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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The comfort privilege whites have ... when telling Black people how to fight whites...

Tonite we were at a progressive church in a very small town, although it appears to be the largest town we've been in since leaving Madison. I have found a place to park my truck in front of the church and on the busiest main street in town, so she's getting lots of small town visibility! Yeah!!!

Our dinner has been provided for us by the local activists, and about 10 or have joined us, swelling the number of white people to about 25 now, with still just two brown people and no Black people.

At the end of the presentation, a white womon approached me, very anxious to ask me a question about Black Womyn’s Lives Matter. She wanted to know why those Black womyn are not interrupting other presidential candidates besides Bernie Sanders.

I got the distinct impression she didn't listen to any of my presentation but just was so thrilled I was here bringing up the subject of BWLM, and she was bursting to tell me exactly what 'they' should be doing.

She proceeded to declare that she thinks that Black womyn and men should be going to presidential candidate gatherings of republicans and democrats to challenge them instead of harassing Bernie, our very best (i.e. white and male) candidate for president.

I marveled once again, at the ease with which white people think they can tell Black people what to do and how to do it, when Black people are attempting to eliminate or at least hold whites accountable for our racism.

I point blank told this womon that I do not think it is the place of white people to tell Black people how to fight us and our racism. She was surprised but did not get defensive, instead she said she hadn’t thought about it in that way, then she actually agreed and promised to think more carefully.

I asked her if she had approached Sanders or any other presidential candidates raising the issues that these womyn had raised with him? Of course she, a little sheepishly, shook her head ‘no’. And why hadn’t she? She understood that she was content with Sanders’ platform of restoring the middle class, and hadn’t even considered Black people might want something else, but had also waited for a Black person, once again, to challenge our racism.

I also pointed out how poorly – well actually how male and whitely – Sanders responded and how white people can learn by his example how not to react in a racist way. I asked her if she had any ideas of how he could have responded in an anti-racist way.

We agreed that his platform could and should have included addressing the issues of police brutality, poverty, racism that these Black Lives Matter womyn were bringing up. He could and should have deeply thanked them, acknowledged what they were saying and his privilege (i.e. racism), and made a public commitment right then and there to prioritize abolishing racism, while making this an integral and central part of his platform.

I asked her if she saw her willingness to tell Black womyn what to do as part of white privilege? She nodded and thanked me again for showing her how to be a better anti-racist.