‘Like Picking Shrapnel Out of a Wound With Tweezers’
If you’ve ever had a kid, you know what its like to bath them or get them to use the potty when they don’t want to. It can be like herding bubbles – it ain’t easy. Getting people to deal with Racism/White Supremacy is the same way. I often feel like a parent in dealing with “well meaning white people.” The assumption is that they’re on top of their racism, they KNOW so they ain’t got to sit still and listen to yo’ black ass. “Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
They are like children with glass or shrapnel peppering their gaping wound; the lil’ kid is DONE before you’ve begun to extract the first piece. You try to tell them that we haven’t even started yet and they’re like, ‘ALL DONE, DADDY, ALL DONE!’
You try to tell the kid that it will hurt worse if you leave the toxic metal in; you’re aware that some pieces press on vital organs – the heart, soul, the white person’s own humanity. But those words don’t register. You’re only a ‘nigga knower,’ a ‘sambo seer.’ They ain’t gots to listen to YOU. You’ve seen this white person a million fucking times before – so fucking what?! There is where the tweezers meet the wound.
“You’re hurting me,” “you’re doing it wrong!” “NIGGA, you ARE wrong!!”
No, the shrapnel is so deeply ingrained that pain is an unfortunate byproduct of removing it, AND it’s necessary to feel it just the same. I am not hurting you, the process of letting go of your racism is hurting you. The process of letting go of your assumptions about your intelligence and superiority vis a vis a nigga is painful.
Helping take out these shards of racist shrapnel that separate your white self from your humanity is the dark hallway that you have to walk through in order to heal. It is actually helping you.
And oh, by the way: removing racism, like cleaning metal fragments out of flesh is not science; it is a tedious, bloody, gooey, nasty, funky, path-less process. There is NO technique that gets you there. Only rigorous honesty and massive amounts of internal fortitude and persistence get you there, in my opinion.
What ya need to do is let niggas help you help US – not using your tired-ass, hyper technical, white,de-natured, new agey way – but OUR messy, niggerish, random, Fo’ REAL way!
Denzel in Training Day: “…No, you didn’t hear me, you listening but you didn’t hear me!”