I’ve had this post drafted for a while, and after an exchange with a fellow blogger I felt that it was past time to post it.
I often hear the phrase “our country is more divided than ever”, and I don’t believe that that’s true. I believe that this hatred (racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.) has been there, but people have become more embolden with this new administration. We’ve seen a rise in hate speech, new age KKK marches with tiki torches, church shootings and more and while those events are downright terrifying what’s even scarier is the silence that comes after them.
Heads up, I’m about to use some harsh language. I’ve often heard people say that they’re not racists because they don’t outwardly use the word “n*gger” or it’s frequently used counterpart “n*gga”. That they could never be racists because they love Black people or minorities period and have 1-5 friends who are people of color. Then those same people will sit silently as their uncle/aunt/parent/sibling/cousin/friend makes a bold racist statement or will do one better and laugh like it’s a damn joke. Like the systemic oppression of people of color is a joke. Like the years of abuse and torture of people of color is a laughing matter.
Last weekend I was scrolling through IG stories in the middle of the night and came across a blogger’s story where she and a few friends were listening to the awful Lil Dicky and Chris Brown “Freaky Friday” song and this particular blogger shared a clip of her friend lip-syncing and dancing to the lines where Chris Brown kept repeating “n*gga”. I’m talking like mouthing the word 3 times in this 15-second clip, no hesitation no nothing! That didn’t sit easy with me at all so I reached out to her and sent her this message.
Now this was the middle of the night so it took a bit before she removed the clip from her stories, but it took even longer before she sent me this message.
My eyes immediately started rolling at the “we had too much to drink” and “didn’t mean anything by it” parts because it’s something I hear over and over when I call people out on their racist speech. I don’t care if there was no malicious intent behind your friend mouthing it, she still did it and was comfortable doing so. There also wasn’t an apology anywhere in that statement. And to be frank, I honestly wasn’t expecting one. It’s really sad to say, but I’m past the point of expecting people to do the right thing and automatically apologize for the shitty behavior they participate in or sit in silence and watch. I wish they would apologize, actually I wish the behavior would just stop period. In fact, what I really want is for those who claim that they aren’t racist and wouldn’t dare do anything as bad as x, y, and z to speak up and call out those in their lives who do. Call out those relatives at dinner who make terrible remarks, buck back against Greek theme parties that you know in your heart of hearts is hateful and perpetuate terrible stereotypes, stop saying/mouthing “nigga” just because you hear it in a song. In fact, stop using any hurtful language! It’s not cute. It’s not funny. And it needs to stop.
I can throw my phone and hit 50-11 bloggers talking about clothing sales, beauty products, music festivals and more, but the internet suddenly becomes quiet when another person of color is killed at the hands of a domestic terrorist. Everyone wants to embrace Black culture, but no one wants to be Black. Or even stand up for Black and brown people! All I’m asking is for people to use their words. Don’t remain silent on issues that are literally life and death and if you mess up, apologize.
Check your friend, Kristin.