Discourse

A Message For My Friends And Family

I am totally feeling gutted from what is happening in North America and in a lot of other western countries. The narrative of a sleeping monster of bigotry being woken is inappropriate and just wrong. White supremacy has always been here. Just ask anyone who isn't white. And while an ugly head has definitely reared its head, for people of colour it is and will be, business as usual.

While I remain committed to be a voice for people of colour I am afraid that the message isn't crossing the threshold. I am hurt, I am scared and I need help. I have in-law family members (who are white and American), people that I am related to, who voted for Trump. I have friends whose parents voted for Trump. I have friends who have friends that voted for Trump. I know these things because you tell me. I often find myself once removed and not always allowed a seat at the table to speak to these people.  

But you. Yes you. You are white. And you are a good person. I know this because you are my friend. And I know that you know that what is happening in America currently is an evil ugly mutation of humanity. And these people who are so angry and directing their rage at any and all marginalized people... I know you know these people. You are related to them. They are your mothers and fathers, your brothers and sisters, your uncle. They are your friends. But most importantly they look like you. The racist, the bigoted, angry and hurt people who are trying to preserve or take back white america are doing it in the name of free speech and they laugh at political correctness while demonstrating and executing dangerous and hostile forms of xenophobia.

I don't want another SNL skit that panders to the democratic left. Making fun of Trump/Hillary or white people in general - exemplifying how dumb or naive white people can be is actually not funny. It's sad. All that it is doing is alienating those of you who don't agree. People from both sides of the political spectrum are hurting and also feeling disenfranchised. I do not want another think piece about "What went wrong with the 2016 election". This is not something to academicize. This is real life. This is my life. This is my family's life.

I'd rather you talk to one another. I'd rather you sit down with your father/mother, brother or sister, your uncle, the bus driver, your friends and ask them about how they feel - and then tell them how you feel. That's it. That's all I want.  

Dr. Akwugo Emejulu (senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh) says, "We are at the centre of a whirlwind of a white political imagination that cannot and will not fathom humanity, justice and equality outside of itself."  I do not want to imagine where it could go from there. We have a white supremacist for a president. We have a house and senate who have an agenda to undo some of the progress that had been made. It's four years of this. And our lives are too short to live in fear.

Dr. Emejulu also says that " whiteness is committed to ignorance: it operates as collective and calculated forgetting, but also as a refusal to know." Maybe that is true, but I wouldn't know. My white friends and family are loving and compassionate people and I know that they are appalled at the blatant rise in violence and hostility against LGBQT people, people of colour, women and people of different religions other than Christianity.

In the words of Bernie Sanders: "There is no compromise on racism, bigotry, xenophobia and sexism."  These aren't issues up for debate. These are basic human rights. And I will not tolerate anyone who thinks it is their right to oppress anyone else. I know you feel the same way. So please talk to each other.  

With Love,

Andrew Yong Hoon Lee

 

Source: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2934-the-c...