Alabama U.S. Senate Election: Black People Cleaning Up a Mess We Didn't Create
I’m working from home today and it seems that this is the best day to do so considering the events that transpired last night. If you were fast asleep last night or just didn’t give a fuck about the outcome of the Alabama U.S. senate election, I’ll give a recap of what happened. Basically, a republican sexual predator and a democrat were in a tight race for senate last night. However, America was saved from further international embarrassment due to the efforts of Black people. Specifically, 98% of the Black women who voted in the election. So, the non-creepy White guy won, and Mike Pence is probably somewhere punching a wall about it. That’s just a very high-level run down of what happened last night.
So, why am I happy not to be at work today? Well, I work around what we like to describe as “good” White people—except for two or three. They’re the ones who voted for Obama and would have voted for him a third time. They often wear shirts that read “RESIST” as they call the police from their condo in a gentrifying area about the noise being made a couple houses down by the people of color who frighten them. In short, they’re very fake and shallow in their activism. Often, their “activism” is done as a form of theater because they are trying to prove that they’re not like the rest. When they are, in fact, closer to “the rest” than they’d like to admit.
On a day like this, they’ll come into the office and comment on the ridiculousness of the race even coming as close as it did and follow up with something like “Thank goodness for Black people because I don’t know what’s wrong with White people!” Somewhere in the conversation they’ll say something like “ugh… fucking White people” while rolling their eyes. See, they try to distance themselves from “those White people” because that relinquishes them from any sort of responsibility. And it also deters them from actually getting off their asses and trying to make change within their own community. That’s the reason so many of them will proudly exclaim, “I’m with HER!” It’s because they want to distance themselves completely from the sorts of people who voted for the circus peanut. While I can understand not wanting to be confused for a 45th president supporter, the intent behind the phrase is what truly bothers me. And that intent, as mentioned above, is to distance themselves and through that, make themselves void of any responsibility.
Today, in my office, there will be about 25 White people escaping responsibility for their people’s actions. The White women will say, “I’m really disappointed that more women didn’t come out in support of the non-creepy White guy!” and they might share a story about the last time they visited the South or something along those lines. They will do all of this as they prepare to visit their racist parents over the holidays and share casserole recipes. And while they eat green bean casserole, their racist uncle will say something racist and they’ll sit quietly to avoid confrontation. Or they will continue to do nothing outside of occasionally sharing an article about feminism with their Facebook friends while White people continue to try to destroy the world.
I’m tired of Black folk being responsible for cleaning up shit that we didn’t mess up. We went out last night, with voter oppression against us, and still managed to save the state of Alabama from a creepy White guy. Why are we made to carry this heavy ass load? And all we get is a “Thanks, Black people.” We want more. We want White people to actually show their gratitude by making changes, organizing their people, supporting Black people, etc.. Hell, almost all the White people in my office are watching the NFL this year. Not that watching the NFL is a sin, but with all the good White people in my office, I thought that at least a few would have decided to help send a message to the league by foregoing a season of football. But, I’ve noted before that I have come to expect nothing from White people because time and time again they have proven to not be shit at all.
I’m tired of the “good” White people production. I want actual change. I’m tired of White women consistently choosing their racial privilege over supporting their oppressed gender. Like many think pieces that will be floating around the internets today, I’m calling for White people to simply be better fucking people. Not just when they’re around Black people or at work. I want White people to be better people when no one is looking. When they’re at home with their friends and family. I want them to consciously be better as people. Or maybe I’m asking for too much.
For all the reasons listed above, I am both grateful and relieved to not be in the office today because it’s too close to Christmas to want to fight everybody in your own office.
Afros and Ovaries
I want a shirt that reads “White Women are Trash”