So, my latest post led to response about how I focused a lot on my pain to where I came across as seeking attention for my post regarding my thoughts on Kyle Rittenhouse. Many white allies understood that I tied it to the bigger picture that addresses systemic abuse and the past decades to the now. I intended to address what people could or could not get away with, so I centered black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) a lot. Many of them have died in the movement for equal rights and will not reach headlines.
Still, because of this, it came across as poor centering and misrepresenting the situation because two people who died were white in this case. I will acknowledge that right here. It was not my intent to misrepresent, and I have nothing to gain from misrepresentation. The victim names, Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, deserve note. Nothing can make for the life lost.
I never once said, implied, or believed white allies do not get killed in these situations. When I mentioned antiracist protestors in my previous post, I meant them as well. They can and do when they take on the cause of antiracism, as these two people have. My initial intention was to focus on the bigger picture on systemic abuse in this country, something that I did not sufficiently address, clearly.
I agree I could have done more to address Huber and Rosenbaum’s deaths and so I will; I genuinely appreciate hearing the feedback. To that end, I have added a few lines to a few paragraphs to include them in the dialogue on Part I, which was not there before. Not mentioning them sufficiently did not mean I did not care they died, because I did. In hindsight, and now I know better now (I hope), I thought I had done my part. It is not just BIPOC who are killed.
I am sorry for not conveying my thoughts better. It certainly was not intended as lack of care. For anyone who does not know me, I can understand feeling that way because there are many bad faith actors out there. Also, I am not perfect. Friends I have know I am far from perfect and do not assume bad faith from the get-go, and yes, I sometimes express my grief poorly through being angry, it is something I work on.
This situation is terrible altogether, and because I had come across harmful, I want to do my part to make things right regardless of the outcome.
In the past years, I have been told one issue allies run into is centering “Whiteness” too much, or hyper-focus the attention on white ally achievements. People with no skin in the game (until maybe the past few years) have been expected to be, as another white ally put it, “getting a cookie” for helping. So I have tried to listen to people who provided that feedback to me across the spectrum of backgrounds. This means I may sometimes focus on people who are less given credit historically when I mourn.
Nonetheless, that does not mean we should forget the people who died allying with, and as a result, defending minoritized groups in the United States. I did not have time to address this sooner, and I apologize for that, but I will address that now.
Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum are dead. Lives that cannot be brought back. Their futures cut short. They are gone because of white supremacy, something that will hurt white people in the end as well, as evidenced here. Anyone seen as a threat to it suffers, and this disease thrives on creating divisions between peoples (as it is doing now). White people who stand against it are seen as less valuable and “one of ‘them.'” Lately, white(r) folks in alt-right and extreme right-wing circles in this country have called allies “race traitors.” So, they will see white allies standing by BIPOC protestors as less white. This latest court case has effectively said antiracist protestors, including white allies, are in danger.
In danger for speaking out against injustice, and defending those who do.
Antiracism activism and engagement eventually leads to a cost, ones more dangerous than they should be in an ideal world. I do not want the lives of Huber and Rosenbaum to go in vain or for anyone to forget their sacrifice, and their loved ones deserve all the support they can receive. Nor do I want Heather Heyer to face the same fate for having been killed in the lethal assault by a neo-Nazi in Charlottesville. Sympathies once more to her family. May we take a moment this weekend to remember everyone who has died in fighting white supremacy in this country. No matter who or what, life lost should be mourned, but especially people who have died doing the right thing.
Again, for anyone who had been upset or disappointed in me not addressing the white allies who paid a price in this movement, I am sorry for having caused such emotions. I take responsibility through the edits I made on the first part of my reflections as well and this post. I will try to gather some feedback from people who know me better and so I can improve, even if I may not do so perfectly, how to articulate myself better, and be more reflective than I was. I will not expect forgiveness from anyone who has been hurt, though I hope I can still prove my genuineness, anyway.
MAy everyone who died in the past years against white supremacy rest with the many who died before you, and may end up dying in the future because racism is not leaving us alone.
With love and sincerity,