I watched a video recently featuring a southern white man named Bill talking about how the white nationalists in Virginia do not represent all white people. I 100% agree with that statement. These white nationalists do not represent every white person in our country. However, I found the rest of his video troubling. He went on to say that people of color (specifically black folks) need to stop hating white people, and he equated the hate going on in Virginia to the Black Lives Matters protests.
So here is a list of several reasons why that’s BS, and we need to stop telling people of color how to feel about our mistreatment.
- Black Lives Matter is not about hating white people. It’s about not dying in the streets over a pack of Skittles. We don’t hate white people. We’re asking white people to do better. It’s okay to ask fellow Americans to treat other Americans with respect and dignity. And when there is a group of black folks or a single black person that goes of the rail, that person or group is not representative of the entire movement. Where on the Black Lives Matter website does it say “Go forth and hate white people”?
- Don’t act as if you don’t understand where racial tensions in our country first originated. It’s not a chicken or egg scenario. The ones who enslaved black folks, killed the Natives, interned the Japanese, and terrorized Muslims, are all white. It only makes logical sense that we address white people when talking about acts of racism. We can all contribute to systems of oppression, but it seems that white folks are the ones reaping the most benefits.
- Remember when you were little and one of your siblings broke something, but your mom said “you’re all getting in trouble if someone doesn’t speak up”. She wasn’t wrong for that. She needed an answer, and since you were a witness to the crime, you were obligated to speak up. I will never feel wrong for asking a white person to speak up and do something because sitting back is a luxury, a privilege, that I do not possess. We need white people to talk to other white people to stop this hate. We’re holding you accountable.
- If people of color supposedly hate white people, it is not comparable to the hate toward people of color. Throughout history, people of color have tried very hard to fit in with white America. We’ve changed our names, dropped our native languages, and lightened our skin. So forgive me if we’re a little angry with white folks. We’re still not accepted after all our years of building this land and stripping ourselves of our culture and heritage. People of color are simply asking for change. These white nationalists are asking for our elimination.
- Thousands of peaceful protestors across the country are met with guns and tear gas. I have not seen these white nationalists or any group of white rioters met with the same treatment. They need to experience and suffer the consequences of their actions like the peaceful black lives matter protestors endured blatant hatred and disrespect. We’re all equal, right?