I want to share this post, along with the comment I left for the author. My comment comes first:
“Thank you, Vanessa, for your voice, your love, and your strength. As a white (although left-handed, atheist, commie) man I agree with you completely. I was fortunate to be involved in the Peace & Justice movement back in the late 60s and early 70s and, prior to spending two months in Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade, was heavily schooled in racism and cultural chauvinism. Our instructors were from the Black Panther Party, the Committee to Free Angela Davis, and the Brown Berets. I also read many of that time’s dominant black voices: Eldridge Cleaver; Julius Lester; George Jackson; Malcolm X, etc.
“I have tried to share what I learned, and what I have continued to learn, with my friends, family, and a long line of people I came across over the years who were desperately in need of getting a clue. Of course, it has branded me as somewhat of an outlier, which is fine with me and, occasionally, I too am accused of being too sensitive.
“I am now 68 years old and I use Facebook (plus a little Twitter, some LinkedIn, and a tiny bit of Instagram) to continue educating my friends and family. Most of them don’t respond to my posts; some of them are enthusiastically supportive. I will never stop spreading the word and keeping my eye on the prize. I wish you nothing but the best.”
By Vanessa Leigh Lewis
We live in a country where white is the default; beauty is measured in standards defined by whiteness. Racial controversies can appear small, but are common place. Remember the racist backlash from white fans (largely millennials), when Amandla Stenberg, a young mixed race actress who plays Rue in Hunger Games discussed race in her Tumblr video, “Don’t Cash Crop my Corn Rows”?
Social media racial backlash often gets brutally ugly —very quickly.
When these issues come up on my Facebook feed the “discussions” quickly turn into a battleground. Those discussions turn personal quickly and the argument becomes “I’m not racist,” or “This isn’t about racism.” People throw out that there is another reason, another way, another issue, but those reasons or issues are never racism.
White people don’t like to discuss racism unless they are assured that they are…
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