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I think one of the things we really have to take stock of in this moment is that we work with, are acquainted with, live next door to people who think humanity only becomes relevant when it directly touches in something about them or what they deem important...
When people talk about noticing the importance of the deafening silence of some in this moment, with this injustice, they are talking also about finally recognising the real value you put in my life in this beautiful skin...
And we’re going to have to honest that do many of the liberal Whiteness that takes place in this country is lip-service and performative. We will have to be honest some very liberal creative people secretly think ‘there’s too much talk about race’...
And most of the time these ‘subversive’ feelings which they really learn to hide or keep amongst the circles ( of only White people), stem from the frustration of not being able to dominate the dialogue. Not being able to throw their weight around in the way they’re used to...
Being dominant in absolutely EVERY conversation about EVERYTHING is why you do nothing to really challenge the centuries of structural and systematic racism that continues to dominate our world in the in most visible, invisible, big and small ways in a WHOLE 2020...
There are many reasons why people stay silent - social media is a toxic place most days - but WE KNOW sons of you are staying silent because just as long as to stick to talking about supposedly ‘White issues’ like class and political systems you can stay being a dominant voice...
And you choose to lie to yourself everyday is that none of it is connected. IT IS ALL CONNECTED. And whether you want to hear my voice speaking on things or not, be very clear - MY VOICE MATTERS. It matters to those willing to do the listening required. It matters to this world.
Your silence matters too. We see it. It confirms which side of history you choose to be on. And domination of your voice in all things class, sexuality, politics and even the arts will be keep being challenged because it is resulting in harm. Real physical harm. Real mental harm.
So I’m going to focus on the listeners. The words in action people. The friends who call to check in. The cultures and structures that allow for listening, the buildings who are making sure listening is a part of their bricks and mortar. THAT’S WHAT MATTERS...❤️
And honestly liberal arts scene you talk about doing the work, but it’s always outside of yourself. DO THE INNER WORK. Root out your friends, families and peers that quietly hold onto this thinking. Tell them we have to progress from hate and violence however nicely they do it.
We are an industry that almost always assumes if you call yourself ‘creative’ or ‘artist’ that automatically makes you a ‘good’ person. Humans don’t work like that. LIFE DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT. The supposedly ‘good’ people have been destroying our industry and lives for years...
DO THE INNER WORK. Ask yourself the difficult questions. Is that Black woman actually an aggressor or do I feel it that way because I don’t want my beliefs, these structures that hold me up so well, to be questioned? Imagine that thought running through your head...
This week has broken hearts and spirits of most Black people. But we will rise. Be in no doubt about that. But when you go over to your record collection, or open Spotify, and choose that fave song by that fave Black artist, ask yourself would they have been alive to make it...
If we all kept silent. Would your silence have effected the change needed for their art to prosper? STOP PICKING AND CHOOSING WHICH BITS OF BLACKNESS YOU LIKE. WE ARE WHOLE PEOPLES!! Your consumption of Blackness does not come without consequences.
So I send the week waking up everyday shedding tears. Then I say focus Chino...focus Igbo woman...focus...”The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction” (Toni Morrison). Focus. Listen. Love.
And ultimately that’s why I have never felt prouder of Black people. We keep giving when the world shows us nothing but hate. We keep rising when the world does everything to submerge us. But life is not just for surviving. It’s meant to be for living. LEAVE US TO JUST LIVE.
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