It feels counterintuitive to suggest that the born privileged and bootlicking sellouts as a whole possess any sort of privilege—particularly the type of privilege created for and protected by whiteness. In America, we are near or at the bottom in every relevant metric determining quality of life but what keeps us there is the ignored INTERSECTION OF CLASS that these instagram filtered sadists aren’t allowed to talk about and don’t want to.
But assessing your privilege on these facts considers only your relationship with whiteness and with America. Intraracially, however, your relationship to and with black workers is not unlike whiteness’s relationship to us. In fact, it’s eerily similar.
You’re the ones for whom the first black president (Raised by a white woman in Hawaii with a black father disconnected from the plantation) couldn’t motivate you to create an entire initiative to assist and uplift. You’re the ones whose class status helps with avoiding beatings and deaths at the hands of the police. You’re the ones who get paid rather well to play dress up on MSDNC and play outrage puppet about what will never touch your doorstep. You are the ones who get the biggest seat at the table and the biggest piece of watermelon at the table despite making the smallest contribution to the meal.
And nowhere is this more evident than when considering the collective danger youy pose to black workers and our collective lack of willingness to accept and make amends for that truth. It’s a damning and depressing paradox. When speaking about race and racism, we want our concerns and our worries and our fears to be acknowledged. We want white people to at least make an effort to understand that our reality is different from theirs and that white supremacy is a vital and inextricable part of America’s foundation, and we grow frustrated when they refuse to acknowledge their role—historically and presently—in propagating it.
When the racism isn’t blatant or doesn’t appear to exist at all, we want them to give us the benefit of the doubt. Because we’ve trained ourselves to be able to sense it—even in minute and barely perceptible amounts—because our safety depends on our recognition of it. We share how it feels to be stopped by a police officer, or perhaps to walk into an all-white bar and have each eye trained on us, or perhaps to jaunt down a street in an all-white neighborhood, and we want them to understand how words and gestures they consider to be innocuous can be threatening, even if there’s no intention of malice.
Although we recognize that not all white people are actively racist, we want them to accept that all benefit from racism, and we become annoyed when individual whites take personal exception and center themselves in any conversation about race, claiming to be one of the “good ones” and wishing for us to stop and acknowledge their goodness.
But when black workers share that you pose the same existential and literal danger to them that whiteness does to us; and when black workers ask you to give them the benefit of the doubt about unsafe labor conditions and a school to prison pipeline that doesn’t exist where you grew up or might not personally witness; and when black workers tell you that allowing your fetishizing white spouse and buckdancing careerist friends that calling us “Dindus”, “Hoodrats” and other such language propagates that culture of danger.
I’m not quite sure where I first heard “straight black men are the white people of black people.” but we know it was just a click baiting ad rev hustle and was never intended to be taking serious by whom the author pretended to target.
At this point, over here, we are CLASS SOLIDARITY OVER RACE SOLIDARITY WITH CLASS PRIVILEGED BLACK PEOPLE AND BOOTLICKING, TRAITOROUS SELLOUTS.
And it’s true.