Hey white women, can we huddle for a second? We need to chat.
I know it’s been a lot to take in. Every day feels like a new story, a new part of yourself you need to dig up and re-evaluate. I know you’ve been through the not wanting to be white and the tears and the guilt and the fragility and all the articles. I know because I’ve been there with you, working through this stuff. It’s not easy. But I need you to do more. I need you to be bigger.
I need you to get loud.
It’s not enough to do the personal work. It never was. I know you don’t want to cause more harm or pain. You want to keep your distance so you don’t fuck up and make things worse. I know. But you have to get in there. The silence, the fear, the guilt, the tears, we gotta let that go. We have to. Starbucks. Wafflehouse. Yale. AirBnB. By the time I hit “publish” there’ll be another one of these stories. Most of all, we have to let go of the fear of fucking up and just get loud. I know you want to keep your distance. You want to be one of the good white people and do it the right way. You want a nice little map and a script and you want to make sure you never ever upset anyone. I’m sorry, that’s impossible.
You’re going to fuck up.
And you’re going to piss people off. You’re going to get blocked or muted or quote tweeted in a less than flattering way. It’s okay, you’ll learn from it. But you need to get in there. You need to get loud. You need to get in between racist white women calling the cops on people of color and you need to get ugly about it. Make it painful. You can learn all the theory, read all the scholars, get all the jargon right, follow all the voices, like all the posts… it doesn’t matter. It means nothing if you’re not in the fight.
Your friends and family will not support you because they won’t understand. They’ll tell you to calm down, to be quiet, to focus on the good things. You’ll feel lonely and afraid. I’m sorry.
But it’s nothing compared to what people of color feel every day.
And you need to do this for you. You need to learn how to speak up, how to live in the conflict zone. You need to learn when someone needs educating and when someone needs to be smacked down. But you can only learn it here, in the trenches.
The time for being safe and learning at your own speed is over.
It was an illusion anyway, an illusion of privilege. The goal was never to see who could read the most books or watch the most documentaries, it was always to get you into the fight. It’s time.
The fact is we are not all allies in this. Not everyone is redeemable. Not everyone is confused. Some people are very aware of what they’re doing, and it’s on us to confront that head-on.
We can comfort each other while we educate each other. We can support each other. But we need to get loud and dirty and angry. There is no high road. There’s a fight and we need to get in there.
And I’m letting you know now: it will not get easier to start. It will only get harder. White women are protected because of the role we play in white supremacy. There is no solidarity for white women, there is only the defense or destruction of white supremacy.
And when we threaten white supremacy it will turn on us.
It will say that it’s protecting us but it’s not. It’s protecting itself. It will do all the things we are familiar with: attack reproductive rights and social programs, education, medical care. It will turn on us.
This will not get easier. No matter how much you read, it will not get easier. There is no waiting to become comfortable with confronting white supremacy. It will never be comfortable. I’m sorry. But we have to do it anyway.
So I need you to grab your superpower – your nice white lady “Let me speak to the manager” superpower, your soccer mom “get in the car, we’re leaving!” Superpower – and get to work.
Get loud. Get angry. And get in there.
This is your family now, this social justice, identity politics, cultural Marxism, whatever the fuck they call it, this is it. This is us. You cannot wait until you’re ready. I’m sorry, you will never be ready.
You have to do it anyway.
This was originally a twitter thread.
Erynn Brook on Twitter
Hey white women, can we huddle for a second? I’m talking to the ones who are new-ish to social justice. We need to chat.
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