I realize, going over yesterday’s statement post, that I didn’t necessarily say what really needed most to be said.
I SEE what the news is documenting. I SEE my friends and family who are people of color, and more directly affected by these ugly truths. I SEE the injustice, the hatred, the fury, the pain.
I see all this, and I am ANGRY.
I’m also terrified. I’m terrified for myself, of course, but more importantly, I’m terrified for so many people I love, and so many people I don’t even know. I’m terrified for what is happening to my home. I remind myself none of this is new not just to be cynical, but to reassure myself that we CAN work through this, CAN fight against it, CAN keep improving without having to totally fall apart.
But I haven’t been sharing my anger much, here, or elseweb. I don’t share anger well. I think a lot of people don’t share anger well. Especially a lot of privileged people who otherwise sympathize with the marginalized, have learned that to avoid being treated as badly as the people they see, they have to swallow that anger, hide it.
Marginalized people, especially people of color, also are pushed to swallow that anger, and privileged people, especially conservative white people, but even, alas, liberal white people (yes, I’m using political terms very loosely, but I trust most of my readers will know what I’m talking about) will tell them that their message is fine, but their anger is not.
Because the anger itself scares us. Because our OWN anger scares us. Because if we let ourselves care about all the ways in which this world is horribly, terrifyingly broken, we may never see the bottom of that rabbit hole, and free falling means having no control at all. And swallowing that anger and fear all the time is exhausting.
And it’s more than we can bear. So we pick our battles, and that means time and time again, not picking the battles that we can afford to ignore. And that means time and time again that white people don’t support people of color enough, because we’re exhausted and can afford not to.
But we can’t actually afford to ignore it. We just think we can. We think we can pick the battles closer to us, personally, and the rest of the world will sort itself out somehow. But it doesn’t, and it hasn’t. The world only changes when we step up and MAKE it change.
And that, too, is not news. But I feel obliged to ADMIT it.
So yes, I see this injustice, and I see these people, and I AM ANGRY.