Why I’m Uncomfortable Giving Clean Slates To White AntiRacists

Antiracists Have Hurt Someone, Somewhere, and In Some Way. Their Victims Don’t Get Clean Slates and Fresh Starts.

Why I’m Uncomfortable Giving Clean Slates To White AntiRacists

Antiracists Have Hurt Someone, Somewhere, and In Some Way. Their Victims Don’t Get Clean Slates and Fresh Starts.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

White People Forget, Black People Don’t

I really dislike it when people ask victims of racism to forgive and forget the sins of our habitually racist offenders because they’ve suddenly seen the light. Often, we victims are left with the memories and scars left by racists while they use their White privilege to continue moving up the ranks. White people (nd people of color) will conveniently pretend like nothing ever happened as we deal with the impact and consequences of racism. Life goes on for them while our lives stop.

That’s why I hate giving clean slates to antiracists.

Victims of anti-Blackness never forget the shit White people do to them, at least I don’t, anyway. I’m uncertain why victims are so frequently asked to forgive and forget? Hate breeds hate. It is what it is. Hate oes what it’s supposed to do. So why try to control our emotions, to overrule a natural reaction to racism? It’s not right. Racism hurts. Stop insisting that we forget it does. Stop asking us to care about those who don’t care about us.

If you’re White, you’ve harmed someone with either your words, actions, presence, silence, vote, theft, denying, ignoring, jumped the line or cheating the system at some point in your life because you were White. Your Whiteness acted as a currency.

By the time most White people finally meet their antiracist Jesus, they don’t even know where to begin restoring and apologizing to the people they’ve harmed. In fact, most White folks make zero effort to recall the people they’ve injured throughout their lives. Their victims don’t get apologies. There are no store-bought cookies with cards attached left on the porch. We don’t get secret Santa guilt Christmas checks. Racist bosses aren’t adding bonuses to their victimized employees’ paychecks. Victims get nothing for their grief. All those people reformed racists have harmed are long gone left to deal with the stains of White hate all alone. Those implicit and explicit biases remain seared into their minds and hearts forever.

Asking us not to recall the actions of racists is ludicrous. Asking us to have empathy or compassion for people who have harmed the legacies and lives of my people is crazy too. I refuse to engage is such an unhealthy activity. My anger, rage, disappointment, shock, hate, grief, and disgust are legitimate emotions and responses to racism, appropriately placed, and rightfully deployed. The only person who gets to decide how victims should feel or speak about their pain are victims. Just because you’ve moved on doesn’t give you the right to imply that we victims should.

White folks (and well-meaning Blacks and people of color) forget too easily, and that’s a problem for me.

Take for example so-called “good White folks” like former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. White folks want us to give their favorite White Democratic politicians Bill and Hillary all the acclaim accolades they believe they believe deserve in this world, but I don’t see their beloved Clintons the way they do. All the memes floating around on social media acknowledging she was right about what would happen if America elected Donald Trump as our leader are right. She was right, and she warned us. But allow me to share why her warning was hypocritical at best.

Hillary Clinton is the same kind of racist Trump was. Her racism just looks different. It also helps that White people forget/ignore racism too quickly and Black people overlook/forgive this kind of racism too easily. None of these actions are healthy for victims because they don’t lead to transformation or restoration. It’s ableism.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton have engaged in casual, coded, calculated racism. The kind of racism liberals pretend they don’t engage in. The kind liberals don’t remember. It’s the kind of racism also got us Donald J. Trump as a President. It’s the liberal kind of racism White folks often forget about. Just because lovers of the Clintons have forgotten about their liberal racism doesn’t mean we have.

That liberal racism stings the same way overt racism does. It’s why our enthusiasm is curbed when White people express interests in antiracism. They’re eager to start anew. Never eager to make amends for their pasts.

Just look at how most Black and White folks have forgotten about Hillary Clinton’s biased, outright racist super predator comment about young Black people. She had to be forced to apologize nearly 20-years later for that comment during her second Presidential run. The only reason she apologized was because she needed something from us, a vote. She was stubborn as fuck, didn’t even have the decency to apologize on her own. She never cared about the victims of her racism. We didn’t forget. I know I didn’t. I didn’t care about her then, don’t care about her now.

That’s why I didn’t want her as my President. Die mad about it! I don’t care. There is no difference between policy racism, casual racism, and killing racism. Racism has the same impact on Black folks no matter how White folks deliver it. Neither server of racism are sorry until they are forced to be sorry. Even then, the only reason they are sorry is because they need or want something. That apology is a transactional. We’ve been too generous with clean slates and forgiveness.

You don’t get to tell me when it’s okay to trust someone again. Just because you’ve moved on doesn’t mean I have to.

A lot of White Democrats also forgot when Bill Clinton acted extremely racistly towards then Senator Obama in South Carolina during Hillary’s 2008 Presidential bid. While the Clintons and Obama had a long, not-so-friendly relationship, things came to a head in 2007–2008. I lived in South Carolina at the time and let me tell you, Black people did not take kindly to the racial undertones and coded language coming from the Hillary Clinton 2008 Campaign, especially not from her husband, former leader of the free world, and the man many Black people had dubbed the first Black President before the real one came along. We remember. We always remember. While pouring rubbing alcohol in our wounds and gaslighting us, White people will be racist in the past, then insist they weren’t acting racistly. They’ll tell us what we witnessed was a myth or mistake just like Bill Clinton did.

They both showed us who they were. Most folks just refused to believe them.

Every recovering racist wants to deal with the now. Nobody wants to do the uncomfortable act of walking backwards to address the broken bones and dead bodies hidden in their old racist closets. Instead, Whiteness has acted like Tide Laundry Detergent for racists like the Clintons, washing their racist sins aways from their legacies. The Clintons have somehow been redeemed, their sins have disappeared. #ImNotWithHer

Obama never forgot how racist the Clintons were to him either. Their racism is likely the reason he’s volunteered so little on her behalf when she was running for President in 2016. The same kind of tolerance and forgetfulness is the main reason the Democratic Party struggles today with certain segments of Black and minority communities. Just like Obama, we Black folks didn’t forget the Clinton’s racist slights. We missed the party’s formal apology. Oh wait, there wasn’t one ever issued on behalf of their darling White feminist warrior princess. We did not forget the disrespect. We have not recovered from the stings and bruises left by the Clintons over the years, although it’s clear to us that White America has moved on because a White man’s legacy always comes before a Black man’s trauma.

We know. We already know you, White people. We know you better than you know yourselves. That’s why we hate giving you clean slates.

Most of White people aren’t really invested in antiracism the way the pretend they are, and just like Hillary and Bill Clinton have shown us, when all else fails, racism is the favorite tool of last resort for most White people. You all keep playing your race cards because they work for you every time. The disrespectful part of your little game is that after you play your cards, you play dumb, and White people will pretend your racist sins never occurred. Many of you are so eager to be seen as perfect, you’ll hurt someone and climb right over their bruised and dying bodies to move to your next position. #Vanity

That’s why I’m uncomfortable giving clean slates to most White people embarking on their antiracism journeys. I prefer to remember what White people can do to me so that when they sin again against me and my people, I’m neither surprised nor disappointed, but if you don’t, then all is well.

I get it. We all like to have our egos stroked or be acknowledged for our efforts and hard work. But with racism, I’m uncomfortable giving too many at-a-boys to White people. I feel uncomfortable because I know for every new recovering racist coming to the light, there are tens, hundreds, if not thousands of people who were harmed or injured by their racist actions or words. As a victim, I’ve dealt with the wreckage. It’s hard.

Here in America there is no restorative justice process for victims of racism, centered on victims of racism, created by/with victims of racism to deal with the effects of racism. There is no national process to repair, encounter, and transform people, relationships or communities.

Because victims of racism often get no justice, all they have are their emotions. That’s the only thing we can control and we don’t need anyone telling us how to feel, what to say or not to say, or how to react to our trauma.

Positivism Is Bad For Our Mental Health

White people and religious folk have this terrible love affair with positivism. Positivism basically overrules a person’s normal reaction in favor of a more controlled, tempered reaction to things that are ordinarily bad. Even God got angry and punished his children. God said be slow to anger, his word didn’t say never get angry. Black people have a right to be angry. We should be setting this country on fire. But we don’t set America on fire, because we are peaceful people trying to survive the terrible situations we’re always in.

People are terrible. Some of these racist motherfuckers are downright evil. Some of you are recovering racist Satans. Plenty of you have been so casual with your racist words and actions that harm you have no clue how much damage you’ve done. The people you’ve hurt being while you were busy being a racist shouldn’t be forced to adjust their feelings so you can be comfortable or feel good in your new antiracist skin. Asking people to think about and pray for their mortal enemies is fucking absurd. #CognitiveDissonance

Why should we victims give any thought to a group of people who get up every day with a goal to stop, injure or kill Black and Brown people, and why must we consider their health and well-being before our own? Positivism dismisses the feelings of victims and asks them to conform to emotions to make others comfortable. There was a time long ago when I would swallow my own feelings to keep the peace when I was younger, but not anymore. Life is too short to live someone else’s ethos.

Evil Is Evil, Why Respect It?

Respectability politics is evil. It forces us to be nice and kind to people who hate us. It sweeps racism and hate under rugs, erases entire groups of people, dismisses rightful, legitimate grievances, and silences people. Racism is evil. Anyone asking us to forgive people who were bred, born, and raised to hate and kill us can suck a bag of horse shit. It’s asking me to forget the pain and trauma of my ancestors and deny all the trauma and pain I’ve had to endure and live with all my life. Ignoring the trauma of racism is evil. Our emotions are one of the primary ways the body reacts to pain and trauma. Emotions are one of the few things we victims have control of after we’re injured.

If we haven’t worked through our trauma, you don’t have the right to come along and ask me to be positive because that’s your worldview while disregarding my suffering. We both have a right to express how we feel, but you don’t get to trump my feelings so that you can feel happy. Most White people don’t understand how racism works, so how in the hell am I supposed to trust their thoughts about my emotions?

Jews aren’t respecting Hitler or legacy Fascists. I’ve never heard of any Jewish Holocaust survivors being told to think or pray for Hitler or racist White men trying to kill them today. But White people feel quite comfortable asking Black folks to forgive their racism. Racists insist we get over a slavery they never apologized for. White people want us to forgive their racism. They expect all the unlimited chances to finally get antiracism right at the expense of the victims. We victims don’t get those types of breaks. The recovering antiracist and the racist are often one and the same working together for their good. Why should we give pats on the back to recovering racists when they often hurt us too?

With racism, it’s almost impossible to respect your present without examining your past, but that’s exactly what most antiracist White people expect victims to do. I see you. All of you.

Concern trolls telling us Black folks we need to pray for Trump because his hateful, evil White Supremacist ass got Rona can kick rocks and miss us with that BS. Fuck him. He has locked kids up in cages. He has hired the worst of the worst sociopaths to rape, abuse, mistreat, and neglect innocent people sinking asylum, peace, and a fresh start. That orange motherfucker has called up White militia men to hurt both White and Black people fighting for Black lives. Trump has stiffed hundreds of small businesses, forcing them to file for bankruptcies. He’s lied to us about Covid and insured we didn’t have the personal protective equipment necessary to survive this thing. Black women like myself get many threats online and in my personal email. We’ve had to deal with unprecedented racism and harassment by White men not seen or experienced since Jim Crow.

Why can’t I wish him not the best the world has to offer?

Trump has forced kids to go to back school knowing millions of them live in households with his non-masking wearing supporters, breathing and spitting the Corona virus like dragons in movies. The man has refused to create a national plan to address COVID-19, which could have saved our national economy. He’s been disrespectful to Black people, calling for the deaths of 5 innocent Black men in New York. He has an unhealthy obsession with hating the first Black President. Trump stirred the Tea Party pot and created a new movement where White upper-middle-class young men and women march around bitching about Jews will not replace them despite the asshole being the largest, most dominant group in America. He’s likely made people homeless and impoverished millions. He’s a White man’s conman who made life for the rest of us harder every day he’s been President. Trump has shielded and protected corrupt public servants with our tax dollars and used our military and police against us as if we were enemies of the state.

Fuck him. He doesn’t deserve a thought, prayer, sympathy, grace or an ounce of respect from his victims. Fuck. Him. He’s irredeemable guttersnipe. My freedom to express my feelings as a victim of racism shouldn’t be trumped by anyone’s religions, positivism, etc.

How dare anyone insist we victims be quiet about our feelings if we have nothing good to say, especially if you have no skin in the game? How dare anyone suggest to us it’s ungodly to feel that way, as if the same God wasn’t watching him do all the dirty shit to us? How dare anyone ask us to be kind to people who are never kind to us? How dare someone tell us we need to consider the well-being of a man and his evil family when they have every intention of killing us? How dare they do that to us?

Our trauma is real, and our trauma is daily. I have no intention of sweeping my trauma under the rug to make White people feel good or to help you feel good about your faith. That’s wrong. Ya’ll are dead wrong. What you positive vibe police should do is listening to someone expressing such sentiments and

Speaking of our traumas is a normal response that we all should normalize. We also should stop putting time limits on our suffering and concern trolling victims for our own comfort. You may mean well, but it’s really inconsiderate. Concern trolling harms the mental health of those you think you’re concerned about. We’re repressed enough in America already. Even if you believe positivity is the answer for everything life throws at us, understand nothing is perfect. No one is perfect. Life ain’t perfect. We can’t just walking around seeing the bright side and being optimistic about every situation. Some things in life are just bad, and some people are just bad.

Stop trying to bring dead apples back to life.

Asking peaceful people to respect the disrespectful racists is asking for victims to be disrespected more. Evil doesn’t respect kindness. Kindness is seen by evil people as weakness. Racism works the same way. Racism is evil.

There is no respect intended when someone White closes the door in my face on purpose, when a White women intentionally obstructs my way in a grocery aisle exercising her White right to be evil, when a White person denies me an opportunity because of my Black name, or when someone provides me with wrong information that impedes me from attaining my goal (s).

There is no respect intended when someone calls me a nigger or offers to buy me a one-way ticket back to Africa. There is no respect intended when someone White disrespects me in the comment sections on my essays on behalf of White Supremacy. There is no respect intended when someone buys a gun for the sole purpose of killing one of my sons or training in a militia to be ready for a civil war to take back their America, the one their ancestors stole from America’s indigenous people. There is no respect intended for victims of casual racism. The entire purpose of racism is to be disrespectful, to harm, and to injure.

So why should I spend my time respecting and forgiving racists? They knew what they were doing when they did it, and they got a rush from it? Why should I forget about what White Supremacists have done to me, done to Black people collectively, or what they did to the world geographically? Why should I forgive them, especially when there is literally nothing in it for me?

Is a person’s new antiracism walk more important than my healing?

Normalize Centering Victims of Racism First

My mother was a victim of racism. My paternal grandmother, great-grandma, and my dad were victims of racism. I’m a victim of racism and so is every Black friend I have. I’m not asking them to forgive the people who left scars that they can remember well into their 90s. My sons are victims of racism all the time. It makes them victims while at work, in the store, while jogging in their neighborhoods, while in college, riding in their cars alone and with Black friends. I’m asking no one in my family to forgive or trust their trespassers. That’s not my place. My six-year-old grandson has been a victim of racism at school. I’m never invalidating his experiences because I believe he should love everyone. Fuck the high road. Sometimes racists don’t fear or respect you until you kick their asses. My grandson told me he wasn’t ready to forgive the White boy in his class who called him a nigger in Carolina. I hugged him and said it was okay; he didn’t have to get over it right then. Those are his feelings. They are healthy and they matter. I want to normalize him expressing his emotions. He should normalize not getting over it because it’s going to happen again.

White people are always attempting to control how we respond to racism and the bad among them. Sadly, many Black people have joined the bandwagon when they ask us to forgive or not speak unfavorably about people who hate us.

It started with White people teaching slaves the bible with much of the Old Testament removed to keep slaves from getting angry and rebelling. The bible teaches a lot of things, people just like to cherry pick certain parts to suit their own personal agendas. White people created special slave bibles just to control our anger, to force us to forgive them when they injure and kill us, and to reinforce that slavery is okay to keep Blacks in bondage. We know better now, but many of us continue using the same old slavery tactics to control Black feelings.

I’m mad. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m burdened. Anyone actively trying to harm me intentionally or unintentionally is my enemy. When I get older and a little softer, perhaps I’ll forgive more, but my forgiveness will be all about me, not my enemies.

Fuck Trump and all the racist, hateful shit in White people he incited. He’s made the lives of Blacks, Afro and Black Caribbeans, and Mexicans and South Americans living in this shithole country much worse. I don’t wish him good vibes, I’m not sending him any thoughts, and I have no one prayer for him. He’s been trying to kill us before we took off, causing us undue stress and breaking the peace every single day he’s been in office. I don’t forgive him. I have no plans on forgiving him. I wish I could forget him, but sadly he’s indoctrinated mini Stalins and Musolinis who will happily take his place once he’s gone on to where ever evil asses go to die. We’re preparing for the Whitelash.

Those new to your antiracism journeys need to understand you’ve harmed people, and you’ll never know all the people you’ve injured while being racist. You don’t get to ask for a blanks slate after leaving our bodies bruised, our minds battered, and our hearts broken. We victims of racism don’t owe you anything. Nothing at all.

For those of you who insist we be nice to those who offend us, go to church or back to whatever place you were taught that turning the other cheek just to be slapped on the other one. Let them know Black people don’t have anymore cheeks to slap or asses to kick. A lot of us are done forgiving. We’re fresh out of empathy too.

We should be free to show our disdain for leaders or anyone who tries to harm us. They do it in other countries. An Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at then President George W. Bush and called him a dog at a press conference back in 2008 as a parting gift for fucking up their country. White people do not understand the trauma they’ve caused us. Letting people know how we really feel is often the only recourse we have. Acceptance of racism doesn’t mean everything is okay. It just means we victims accept the things we can’t change, racism and racist White people. Our traumas are manifesting themselves through our emotions in different ways.

To Black people, I want us to normalize being angry. Normalize hating people. Normalize protecting yourselves. Normalizing not forgetting. Normalize verbally expressing your angst, anger, and joy when nature does what you cannot. Find joy when the universe gives back to others what they have given unto us. It’s okay.

Sometimes forgiving racists only transforms one person, and that’s the perpetrator. Antiracism for many White people is like finding a new religion. They treat it like a guide to teach them how to live the moment they find it. It doesn’t work on your past. Most religions teach past sins are washed away and converts get clean slates. That’s an easy out for racists. There is no remedy for victims, and that ain’t right. I’m not God or Jesus. I don’t give clean slates. If you’re a recovering antiracist, you’ve harmed someone, and those people don’t get closure. All we victims have are our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Let us express those in peace, please and thank you, even if you disagree with them.

For some of us, that’s our justice.

We all have the right to express our legitimate anger and hurt regarding racism as long as they aren’t physically or emotionally injuring anyone anyone else. If it’s not your business, stay out of it. If it’s not your battle, excuse yourself from it.

If you’re a concern troll or a tone police, stop standing up for the perpetrators. Speak up for victims. Stand with victims of racism or get runover by them. We have no more patience, forgiveness, or sympathy to extend to folks who want to kill us. If you’re a recovering racist, trust me, you’ve hurt people in ways you’ll never know. You’re an advocate who was once a perpetrator. Sit with that fact and come down off your high horse.

Normalize hating the evil called racism committed by White instead of giving it a pat on the head like it’s a class pet. Maybe we could get rid of it. Normalize not having empathy for those who commit evils against us. If you did, they wouldn’t be so comfortable and slick continuing to commit those evils. Racism is lucrative. Racism is a currency. That’s why so many people engage in it. Normalize having no sympathy for racists. They damned sure don’t have a bit of sympathy for us when they are plotting our downfalls and demises.

Lastly, normalize minding your own as victims of racism experience the grief associated with effects of racist actions. Each act of racism brings us an unimaginable grief and sometimes loss. It’s not your place to tell me or anyone else when I should be over any act. All victims of racism experience the twelve phases of grief because racism takes something away from us. It’s a loss we experience many times throughout our lives. Sometimes we Black folks are stuck between depression and acceptance for years, hell decades. Our animosity is righteous. We’re stuck because barely a day goes by without us experiencing racism as primary, secondary, or tertiary victim.

Forgiving White people so they can shine and feel good about themselves shouldn’t be an additional burden we are forced to carry. So stop looking for accolades, at-a-boys, and clean slates for being a decent human being and not being racist. It’s centering perpetrators of crimes against our humanity instead of the victims, and there is no restoration for victims or transformation in doing that.

Marley K in Quarantine 2020