For Those Who Want My Thoughts on Sinead.....

Renee over at Womanist Musings already gave the perfect response:
The murder of Trayvon Martin has many White allies speaking out. This is an easy cause for them to get behind, while the everyday racist acts that lead to his death go ignored. To make sure there is never ever another Trayvon Martin, we need to dismantle White supremacy, not just call out the blatant acts of violent racism when they occur.

Sinead O'Conner, whom I absolutely adore, wrote a piece on her blog about the murder of Trayvon. When she spoke about the insidiousness of racism and the fact that we are all descended from one African mother, I found myself nodding, but like most White allies, she quickly derailed from support to paternalistic lecturing.

Here's the deal: Black on Black crime is most certainly a problem in our communities, but you don't get to change the conversation from talking about the death of Trayvon, to lecturing us about our behaviour. The issue at stake here are the crimes committed against us and whether Sinead realizes it or not, the crime that is running rampant in our communities is not about gansta rap; it's about White supremacy and capitalism. We don't need a paternalistic White earth mother deciding that she can lecture us on how to make changes. Why is it so damn hard for White people to follow instead of lead?

People turn to crime because they are shut off from opportunities. The education system has specifically attacked youth of colour through disconnecting them from our history and purposefully under educating them. Look through the average text book and what you will see is White face after White face. This implies that Blacks have never contributed a thing to this world. Our students are geared specifically towards trades, or sports - they are never encouraged to actively learn. Even those who do magically get a scholarship for university, arrive woefully unprepared to compete at a college level because they have not been properly prepared. The lucky few who do manage to graduate with a mountain of debt, find no mercy in the job market. When White America has a recession, communities of colour have a depression. Tell me again why crime doesn't seem like a good option to these kids?

Lecturing Black people to stop the violence and to stop internalizing negative messages is ridiculous. How hard is it for White people to decolonize their mind and own their privilege, but somehow it should be a simple walk in the park for these kids, who have been raised to believe that they have absolutely zero value. The problem does not begin and end with Black people, it begins and ends with White supremacy and capitalism. There is also the issue that even in cases where Blacks are not violent, they are subjected to stop and frisk policies and actively targeted by police forces across North America. The high rates of imprisonment constitute a form of neo-slavery. As much as some whine about the cost of incarceration, the return of the chain gang proves that Whiteness still wants Black labour free of charge to build and support infrastructure. When you are not adequately paying someone for their labour, it amounts to slavery. Think about how many innocent Black youth are in prison because they could not afford a decent lawyer, or because police have trumped up spurious charged. Of course, once marked as criminal, they are even further stigmatized creating the revolving door principal. Capitalism and racism combined negatively impact the life of Black youth across the disaspora. They are violent, but somehow until someone gets shot, the violence gets ignored.

Instead of talking to us, her energies should be aimed at her fellow White people. To be perfectly honest, we don't need her opinion of which heroes or sheroes we need to uplift and remember, and we certainly don't need her advice on how best to move forward as a community. Sinead's post exemplifies exactly how White allies get it wrong when they begin talking about race. The very fact that she decided to refer to herself as mothering us proves that people of colour are often reduced to the role of children who need guidance, even in affairs in which we clearly have expert status. Even with the best of intentions, which I believe Sinead most certainly has, unless you are prepared to release power you will inevitably reaffirm the very messages you claim to be fighting. The way to be an ally is not to lead, but to listen.

Comments

  1. You told the truth! I LOVE your blog!

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    1. Actually, Renee did, but thanks.

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  2. Ahh, but "we were born to lead," they would will tell us (White man's burden and all that). Besides, you (blacks) are too emotional. Moreover, it's this fervent instability that keeps you from seeing the bigger picture (they reason). To borrow a title from a 60's sitcom, 'Father knows Best.' Best leave the real work to people (white males) who can be both objective and reasonable. "Your passions have obscured your ability to think this thing through," whites will tell us. "It's got nothing to do with race," they lecture.

    It's always about controlling the narrative. That's what you do in a coup d'état. Seize control of the media to prevent the leakage of information. Once power is annexed you restrain the flow of intelligence to the huddled masses. In the context of race- whites (through carefully orchestrated propaganda) control the masses by their use of media. Therefore whites believe whatever those in power would have them to believe; especially if its seasoned with patriotism; then its gold. Concordantly that's why Fox news is number one.

    Because of the normality of whiteness most whites talk down to us as a matter of practice. Even the first Black President (and maybe the last) of the United States is not immune to a good ole white lecture. So I'm not surprised at that (forgive me) bald hussy's comments.

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  3. SMH .
    I knew it and I'm happy that I've got to this place, this place where my judgement is no longer clouded by eternal optimism.
    This place where I can spot the BS before it smacks me in the face.

    Sinead couldn't help herself, she had to go there because in her head she was being balanced. That is simply a signal to white folks that : yeah, see I'm calling them out too'.

    It stinks and its silly. These kinda allies I do not need.

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  4. oh and fir the record...
    Fuck you Sinead, you like many White gay/bisexual women have a weird and perverse fascination with and for black men to the point where you will throw black women under a bus.

    You were never my ally.

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  5. *nods*

    You can add my name to the co-sign column.

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  6. I'm surprised that Sinead O'Connor even realized that an innocent young man was murdered, when you consider the fact that she can't even decide who to marry and for how long!

    Amazing that anyone takes "Ole Boneheaded Cue-Ball" seriously...then again, for some people, what an celebrity says is gold, even if they're a D-list has-been who is almost unrecognizable from their heyday.

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    1. Sepultura 13.

      *lol*.. excellent point.

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  7. Dear White People:

    Help or please just shut the fuck up. You are not saying anything we haven't heard a million times over. A child is dead. Respect that at least if you respect nothing else and please, PLEASE, shut your collective fucking mouths.

    SoW

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  8. http://www.facebook.com/notes/lisa-whipple/that-kid/10150606807480740 I'm not sure whether this will make you screaming pissed or not but it definitely irritated me a bit. Because of the way she says "Just for a moment--long enough to dull the panic, to be able to feel safe about my girls. Because it was all I had: that kid was black. My kids are white." THIS...I mean WTF.

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    1. She was being in a honest in a way WP usually aren't, and I appreciate that. And parents do that. They find that one thing to separate their kid from a tragic kid in order to ensure themselves that their kids won't be next.

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    2. Yea I guess you're right. I guess I'm just irritated because I feel like there should be no difference between a white child and a black child like Trayvon...They're both children and skin color shouldn't be what sets them apart. I really hate how racist America is...well actually racism is all over the world it doesn't just stop at our borders.

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  9. I too, was a big Sinead O'Connor fan during the day and still is,but with all due respect to her, she like many others still don't know about us and more than likely never will.

    Sometimes I get really irritated by suggestions like this. Why is that Black people have to "learn" about the world. We've been in this world for god knows what and because we've been through a lot life learning tragedies, we had to learn more than society want to believe.
    White society have screwed with the lives of Blacks and other POC's and them they want to tell us how to deal with this oh please!

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    1. Co-sign! The arrogance of many is mind-boggling. One classic example is when we dare to research REAL history, not the white-washed, revisionist version - then the 'race realists' and other neo-nazi trolls say, "oh, how mindless and stupid you are! That's not the REAL story!!"

      Why is it only 'true' history if we mindlessly accept what they wish to cram down our throats? Amerikkkan 'history' classes are nothing but propaganda machinces...I'll stop here, lest I go off-topic! : )

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