There are but 52 of you in the sea of my 477 Facebook friends–roughly 11%. Most of you are LGBTQ-identified, and for some, to be frank, that is the ONLY reason you are on this list. I don’t do many dealings with White folk.
I’m considering doing less.
As my Black and Brown skinfolk are in a state of anger and fear, the White people are talking about Glee, their new shoes, the Color Run, that funny thing their pet rock did, and next week’s dinner. Of you 52, only three have dared to acknowledge the pain my people are enduring. Only two have done so publicly.
Just as Trayvon Martin’s case is representative of a greater issue, this activity (or lack thereof) is the same. The problem is not that Trayvon was walking home at night in a hoodie. The problem is that he was walking home at night in a hoodie while visibly Black. Similarly, the problem is not that many White “allies” are silent on this issue and the verdict. The problem is that many White “allies” are continually silent on this issue and verdicts nationwide.
I am not arguing that White “allies” need to dedicate their Facebook activities to any specific issue, nor am I suggesting that one issue is necessarily more important than another. It is your space. Do as you wish. But I’ve found that our behavior on Facebook is a reflection of our actual personalities. If you are not willing to reach out to ‘people of color’ in a time of severe distress, why should we believe that you are willing to reach out during every day struggles? If you seemingly do not care about the Kings, Bells, Grants, and Martins of our world, how can we expect you to care about the kid down the block or the Black guy writing this letter? (I won’t even bother questioning your concern for the Harlins, Browns, and Boyds.)
Respectively, not being aware of the situation does not mean you are a bad “ally.” That, however, is not the case for most of you. All but one of you 52 are American-born citizens with access to television, the internet, and Black people. Many of you are aware yet are choosing not to speak. This is a problem. This is YOUR problem.
Get it together, White folks. Quickly.
A Black Man Who Is Tired of Half-Assed “Allies” & Needs You To Do Better