Why are we in such a rush to judgement over every little thing but when BIG HUGE GIANT in-your-face-obviously-inhumane things occur, we’re all, “meh, it’s probably not THAT bad and we shouldn’t rush judgement?!!?!?!?!!!!”
We have a lethal issue in our country (beyond COVID deniers) – a serious case of Enabling Violence. Violence against people of different races, different beliefs, different gender identities, different partner connections, different abilities, children, the elderly etc
It is as if we are in a scramble race to see who can get control by demonstrating their supreme power over another group through enacting violence against them – emotionally, physically, lethally.
How are we not at a point in our existence as humans on this round beautiful bountiful earth where we can recognize that others are okay to be others, whether by nature or nurture? The only exception is dangerous illegal behavior towards others. Who gets to decide what that is? We do, and we should be doing much better at identifying what that is and how to cope with the inevitable outliers who wish and do harm to others. We have got to stop dehumanizing others. We have to demand that this stop.
Failure to recognize what is happening when white men kill versus anyone else, especially non-white people existing in the path of a racist, misogynist, abusive, mentally ill white man, is unconscionable. It is so nonsensical that people of privilege find it utterly unbelievable even in the face of indisputable facts.
I just do not get it.
I cannot wrap my mind around how anyone cannot see that the white racist man went on a racist killing spree murdering Asian women. He was able to dehumanize them on multiple levels to such a point that he took their very right to exist under his control, sending a clear message to any Asian/Woman/Immigrant/Sex Worker/Working Class Person that their existence is within his right to control. Dehumanization, abuse at its absolute worse. This is domestic terrorism.
I cannot wrap my mind around Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland and on and on and on hate crime upon domestic terrorism upon hate crime… What is it that we are not seeing?
That we are enablers of violence. That we are enablers of racist institutions. That we are enablers of racists. That we are racist.
Why can’t we see this? Are we hurting our tender privileged feelings because we are good hardworking people? WTFingH We are all good hardworking people, just some of us do not have to worry about racism, and many of us do. That is the only difference. If you are not worried about racism, then you are enabling racism (unless you are a very young child who has not yet been trained in the ways of the racist and the racist enablers. In which case, why are you reading this? Baby prodigy, I suppose. Well, congratulations, baby prodigy, you are clever and a racist enabler).
Every time we agree to use a $20 bill, we are enabling racism. Every time we question the racist experience truths of our non-white neighbors, we are enabling racism. Every time we allow UncleSoandSo talk about “those Black Cheecane-o (that’s how he says it) women have it made because they get all the scholarships, promotions, and welfare money with their babies, basically stealing my hard earned money. If you want to succeed in this country you have to be a Black Cheecane-o woman and you can write your own ticket. Some of them even have the lesbian ticket to lean on.” I’m serious. wtf
Every time we allow racist behavior in our homes, in our community, in our courts, in our government, we are contributing to greasing the cogs of racism. We are ALL doing it. We are all responsible. But the white people, us, we are the most responsible for not calling it out even in ourselves.
I spoke about one experience of my own ingrained racism in a hospital.
Here is another share of how I know I am a racist and must be a vigilant and active anti-racist even inside of myself. When I was married to MrexH (which came with it’s other issues, of course), we traveled a bit here and there to see family. MrexH has Hispanic heritage. I thought it was hilarious when I would show up places, like job interviews, and people were expecting me to speak Spanish and to have some Hispanic look about me – which I absolutely do not (red blonde hair, green eyes, white and freckled, English/Scottish/Swedish heritage). It was a big joke to me. While I am embarrassed that I do not speak Spanish, it’s more vanity than necessity (which is a privilege). When MrexH and I would go into an airport, I would linger behind to see if he would get profiled as he claimed he would. It happened every time unless I walked up to him when I saw security approaching and held his hand as if my whiteness legitimized his existence. Apparently to the security people it did legitimize him. This is hard to admit, but if MrexH was being an ass, I would pop into another line, leaving him to deal with security on his own. They pulled him.
I never spoke about this with MrexH, and he is an unwell person, so I am unsure about his perception of events. I do know mine, though, because I purposefully contrived them. I knew institutionalized racism was happening and I played it to give myself and SonHerisme a break, albeit a tiny one in the occasional airport or other tourism site, from MrexH. I am ashamed for using racism to my advantage. I did it. I knew exactly what I was doing and I did it anyway. Like the beautiful insecure woman who changes her behavior to be more deferential when she’s with a misogynist she needs something from and hopes to just get it and get out of there before anything scary happens – I pulled out, or put away, my badge of whiteness legitimizing MrexH’s existence in those spaces at those times.
So there. There’s my racism share.
I have done better since then. Going through the legal system, civil and criminal, taught me a lot about facing my own racism too – but not for sharing today. I am raising an anti-racist anti-dehumanizing son. I am doing the best I can today. I do think that if you do not understand racism and dehumanization are serious crisis concerns in this country, then you are at best an enabler of those things, and most likely a racist yourself. It’s a hard realization, but it is the truth I know for myself.
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
Anti-Racist booklists/resources because I am forever a librarian