Firstly, I wasn't even going to write about everything that's gone on now
Because every time I speak my opinion on this website, people come down on me like a ton of bricks. I've been called names, had horrible things wished upon me, been accused of things I haven't done, and even in some instances people have accused my family of things they haven't done and eventually you just get sick of everyone bothering you, and you just think: "Fuck it, I'm trying to give these people an alternative perspective but they don't want to hear it so just fuck it, I don't need to be giving myself this extra stress."
It's like on one hand, some of y'all cry for freedom of speech yet the minute someone says something you don't like or agree with you cuss them down, rather than trying to understand their perspective- you just shut them down. And if you're reading this and thinking: "yeah but once we had a discussion and you started swearing at me and calling me names" and I'm not going to deny it, yeah I have at some people. Was it right? No. But I've been on this site since I was 15, 16 and now I'm 17. And some of the shit I've put up with on here, for simply speaking from another perspective, those of you that know me really well will know- and chances are if I swore at you or insulted you, it's probably because I was sick of all the shit I was getting from people so you probably reminded me of those people and I took it out on you even though I shouldn't have but I mean I'm only 17 I'm still learning and I'm trying not to do that anymore.
I sort of do and don't want to do this MyTake, but I suppose I'll just risk it, it's not like it's a college night.
So what made me want to write about whatever it is I'm going to write about?
I was wasting a good percentage of my life on this website as usual, and then I came across this really really interesting MyTake by @Apope16 - The Silent Guilt of White People in America
Now usually, you read an interesting MyTake it's the author who's the most interesting, but this time, what I find equally as interesting is the responses he got. Firstly, the dude has some strength to see all those responses and not respond to a lot, because in the past I've written stuff where people responded with a similar sort of attitude, it's fired up me and I'm fucking clickety clackiting at the keyboard so fast because, feeling: triggered. But it takes some serious strength to just ignore those responses, which in some instances, I kinda wished I'd done.
And again, seeing those responses it did get me a little sparked up on the inside, and I wanted to respond to them all- and I know some of you are thinking: "Dude, it's just people on the internet, chill." But whether it's in real life, or on the internet, they're still people and believe it or not I believe most of them aren't bad, a lot of the time they just misunderstand so I kind of feel the need to try and make them understand from another perspective, then I feel guilty if I don't, but when I do meh you read my rant above I don't need to repeat it- it's all just really complicated I guess.
Now the questions I'm about to quote, aren't from specific people, and they're not just from this MyTake they're more general attitudes of people I've seen around G@G and the internet in general. I just felt the need to credit his MyTake because it's kinda what pushed me to finally say something on here.
As for the MyTake itself, and what he wrote, in some ways as a brown Muslim girl growing up in the UK I definitely feel like I could relate to some of it. It was very well written, and I honestly people just need to put their Captain America shields down, and listen to what he's saying because it's not at all an attack, so there's no need to defend yourself.
"Why should I feel guilty for being white?"
You should not feel guilty or apologise for being white. That's not what we're trying to say.
I've had so many interesting discussions with my friends who are white about this. One actually messaged me today, he didn't directly say it to me, but he certainly implied that he felt ashamed to be a white male because of white supremacists defending statues of slave owners. And I sent one lengthy ass text message, I don't wanna copy & paste it here, because it's apart of our private chat and I don't know how he'd feel about that but I'll sum what I said:
- That he should not feel ashamed to be a white male
- That just because the majority of white supremacists at that protest shared his skin colour and gender that doesn't make them his people.
- That just because they're his race and gender does not mean he has to claim them or feel responsible for their actions or idealogy.
- (He was worried about people thinking he's one of them based on his skin colour and gender) That his skin colour and gender does not speak for him and if someone does think or accuse him of being one of them to stand up for himself and tell that, that firstly he isn't and will never be one of them, and that his skin colour does not speak for him, and tell them that they just racially stereotyped him which was racist. And if I was there, and any of our other POC friends happened to be there we'd all be on his side because we know him and we know what he stands for and he's our friend.
"So what's all this business about 'white guilt' then, if I shouldn't feel guilty for being white?"
When people say the phrase: "white guilt" they DON'T mean, "feel guilty for being white."
They mean "if you're white, and you haven't spoken up about racism when it comes to people of colour because you believe it's not your place for some reason because you're not POC then you should feel guilty."
"But why should I speak up for black people, brown people, or people of colour in general, shouldn't you speak up for yourselves instead of relying on us to speak up for you?"
We do speak up for ourselves. The biggest difference many are saying in these #BLM protests is that there's a lot more white people protesting with us.
Why is that important?
We are all apart of this society, and we should all speak up against injustice and oppression regardless of our skin colour. Just look at these police brutality stats right here:
"Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population"
I would copy and paste all the victims on the page but there is simply too much of them, so I think that says everything in itself, so scroll down this link to see for yourself here: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed
And here's another: https://policeviolencereport.org/
So clearly there is oppression and police brutality going on, and black people are affected the most by it. And they're only affected the most by it, due to racism i.e. racial stereotyping "he's black so he is more a threat" kind of mentality.
And it's everyone's job to speak up regardless of your skin colour. You may think: "it's not your problem" but I'm sorry, it is. These people being killed regardless of their skin colour are your people too, they're in your society. I'm not black but I still consider black people to be my people. I'm not white but I still consider white people to be my people. I'm brown and I consider brown people to be my people. I consider everyone who isn't bigoted to be "my people" because it shouldn't be skin colour that defines who "our people" are. It should be so much more than that.
If you're apart of a religious/non-religious community surely there are people of different races apart of your religion, aren't they your people? If you go to school/college/university or work and there's people of different races who work with you or study with you aren't they in a way apart of a community you're apart of? Therefore doesn't that make them your people?
Why is it when we define who our people are we limit that to skin colour? "You look like me, so we're the same people" I'm sorry, no, I wouldn't consider a racist person of any race to be my own, even if they look like me. It should be what we believe in which makes us one, not the colour of our skin. And I believe in anti-racism, anti-fascism, all to sum it all up nicely anti-discrimination, and anti-bigotry so anyone who believes in those things regardless of which race you belong to you, I consider you to be my own.
As a brown girl, by speaking up with black people (not 'for' them but 'with' them), with white people, and with brown people I am speaking up for myself and others.
By speaking up against racism, discrimination, oppression and bigotry I am speaking up for myself and others.
So if I can, why can't you? It's just your problem, or my problem, or their problem- it's our problem, and part of that problem is we divide ourselves based on skin colour. So let's not do that and speak up as one voice and one community.
"But I never committed brutality upon anyone, so why should I speak up?"
I never committed any brutality on anyone either, but I'm still speaking up. Why? Because by being silent, I'm allowing it to continue happen.
I think most people would agree with me, when I say- I want police brutality, racism, and discrimination to end, right? Well what's good saying all those empty words and not actually doing anything about it? I've always been told, if I want something I should do something to get it.
So speaking up, is doing something, educating myself is doing something about, standing with my people against racism, bigotry, oppression and fascism is doing something. Staying silent is doing nothing and it makes it easier for people to carry on committing these atrocities because nobody is speaking up. And now that people are, I shouldn't have the mentality: "Oh they're doing something so I don't need to" No, everybody needs to, that's what makes the cause stronger.
Every voice acts as a catalyst towards change, real change.
"If you're saying, 'we shouldn't divide ourselves on race' and we should just be 'one community' then why do you say #BlackLivesMatter instead of All Lives Matter?"
Of course all lives matter. That's why I'm saying #blacklivesmatter . Because police brutality statistics are suggesting otherwise. Yes white people and brown people are affected by police brutality but not as much as black people clearly.
#blacklivesmatter doesn't mean other lives don't matter, it is trying to tell you black lives matter because the law enforcement certainly doesn't seem to think so, judging by the stats I provided.
100+ black people were killed in 2015, and most of their killers have not been arrested. Don't their lives matter? If they did, then why weren't their killers arrested back in 2015? Why are we in 2020 and still talking about this?
I also find it so ironic how "all lives matter" isn't applied to everything. Like where is all lives matter when Trump imposed the travel ban? Some people in those countries would want to flee to America to escape oppression, but they can't because of the travel ban so where were y'all with your 'all lives matter' then? Or at the Christchurch shooting, where I saw a number people on G@G think it was okay that those people died because they were Muslims? Why didn't you all come at them with your 'all lives matter' then? Or when neo-nazis marched through Charlottesville chanting "Jews will not replace us" where were any of you, condemning them saying "all lives matter?" And how many of you saying "all lives matter" now defended them neo-nazis in the name of freedom of speech?
Why isn't "all lives matter" applied to every injustice? Why is it that I only ever see "all lives matter" when people say "black lives matter?"
I don't think the term "all lives matter" is to actually say 'all lives matter' it's just to counteract people saying black lives matter trying to divert attention away from a problem.
I haven't said all I wanted to say yet, so we'll call this part 1. I'm probably not going to reply to most of you in the comments, especially those with opposing views. Instead, I'll listen to what you have to say, and have my response in another MyTake- unless, I feel I need to respond here.
Replying to everyone individually is too time consuming, and chances are if you're asking that question many other people will be too, so it's better just to write it all in one MyTake. There's too much to say in one MyTake alone. But just because I don't reply to you or answer any of your questions on this thread doesn't mean I'm not listening, just lookout for my next ones and I'll try to answer everyone. And for some of your questions, I may not know the answer to, so I'll have to research and find it- these things take time.
But please be respectful on here, I can't do with a repeat of previous times. In all honesty, I'm worried about some of the responses I'll get because I don't know what people are going to say.
I'm just really tired now, so that's a wrap for today.