This telling other PoC that hashtags and social media actions like #BrownandProud or #AsianInvasion are anti-black bothers me. I’ve seen folks calling these events co-opting, but I am wondering how broadening the narrative and base to dismantle white supremacy co-opts black struggle less other PoC are using black people’s labor. Our struggles manifest in different, however, and this is crucial, just as sinister ways. I haven’t supported folks using [insertgroup]livematter because that uses phrasing that was made distinctively for black people by black people, but replicating a tactic like using social media for visibility is hardly co-opting. And it’s not even a new tactic, it’s just gained popularity with newly strategized deployment. As I see it, the only way to consider it co-opting is if a person is concerned solely with their own people’s liberation, or if they expect their liberation to take precedence over another oppressed group’s struggle. And if either of those are the case, shit, we got a hard road ahead.
But this has been indicative of a larger trend. I have also seen black people and so-called allies equating disagreement over this and other issues to anti-blackness, which in the current sociopolitical climate is an extremely effective mechanism to shutdown difficult discussions. It assumes that at all times other PoC should defer to black leadership about issues which effect brown and indigenous communities too, no matter how problematic that leadership can sometimes be. I have seen this on the ground in the movement, not just in social media, and non-black PoC are so scared to be equated as being as bad as white supremacists that they’re shamed into silence. There’s this assumption that non-black PoC gain power with closer proximity to whiteness, yet this assumption denies that non-black PoC simply CANNOT become white, and therefore will remain Otherized until white supremacy is dismantled. It also assumes non-black PoC all want incorporation into instead of liberation from white power structures, which is downright untrue.
There’s just a lot of shit going on and I keep seeing this expectation that non-black PoC should defer judgement when, for example, the narrative around police terror being popularized centers around black men (and to a far lesser degree black women) when other folks, Native Americans, trans and disabled people, and brown Latinos are impacted significantly, and in some cases to a degree we haven’t begun to fully document (such as how many non-American brown Latinos are being killed on the border or as undocumented farm laborers). This expectation asks us non-black PoC to center dismantling anti-blackness at the direct expense of being concerned with our own liberation too. Seems to me this thinking somehow suggests that if we all just focus on dismantling anti-blackness, then white supremacy as a global system will crumble – and I think that’s just folly. i plan to flesh this out A LOT more in the near future, but this is a staring point. in time I hope to see more recognition of each others’ struggles, and without the assumption that with momentary windows into each others’ lives we can assume one or the other has it worse.