Do more

The world woke up today to the news of another black man murdered by the hands that are sworn to protect him.

My brothers Philando Castile‬ and Alton Sterling‬, your names join the long list of black people killed by the state. 114th black man killed by the police in America in 2016. We will say your name, we will mourn you, we will fight for you. May you rest in power and may your children grow up in a world where they do not meet the same fate. 

The videos posted online are heartbreaking. Infuriating. Numbing. And that is just the feelings I am feeling as a non-black women of colour. I cannot even imagine how my black siblings are feeling – having to navigate a world that has been systemically set up to use them as commodity and discard them without a care.

I am so sorry. But that is not enough. My prayers and my hugs and my love will not bring back your loved ones. Will not save you from the trauma of knowing that could have been you, your dad, your brother. Will not save you from having to read millions protect the murderers. And will not protect you from the injustice of seeing no one blamed, no one punished, no closure.

We must do more. And when I say we I am talking to my fellow non-black people of colour and white people. It is not enough that we go to rallies, and marches and write statuses and share a tweet. Do all these things, yes. But we need to do more. 

As a start – watch yourself. When your black friend is mourning and angry – calling out all white people, calling out all non-black people – accept that. Your offence is not comparable nor are you a victim of “reverse racism”.  Sit back down and understand the trauma. Reflect on how you just being you are complicit in the racist system and them by just being them are victims of it. Yes you did not ask to be white or brown. But you are. And that means you can do a petty crime like drive with a busted light without being murdered in the street in front of your family. In fact, it means you can rape a women and have the media share your successes or murder 9 people and still have the police walk you out without killing you and buy you food because you were hungry.

And if you are able, support Alton Sterling’s family.

And then reflect on the people you have around you. Your uncle, your mum, your grandmother. The harmless racist things they say needs to be challenged. Educate yourself. Educate them. Are they tired of seeing #BlackLivesMatter – would they prefer #AllLivesMatter – explain the difference to them. Well what about the “horrible” crimes these men have been convicted of – explain why none of that should matter in an equal judicial system that you benefit from. “Reverse Racism” – explain why that does not exist. Harmless jokes – explain how this dehumanisation of black people is what allows the system to be upheld. We cannot be complicit – we need to challenge. They make up the society we are trying to change.

We need to do more. 

SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE WHITE

you’re not responsible for the other white people.

i see you sharing
black lives matter! dope post!

you’re not responsible
for the other white people.

i see you marching
on instagram! dope post!

you’re not responsible
for the other white people.

i see you donating
to THE cause. dope post!

your cousin in mountain view,
your best friend from college,
your aunt on your dad’s side.

NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

what his fascination with asian bodies got to do with you???
what her view on black men in the club got to do with you???
what auntie say about towelheads got to do with you???

you got bills, career instability, failed romance, a painful relationship with your father, global fear, comparison judgment, and the new season of favorite tv show on your plate,
what more can be asked of you?

you already have a puerto rican friend,
you already teach kids whose future assignment is prison,
you already passed 2010’s ally exam.

i get it. there’s just not enough time for anything more.
besides,
it’s not your responsibility.
and anyway, we know how hard you try.

we’re all trying so hard, i know.

we are all frauds & failures & fucking wack
in the eyes of those who condemn us
to the color of our skin.

we let ourselves be agents of hate,
as if the power of our silence at thanksgiving,
in the boardroom,
amongst shared ethnic background,
will evolve from within
what silence has yet to evolve
in anything.

II.

i thought i could click like my way to evolution.
i thought revolution was proven on the internet.
i thought my face excused me from others’ struggle.
i thought example would magically transform all i touched.
i thought writing the poem was the most i needed to do.
i thought all the world’s problems separated by borders.
i thought responsibility was only what i did for myself.

you are not responsible for
the other asian people.

the aunt who still clutches her purse to acknowledge black.
the best friend from college whose best friends are now all white.
the cousin fucking his hate into the poorest nations on earth.

you are not responsible for
the other asian people.

you can talk your way out of any wrongdoing.
you can make believers out of anyone.
you can present like corporate long game.

you are only responsible
for who you are.

III.

you’re not a coward.

you been living
in a reward system
that erases
us all.

when we gonna challenge the roles we been assigned?
when we gonna challenge the comfort of our peers?
when we gonna challenge the traditions of our past?
when we gonna challenge the way our daily ignores color?
when we gonna challenge the narratives of war?
when we gonna challenge the truth of ongoing slavery?
when we gonna challenge the fear of facing our own hate?
when we gonna challenge the people against humanity?
when we gonna challenge the 8 men who rule over everyone?
when we gonna challenge the how that keeps failing truth?
when we gonna challenge the world made by our choices?

don’t worry,
making buzzfeed rich
is probably enough.

don’t worry,
becoming my friend
is probably enough.

don’t worry,
sharing this
is probably enough.

i mean,
what else can you do?

you’re not responsible
for the other white people.

you’re only responsible
for who you are.

and who knows
where you at
in understanding
that truth.

and who knows
whether this is something
you listen to
or become
defensive about.

and who knows
their responsibility
waking
into the reality
we’ve lived
the shared lie

that
we only have
as much power as
the masters give us.

you’re not responsible
for the other white people.

keep saying it.
until
all the mirrors
die.

until
there’s nothing left
of us.

Beau Sia

 

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