Tone policing is when someone disputes a statement by focusing on how it was said, not on its content. It’s when you’re told to “calm down” or “be more ladylike” or “be less emotional.” The person who’s suffering has to express their experience in a way white people will accept before whites are willing to listen. You all think you’re a better judge of what’s proper than black people are, and that you have the authority to deem our complaints invalid. Your comfort level is more important to you than stopping the brutality we’re facing. Continue reading
Another brilliant epistle from the front porch of Ruby Sales.
On this day as we remember King please accept this gift of recapitulation, restoration and remembrance of a southern African American story.
Every year I listen in absolute horror as White liberals rob King of his connection and roots to the Black South. His are deep roots as are mine that extend all the way back to the first organized non-violent southern freedom grassroots movement when members of the community of enslaved Africans ran away. He and I descend from enslaved ancestors who fashioned a radical and liberating Black folk theology in southern fields where they were forced under state sanctioned violence to labor like beasts of burden to enrich the economic lifestyles of southern Whites. In the heat of those fields they carved out a theology of pragmatic optimism that blended their transcendental impulse –ancestors’ aspirations — with transactional acts of resistance and accommodation towards citizenship. The folk impulse of our enslaved ancestors radically departed from the White transactional view of us as property to our transcendental view of our being children of God and therefore legitimate heirs of the promise of democracy.
Another gem from the front porch of Mama Ruby Sales:
We must go out in the vineyards and bring hope to spirits withered by years of buying into into the hopelessness and despair of Whiteness.
From William Barber’s recent comments in a Democracy Now interview:
Before all of the latest news, Judge Kavanaugh, first of all, was being put forward after McConnell in the Senate held open a seat for over 420 days, in a way that we had not seen since the Civil War. They literally denied a president his right to nominate someone and for them to have a hearing. This was the same Judiciary Committee that denied two African-American women a hearing to be appointed to the federal court, the 1st District—Eastern District in North Carolina. So the process was bad from the beginning. Continue reading
From Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism (2018):
Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our inevitable and often unaware collusion. In recognition of this, I try to follow these guidelines:
1. How, where, and when you give me feedback is irrelevant—it is the feedback I want and need. Understanding that it is hard to give, I will take it any way I can get it. From my position of social, cultural, and institutional white power and privilege, I am perfectly safe and I can handle it. If I cannot handle it, it’s on me to build my racial stamina.
2. Thank you.
The above guidelines rest on the understanding that there is no face to save and the game is up; I know that I have blind spots and unconscious investments in racism. My investments are reinforced every day in mainstream society. I did not set this system up, but it does unfairly benefit me. I do use it to my advantage, and I am responsible for interrupting it. I need to work hard to change my role in this system, but I can’t do it alone. This understanding leads me to gratitude when others help me.
A timely word from Brittney Cooper, Rutgers professor of women’s and gender studies, from her Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (2018):
Watching Serena play is like watching eloquent rage personified. Her shots are clear and expressive. Her wins are exultant. Her victories belong to all of us, even though she’s the one who does all the work …That’s kind of how it feels to be a Black woman. Like our victories belong to everyone, even though we do all the work.
From the introduction to the fabulous resource “How To Be A Less Shitty Gentrifier,” compiled specifically for the Bay Area, but applicable in just about every city in North America.
This document is for you if you are planning to be a new renter in the SF Bay Area and you have race and/or class privilege, or recently became one. This document is for you if you are moving by choice, and have the means to support yourself in the Bay. Maybe you are moving for a job, or for school. Maybe you’re escaping a hellish situation and you hope here will be less hellish. Maybe you grew up here, but you’re ready to live on your own. You know that there’s a housing crisis. You understand that your moving will exacerbate an already dire situation. This is not a “how to move to the bay” guide, but a “so you’re moving to the bay, nothing will stop you, here are some tips on how to be a less shitty gentrifier.”
I am a wealthy white person who moved to Berkeley by choice in 2014. This document is the sum total of what I’ve learned from people of color (queer women esp.), orgs like Causa Justa Just Cause, born and raised bay area folks, and the internet. Here you will find information on how the housing crisis came to be, and how to play your part to fight back against the rampant forces that are, and have been, killing or forcing out black, brown, and indigenous residents of Ohlone Land/ the San Francisco Bay Area since 1542.
For more click HERE.