It is wild to see Whiteness work. I’m a Hispanic woman born and raised in Texas, so I’ve had a front row seat to White Supremacy doing its thing. I’ve watched people deny White Supremacy even exists, too.
Anyone can see it clearly in all the ways that some people are bending over backwards to excuse the actions of the people at the Capitol last week: many of them the same people who just months ago blasted people protesting the brutal deaths of Black people by on-duty and retired police. It is bonkers, but it is not surprising to those of us who have been saying this is all about White Supremacy.
And no, saying they are both equally wrong does not make it better.
In fact, that is the other side of the same coin. Not because I want people to agree with me, but because there is a very clear difference. One is out of anger at being oppressed and one is the anger of no longer being privileged to oppress and/or having oppression benefits.
It was mind-blowing to watch people who were inside the Capitol after breaking through doors and windows shouting about wanting their freedom back. What freedom have they lost? That is the question that people need to think about. Because they were free enough to storm the Capitol by the hundreds with only one of them facing the consequences of a deadly shot.
Meanwhile, George Floyd’s life was snuffed out of him in the eight minutes and forty-six seconds his neck spent beneath the knee of a police officer, one who knew he was being recorded—in broad daylight—with his hands in his pockets and a smirk on his face.
What was it that George Floyd did?
Police suspect he tried to pass a fake $20 bill.
I do not care if Candace Owens is your best friend. If you do not have someone else who is Black in your life disagreeing with her, it is because you are insulated by White Supremacy — the thing itself and directly, or its enduring effects on our whole society — either willfully or without knowing it.
It might not be your fault, but it is your responsibility to know that, and make the necessary changes.
That is the bottom line.
If that stings, let that sting change you.
If you think that all of this *waves around* is about social media and “not listening to one another” then you are deflecting from what it is all about. The first thing I ever had published was about the racism behind the fight against illegal immigration. And it was before MySpace was even a thing.
If you do not see how this country was built on the backs of Black people who were enslaved and how it will fight to the death to avoid consequences from that, then you do have a problem but it isn’t social media.
Is there an issue with the addiction to social media and 24 hour news? Yes. But to realize it all of a sudden, when there is an insurrection after an election where Black voters used their power to vote, is pretty convenient.
Realize that Black people have been fighting racism for as long as this country has been around. Please stop trying to deflect from that conversation in any way possible. It is about White Supremacy fighting to stay in power.
Somehow, it always is.
Getting to true healing will require the bravery of facing that.
Dialogue that will be restorative and lead to justice will mean people understanding that the great sin of this country was and always has been racial oppression. We need to reckon with that. Then, we need an exorcism.
Leticia Ochoa Adams writes from Texas, on life, death, grief, suicide, faith, motherhood, doubts and whatever (else) happens to be on her mind.