be seeded in ways in which the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
I want to know who the anti-Trump spokesperson is who is going to tweet 15 times per day and explain to people that it’s not just voting for a person, it’s voting for a future in which issues get decided, policies get made, arguments get escalated and voices do not just get heard but also eventually drown out racism. We have an apathy problem in the U.S. among young and minority voters and it is slowly killing us. It’s one of a multitude of causes but it’s an important one.
I want white people to admit that we are fearful. We have many Trump supporters on the Republican right that know without insidious tactics like gerrymandering, we are going to have browner and blacker seats at the table and we, as white people, are going to have a lot to get used to as our nation finally moves in a truly open fashion toward the melting pot many of us were falsely told we lived in. We have to acknowledge white privilege without feeling either as if it is not true, it is true and deserved or guilty to admit it. As an example, I can take advantage of being born with an able body while still acknowledging the fortune of having been so.
All of us have to do more – if you truly believe we need to heal. Yes, we need to be angry and protest and write and argue and pray. We have to take progressive, positive action, too. This is where I am most lost. I am going to be looking into organizations like SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) to see not just how I can get involved, but also how I can get other involved. Speaking about the issues and debating is important. That’s how I learned about SURJ.
We are going to die if we don’t come together. It is dire. We have no leadership. I am tired of worrying whether some of you reading will think that I am being too emotional or don’t have all the facts or am getting on an anti-Trump bandwagon. You need not read my blog posts any further and I sincerely respect that.
But now, I am tired. I am angry. I am fed up. And, I’m white. Imagine how over one-third of our population who see their men being murdered every day feel.
Thank you for allowing me the platform to share with you.
Until next time, Marc