Let me begin this by saying I hate American politics. It really is a soap opera for [mostly] ugly people. I'm sick of seeing all these wealthy yet borderline illiterate, inarticulate "popular kids" engage in their clique wars while the economy crumbles down around them, taking healthcare, education, foreign relations, and other crucial institutions with it. I don't care who called who what, or where, or why, or how. Like Grayson once said, I don't give a shit about any of these people's feelings. They're politicians. Being insulted horribly is in their goddamn job description (has been for literally thousands of years), and for the money some of them have, they're really in no position to bitch.
Now we have a black president, and white people seem eager to line up and talk about how much they hate Obama, how it has nothing to do with race, how their political darlings du jour aren't racist either for trying to undermine Obama, and how it's soooooooo mean to call their politicians racist.
And for some reason...they feel the need to tell all this to me.
1) I'm not your fucking sounding board
How may times do black people have to tell white folks not to randomly walk up to us and basically lecture us about your thoughts on race in America? You've probably read a bunch of nostalgic memories of warm-hearted maids and mammies whom your ancestors constantly unburdened themselves to. You probably imagine those black women looked just like Moi.
2) I'm not interested in hearing about [supposed] non-racist white politicians
Surprised? If you've been paying attention, you really shouldn't be. As a woman of color, living in America, I'm not looking over my shoulder for harmless, non-racist white politicians who support laws to make our society an egalitarian meritocracy, or who conduct themselves gracefully and eloquently in interviews, without resorting to race-baiting or finger-pointing.
Obviously, they're not the ones fucking with me.
All you conservative Democrats, moderate Republicans, neo-conservative-whoevers, Tea Partiers, and whatever other bullshit label you've gone and slapped yourselves with...listen up. Let me tell you a little something about people of color and politics in America. When it comes to racism, we're not interested in listening to you defend shit. We're not interested in hearing your self-serving "what if" situations because we're too busy contending with right-the-hell-now situations. Why? Because fucked-up shit is going down in America right the hell now.
I, for one, want to hear white folks out racists. And not the racists conveniently located in parties and organizations which you don't like - no, no, no...I want to hear you out the white racists in your family, among your friends, in whichever political party you're obsessing over like damn fool. I want to hear you out the white racists at your job, in your neighborhood, and then I want to you to show me what you're doing to get rid of such people - once and for all.
Why am I so focused on that instead of letting myself be roped into your lame attempt at a kumbaya? Because I have to be.
As a POC living in these disunited states of ours, I have to sleep with one eye open. In a country where an unarmed, restrained black man is murdered on video while his murderer gets two years, or a Muslim student is tasered without valid cause, or a 15-year-old Mexican-American child is gunned down by Border Patrol, we all have to sleep with one eye open. Just because you're in denial about the racial state of this country, doesn't mean I can be too. I don't have that luxury. I am Leann Johnson, I am Sherry Sherrod, I am Mostafa Tabatabainejad, I am Sergio Hernandez Guereca, I am John T. Williams...and I am Oscar Grant (RIP to the last three).
And in light of recent and historical events, I am not even remotely interested in listening to your baseless, self-preservational, narcissistic defenses. Come to me "defending" things concerning white politicians and racism, and I'll simply group you amongst those whom you're defending, while remembering your name and face for later.
And POC...some Fashion Tips from Moi to cut these tender moments to the quick. Remember, this isn't an opportunity to "educate". This is an opportunity to eviscerate.
1) Flip It
By flip it, I don't mean shout louder or start chanting bullshit slogans (like some people). I mean flip the spot. They approached you and put you on the spot. So flip it - and ask some very choice questions.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Why are you asking me this?"
"What do you hope to gain from this conversation?"
"What exactly do you want?"
"And what made you come to me, again?"
"Where are you going with this?"
"What made you think it was an intelligent idea to get on your soapbox and rant to the nearest black person?"
(Feel free to repeat as often as necessary, while following up with, "You didn't/That doesn't answer my question.")
Sometimes, white people like these need a few blaringly obvious things pointed out to them.
"I'm not your therapist."
"I'm not your confessor."
"I don't care about that."
"I'm not Obama."
"You don't know me."
"We're not friends."
"We don't have a special connection."
"We're not bonding. This isn't bringing us closer...not by a long shot."
"No, you haven't made a good impression."
"No...I don't want to end this on a positive note."