Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020
All of our authorities and public institutions do not lead with empathy. They inform by assumptions based on the institutional narratives about constituencies, they call it assessment, but it’s not.
They are predetermined reductions of people through characterizations rooted in white colonialist narratives, like:
“Black = Criminal,”
“Indigenous = Savage,”
“LGBT2Q+ = Deviant,”
and “Poor = Lazy.”
When we think about our learnings, you can see the colonial imprinting of these assumptions. Then, you tell yourself, “I am not a racist/homophobe/classist, I have friends who are X, Y & Z.” Then you’re still lying, also not digging enough, because there are so many layers to the way we interact day-to-day, and in each of those interactions live the learnings and experiences we have accumulated. Meaning we inform our engagements based on reflexes we have constructed through learnings and experiences. Our interactions get polluted by imprinted colonial racism, homophobia and classism. We have all been exposed to it our entire lives. Through all of the same vehicles as I listed before, in our schools and communities.
We’ve watched movies and TV shows about it, we’ve bought albums by artists who are communicating about it. What the fuck did you think Rage Against the Machine was singing about? You watched the shitty movie Crash and saw it’s white-lensed PowerPoint depth presentation on race relations and nodded in agreement. You watched the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and saw episodes about systemic racism. You saw Disney’s Pocahontas and thought it was a cute story, awe, sweet. Or Dances with Wolves, which is about a white (saviour) guy who befriends wolves and Native peoples, and gets subjected to a small fraction of the racism that Indigenous peoples experienced for generations, by his military. We watched films about slavery, genocide and hate crimes by heterosexual white men for ages.
So, let’s do ourselves a fucking favour and not pretend that we don’t think there’s a fucking problem.