Staying silent is not the answer

Don’t get involved with the causes in mind
White privilege, white guilt, at the same damn time
So we just party like it’s nineteen ninty nine
Celebrate the ignorance while these kids keep dying

This morning I got on the bus, hit play on my phone’s music app and pulled out the book I’m reading, ready to settle into my hour-ish commute. The song Google picked for me was Macklemore’s A Wake and touche, Google. Way to keep me honest.

I keep brainstorming this post, I keep testing the waters with the links I share on Facebook and I keep waiting for my thoughts to be perfectly structured to share them.

I’m not a perfectly structured person, though, and I’m rarely at that shiny polished, finished state I feel like I’m constantly reaching for. So I’m writing this on my phone, swipe-keyboard style, with about eight bus stops to go before my layover for my connecting bus. Hopefully I’ll spend that time fixing the inevitable typos. And hopefully this is enough of a disclaimer, if something I say comes across as offensive or wrong. Call me out on it, tell me why I’m wrong, and tell me where else I should be looking for information. I don’t want to be someone who stays silent, even (especially) if I spend that silence thinking about what I wish I was saying.

We live in a political and social environment that does not demand accountability from those of the ruling class, a body of people that expands beyond the 1%. I’m talking about white people. We live in a system that was created by white people to support white interests*, and we built that system at the expense of black people, and of American Indians. In fact mostly, we made them build it for us.

The progressive among us, the liberal minded and gentle hearted are looking for ways to move forward with greater equality and respect but that will always fail until we as a country acknowledge more than one of the three main cultural community’s that comprise the United States of America.**

I don’t know how to make this happen. I have lots of thoughts, sure, but so far all I can see for personal action is to get out of the way of others. I want not so much to speak, but to offer a platform to voices from the other two communities to speak out.

In the past couple of months these have been on my reading list, and I strongly encourage every book on it. Make it your reading list, and make it your priority to offer a platform to black Americans and American Indians and the diverse population of the poor. Please. Oh and tell me what else should be on this list because I know it isn’t a compete one. Trust me do I know.

Americanah
Yo Mama’s Dysfunktional
Black Indians
All About Love
Black Girl Dangerous
Mocha Mama

*There should be a further discussion of class and poor white people and the history of creating racial divides to prevent the poor class uniting in their struggle but again, unpolished writing on my phone on a bus.
** Yes there were more than three, but I’m sticking with the main, original groups for this list mainly because there are three large community’s with no personal or genuine connections or identities or heritage to any other land than this one.

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