cherish

as i pulled into 
my driveway, i saw
one of my neighbors
basking in the sunshine
on her front porch,
with a dog on
either side
of her

“heya,”
i called
as i opened
the driveway gate

she told me
that she’s feeling
a little pain, but that
the sunshine helps
in more ways
than one, so:

she can’t
complain

i paused,
and said,
“you know,
i just had a really
great conversation
with anthony, and i’m
just so grateful for
him … i’m with you.
i really can’t
complain”

i’d already
planned on
sharing (a little) about
anthony and neighbors,
so the timing of this
exchange was
perfect

earlier,
as anthony and i
talked, i asked if he’d
be okay with
this one
thing

(which
might
prove
aggravating)

he laughed.
“you know me.
i can put up with
almost anything.
i can’t say i’ll be
all sunshine, but
i’ll be okay”

we talked about
how people mistake
his very long fuse for
absence of fuse, with me
explaining how my sister
rache taught me that
the fact someone
has a long fuse
and peaceable
demeanor
doesn’t
mean
they’re
meek

(a lot of people
make that mistake)

i thought about
this one post 
i wrote on
l2sp;
how
anthony
surprised me,
and reminded me:
i no longer have
to fight every
fight alone

i’m sharing
that post here
tonight, but with a
caution: while the first
part was all about
anthony, the
second was
me raging
about
white
people

i’m done 
raging at 
individual
people,
done
done
done,
i do
solemnly
vow

(it has
a lot to do
with lin-manuel
miranda, but
that’ll take a
few thousand words
to explain–so:
later;

if it takes you
a while to believe me,
i get that.

i feel
the same)

thanks
for sticking
around, trusting
i’d eventually find my
way back

but again,
more on that
later

for now,
my heart’s
full, thanks to
my husband,
whose protection
and guidance
i cherish

honeymoon shot

Diverse opinions: not just for white people
9/16/16

There aren’t many white people in my neighborhood.

I don’t usually notice it, but sometimes it’s crystal clear.

Recently, I saw it when one set of my next door neighbors told me I don’t belong here. This infuriated my husband, who is black, but it made sense to me.

The neighbors had been making atrocious industrial noise all hours of the day, seven days a week when I finally called in a noise complaint. My city has restrictions on industrial noise in residential areas because such noise impacts quality of life and health.

I was the only one who ever called in a complaint. Why? Because I, as a white woman, was possibly alone in seeing police as existing to protect my interests. In that regard, I do not and could not belong.*

Long story short, noise complaints didn’t work. What did finally work was my husband talking to them.

While I still don’t adore those neighbors, that comment still doesn’t bug me. After seven years learning to see not only racism but Racism** in action, it made sense.

My younger sister and her husband have been told many times by their white friends that their opting not to vote for Hillary Clinton reveals their white privilege.

We’re very close, Rache and I, so I told her exactly what I thought about that, using lots and lots of words it’d be unwise to use here. Those words are cathartic one-on-one on the phone with Rache, but don’t help conversation anywhere else.

I wanted to write about that conversation, but I didn’t know how to frame it until yesterday.

Yesterday, I found inspiration in this tweet.***

I read the original tweet and could practically hear the words “but my white friends said–” and “my black friend said–” underlying them.

I immediately googled “most white people only have one black friend.” I know from old readings that white people’s social networks are overwhelmingly white, but “one black friend” was a guess … one I wasn’t surprised yielded some near perfect matches.

But it turns out most white people in the U.S. don’t even have one non-white friend.

This is never so clear to me as when one white person accuses another white person of voting based on white privilege.

‘Cause, see, what they’re actually saying is, “I don’t know enough black or brown people to know that not all of them are voting for Clinton.” While my blogging friend Ré is voting for Clinton, with some (understandable) trepidation, many others are not. See here and here for two examples of eloquent refusal to vote for Clinton.****

These white people say, “Imma talk about your white privilege, ’cause other white people/my one black friend said that’s what it is.”

When these white voters attack other white voters for showing “white privilege,” they do so unironically, oblivious to how their own white privilege–of segregation and suppression–shows when they do.

“But my black friend said–” is no justification at all. It’s more of a sign that white people need to have more brown-skinned friends to truly appreciate that diversity of opinion isn’t just a white thing.

It’s a HUMAN thing.

* See posts tagged “racism” on my main blog
for more context on this statement.

** Little-r racism is the kind evidenced by individual citizens.
Capital-R racism, or “structural racism,” permeates institutions.

*** Sadly, the original tweeter deleted his/her tweet. The gist was,
“Sanders lost because he completely failed to engage people of color. Period.”
But, hey! @ActualFlatticus is my favorite tweep, and I highly recommend
his thread of 101 [Clinton] things we should all ignore because Trump.

**** See also Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and/or
Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.”

 

 

 

 

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  1. July 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Love the candidness of the post. Also, I love your perspective being a white woman in an interracial relationship. Your stance and opinion are inspiring. The open dialogue and expression. Thank you

    • July 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      I’m really grateful for your comment, because I ended up feeling sensitive about the post soon after posting it. I wondered if I should’ve just let it sit in “private” mode elsewhere. But reading your comment and then revisiting the post made me glad I did share it. Thanks! It’s wild to see how much I’ve learned over the last eight years, and to know there’s still so much I don’t understand. I’m trying, though. 🙂

      • July 21, 2017 at 2:48 am

        Like I said definitely glad you posted this. As a black man in an interracial marriage sometime we overlook small details but being able to read your experience wash refreshing. It made me think about similar conversations with my wife.

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