People often either over-idealize or reject as a “bad” song the lyrics to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” but the concept serves a useful purpose.
Imagine a United States where the public and political leadership took seriously Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protests against the racially inequitable policing and justice system in the US.
Imagine white America taking action because they listened, believed, and truly wanted an equitable and just country.
Imagine the many Black lives that would be with us today, alive and mostly anonymous in those lives.
Imagine no marches, no protests or signs emblazoned with “George Floyd” or “Black Lives Matter.”
But, instead, white America attacked Kaepernick, retreated into their comfortable white denial.
But, instead, white America today points accusatory fingers at “riots” and laments the loss of property, proving that for many whites, Black lives in fact do not matter.
White America created this, and only white America can end it.
Imagine a country where the police protect and serve.
To make that real, white America must admit that the police protect and serve white interests at the expense of those lives that do not matter.
If you suffer white denial, if you are fretting over the protests and not the blue knee that took George Floyd’s Black life, I am providing a reader below.
But this is not a place for your white denial or white arguments.
“There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now,” James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name (“Faulkner and Desegregation”)
James Baldwin: “the time is always now”
False Equivalence in Black and White
James Baldwin: “It’s a trauma because it’s such a traumatized society”
Understanding Racism as Systemic and about Power
All Lives Matter as a response to #BlackLivesMatter is offensive because…
James Baldwin’s “They Can’t Turn Back” (1960): “On such small signs and symbols does the southern cabala depend”
The “White Gaze” and the Arrogance of Good Intentions
This Is U.S.: “To be a Negro in this country…”
“The Other America,” Martin Luther King Jr. 14 March 1968
“Every white person in this country…knows one thing,” James Baldwin (1979)