I've been thinking a lot about POC disagreeing with each other about politics and organizing and tactics and strategy. Especially Black people disagreeing with each other, but also Black people and NBPOC disagreeing with each other. And white people "caught in the middle."
1. I think people working in a North American context, especially the US, are prone to a kind of puritanism, and that puritanism transcends political boundaries. People across the political spectrum can be puritanical.
2. White people like to use the ole "I have a POC friend and they said a different thing from you, other POC, so now I'm confused and I think I just have to be silent." White people, you can't actually use someone's race as a replacement for your own critical thinking, LOL.
First of all, "people of color" is an umbrella term, not a shared identity group. It's a political identity. Second of all, even within one racial identity group, THERE IS NO MONOLITH. Think there is a monolith is extremely racist. Like, extremely.
Second of all, you *should* listen carefully to what POC say to you, if you are a white person. You should assume that if you are resistant to what they are saying, your resistance may be rooted in racism and you need to check in on that. BUT
Sometimes POC are completely full of shit. Extreme examples include Clarence Thomas and Condoleeza Rice. Less extreme and more difficult examples are opportunists who claim to be seeking race justice but are just trying to make money or build a platform for themselves.
So as a white person you need to be analyzing the power dynamics in the situation. Here's an unpleasant example: if a Latino (cis man) professor is telling you to blackball a Black woman who is junior to him, you should have a lot *detailed* of questions.
Another example: a Latina is telling you that a Black woman tends to have a bad tone, and you shouldn't talk to her. You should be analyzing the power dynamics at work in the situation: tone is a red flag for anti-Blackness.
Another example: a Black American person is telling you that an Hmong immigrant doesn't "deserve" to be in the United States and you should check their documentation status. Power dynamics: a US citizen threatening someone's right to live in what is likely their home.
So, white person, you can't just pick the POC that you think has a better tone. (That's probably racist.) And you can't just pick the POC that you happen to know. (Your acquaintance may be full of shit.) You have to actually have an analysis.
3. Black people: sometimes it is VERY tempting to use the levers of white supremacy against Black people who piss us the fuck off. It is tempting to run tell dat to some white folks or other NBPOC in positions of power in order to hurt someone who you don't like. DO NOT.
I'm not saying snitches get stitches. I'm just saying that saying exists for a reason lol. But seriously, you cannot claim to be combatting white supremacy while turning on the force of white supremacist structures to "get people out of the way." That's not how any of this works.
Last year I had a couple of Black women spread some ugly lies about me -- like straight up lies -- and they sure enough had no qualms about repeating them to white people who are in positions of power and it was TEMPTING to do some damage in response. But that ain't it, y'all.
I'm not arguing that we can never tell white people that other POC are problematic. Like let me put this in all caps: DEAR WHITE PEOPLE CLARENCE THOMAS IS EXTREMELY PROBLEMATIC, AND THAT WOMAN WHO WAS USED AS A PROP YESTERDAY IS TOO!!
But I do think that as we think about our dirty laundry and where we air it, we need to think about who we are airing it to and why. And we need to be honest with ourselves about whether we are doing it for the right reasons/to advance the cause or just because it gains us power.
4. Black people are allowed to disagree about whether they think Afro-Pessimism is the best framework for analyzing Black pasts and the potential for Black futures.

<ducks>
5. Non-Black POC are often anti-Black and they should really be having this conversation with themselves pretty much every time they decide to get into it with a Black person. They might still be right about whatever it is, but they should be calibrating accordingly.
fin.

<waits for someone to freak out about the Afro-Pessimism tweet>
addendum: the white ppl in this thread are the ones who are actually trying. the thread does not acknowledge the others, except insofar as they are sometimes the ones most likely to take advantage of POC being in disagreement with each other POC need to not run tell dat to them!
if a white person is milking you for gossip about a fellow POC: be hella suspicious. The leader of one of my professional societies did this to me once, with someone I had serious issues with. I sat there and stared and then disagreed. I did not participate. It was awkward.
If a POC doesn't want to hear your views about race, don't force that POC to listen to you
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