Ashleigh Shackelford, a self-described queer, nonbinary black fat femme writer, artist, and cultural producer, had a lot to say on white people’s presence at Black Lives Matter protests in her article published in Wear Your Voice Magazine.
I read with incredulity some of the most vitriolic, moronic, and entitled piece of garbage I have come across in the larger debate of the racial tensions boiling over in our nation. Let’s breakdown what this racists has to say about white people participating in Black Lives Matter protests:
1. White People Are Killing Us
According to Shackleford, white people, of which I am one, are killing black people. “We are marching, yelling, singing, physically and mentally exhausted because WHITE PEOPLE ARE KILLING US.” Well Ashleigh, that is just not statistically the case. Black on black crime far exceeds the number of police officers killing black people or white people killing black people. If you are going to put something in print, you should at least know your facts. And I know a lot of white people, and we don’t get our guns out and go hunting for black people like say, we do deer or elk.
2. Black People Are Frightened of White People
Shackelford is quoted as saying, “Your presence only triggers the black people that are frightened by you, and you actually don’t change anything by being at a protest if there is no work to match your visibility.” The last time I checked, I don’t see groups of black women moving to cross the street when they see me coming. I don’t see black children when I am in Dollar General hovering behind their momma’s legs because they are afraid of my middle-aged white woman’s ass. In fact, I am usually stared at rudely by their black mommas, who seem to have an attitude because I exist. Get over yourself. I, too, shop at Dollar General and I don’t go around scaring little black children, at least not intentionally.
3. Everything I Have Is Yours
“Nothing you have is yours. Let me be clear: Nothing you have is yours. Also, let me be see through: Reparations are not donations, because we are not your charity, tax write off, or good deed for the day. You are living off of stolen resources, stolen land, exploited labor, appropriated culture and the murder of our people. Nothing you have is yours.”
Let me tell you something Shackelford, everything I have is already yours. I have worked for minimum wage and not much over minimum wage most of my life. Leaving my children alone to fend for themselves while I went to work for 10 hours a day and had my power turned off routinely. Routinely. I didn’t get SNAP, EBT, Section 8. Nothing. No, black people stole my resources, exploited my labor, and murder my people while we ate beans and hot dogs. You are right, nothing I have is mine.
4. If You Are White, You Are Privileged
Are you F’n kidding me! This one truly makes me laugh. I have never, ever been privileged, Shackelford. There are no rich slave-owning granddaddies in my family. There isn’t even a rich uncle. More than likely my poor family picked cotton along with your ancestors. I didn’t attend college, I don’t own a home, and I sure the hell don’t want to save the likes of you.
From the time I went to school I was told black people were going to get more than me because of social injustice and experientially I have found that to be true. I have watched the generation of the 60s turn into the likes of your generation. Clean up your own house before making wildly ludicrous statements such as, “Whiteness operates in a way that means that using your privilege ‘for good’ often requires Black folks to still be a position to be ‘saved’ or ‘in need.’ We don’t need white saviorism. We don’t need white people to speak for us. We don’t even really need white people to show up to rallies. We need our reparations, we need intentional disruption that involves high risk and we need y’all to stop playing.” Okay, Shackelford, let’s stop playing. Let’s turn off those savior-like EBT cards.
Real stellar behavior. While I was at work, this beast of a human being was wrecking a store for these other poor people who work there to clean up. Shackelford asks, “Are you willing to learn everything possible about antiblackness and its many forms so that you can dismantle it? Are you willing to give up everything you have to make sure Black people can survive, thrive and be safe?”
The question isn’t when are white people going to give up everything so black people can survive, thrive, and be safe. The question is when are you going to clean up your own communities? When are you going to be accountable for immoral and evil behavior? When are you going to turn off the music that exploits your sons and daughters and do the hard work for yourselves? And finally, when are you going to stop blaming everyone else for your problems?
There is one thing that I can agree on with Shackelford–stay your white ass home.