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Yesha Says

@yeshasays / yeshasays.tumblr.com

they/he. White (as an fyi for my sometimes bad takes). Writer. Chronically ill. Perpetually angry. Secretly a bunny. Main for @ikesenhell. Header by @captainmotonari

A New Year.

I wanna thank all the people who supported me through this year. I’ll name everyone I can think of at this moment, but it certainly isn’t limited to this list!

@xonxkolee​

Love y’all 

-

It’s been a hard year but I’m grateful for all of you who have been there for me. Moving forward, I’m going to focus more on my happiness and general well-being as a Black woman :)

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♡♡ proud of you

This seems like unnecessarily starting shit. Dude you don't own colours, you even said that yourself. It just seems like he's jealous that James Charles is doing well.

Wow yeah Ethan is definitely just trying to start shit

This is mandatory. Read this, or unfollow.

Someone came to me privately asking about spreading BLM content. Either on 1 platform or all platforms. I think this is important for all of you to know.

I think the worst, WORST, thing a non-Black person can do is learn to rationalize their laziness. No…the most DANGEROUS THING actually. I’ve said this before, but I’d rather a fucking asshole tell me that they won’t post about BLM because they support cops or whatever bs, than that “friendly” white girl who makes excuses why she can’t support Black lives.

YOU

ARE

FUCKING

LAZY.

OWN IT.

Does looking at Black people being murdered get you a lil’ bit down? Imagine seeing yourself in those videos.

Do you want to keep with your theme and do some other bs somewhere else?

Guess what? I’m Black everywhere, all the time.

Every, EVERY, excuse is dripping with privilege and artificiality.

If someone says that they’re “doing the work” and they don’t have proof….don’t fucking have faith in that. I’ve talked to so many “friends” who say they are “researching” when I know for a fact they aren’t. How many of you reblogged my “How to be an ally” post and ACTUALLY have been working your way through it? If your friend isn’t using EVERY platform they have to help stop the ignorance that is KILLING people, 

call them out or cut them out.

I BET you wouldn’t be hesitant if this were about lgbtqa+ issues.

Let me make this crystallll clear. If a non-Black person (yeah not just white) isn’t posting about BLM everywhere they can, isn’t supporting BLM every way they can, isn’t educating themselves every way they can, while saying “#Black lives matter”….THEY ARE NOT AN ALLY. You do NOT get point for being a good person when you say the fact: Black. Lives. Matter. Yes, now SHOW ME YOU BELIEVE THAT. For god sakes, stop rationalizing your friend’s laziness!!!! Or your own!!!

But if you hear someone say anything but “I disagree with the BLM movement” when answering why they aren’t posting/educating themselves. They are fake. If you say that, YOU ARE FAKE.

I don’t want you following me, or sucking up my energy if you aren’t actually going to make an effort to be a better person and support Black lives. Again, unfollow if you aren’t going to use the resources I provide.

This isn’t a safe haven for performative bitches. Go on some other blog where they post every once and awhile about BLM to remind you, because you have to be reminded, of the people being murdered in the street.

I bet they expect the lowest form of action from you there…a reblog.

And you loveee that. Don’t you? You get to pack Black pain away and pull it out when you reblog or repost something about BLM, then go lay on your couch, on your ass, watching a reality show instead of any of the other movies/tv shows I listed as resources.

No, not here. Not in my corner. You either own up to your fucking privilege, educate yourself, and spread the message far and wide, or you stop fucking USING ME to make you feel better about your ignorance.

WORDS ARE HOLLOW. ACTIONS MATTER.

Click here and start. You have the time, don’t pretend like you don’t. 

How to be less racist

Im exhausted from blocking u and sending ur dumbass posts to my friends to talk shit so here’s a tutorial on how not to be a demon. ur welcome white devil

broke: speaking for us

woke: boosting our voices

broke: #im white tag

woke: putting that you’re white in your about page where we can always see it instead of tagging the bi monthly post you rb about racism with this

broke: uwu please let me know if i do something racist

woke: taking responsibility for yourself, monitoring your own actions, being receptive of criticism even if it’s not delivered to you in a nice way

broke: distancing yourself from your whiteness by making white people jokes and talking mad shit abt other white people

woke: understanding that you are not somehow less white than other white people bc you aren’t a cishet able bodied nt man

broke: getting mad when we make jokes abt hating white people

woke: understanding that you don’t get to monitor how we express our anger abt the trauma we’ve experienced at white people’s hands

broke: arguing with us about what is or isn’t racism

woke: understanding that you have never actually experienced racism, staying in your lane, actually listening to us

broke: making racism abt you and your feelings

woke: understanding your experiences with and perspective on racism are dumb and don’t matter, focusing on people of color instead

broke: constantly asking your friends of color to roast people for you

woke: not dragging us into all your messes, handling your own beef, understanding we’re probably tired of ur shit, learning to roast people yourself

broke: reblogging posts abt racism with #let me know if this is ok to rb

woke: not rbing posts if you think rbing it would be overstepping boundaries, contacting op to ask if you can rb their post, developing critical thinking skills

broke: “yeah i dont do this” or “omg i didnt realize that was Bad and i was actively hurting people by doing it” on posts abt racism

woke: reading and comprehending them, reblogging them silently and without commentary, not trying to get brownie points at all times

broke: answering asks from other white demons consoling you after you get called out for racism

woke: blocking those racist bitches, not feeding into the idea that any poc who calls you out is a monster, acknowledging that you fucked up, apologizing, not doing whatever you did again

broke: thanking me for teaching you how to treat poc like people

woke: realizing you should be embarrassed i had to tell you this shit”

(I updated the “How to be an ally” link)

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el-waylly
When Adrian Brandon starts to color a portrait, he sets a timer. For his rendering of Breonna Taylor, the clock is set to 26 minutes—for George Floyd, 46 minutes, for Tony McDade, 38, and for Aiyana Stanley Jones, just seven. “When the alarm sounds, I am hit with a wave of emotions ranging from anger, to deep sadness, to hopelessness, to feeling lucky that I am still here,” he says.
The Brooklyn-based artist is working on Stolen, a series of partially filled-in depictions of Black people murdered by police. Each portrait remains incomplete as Brandon only colors one minute for each year of the subject’s life that was cut short. “Aside from being able to give the viewer a visual of the various ages affected by police violence, the timer creates a lot of anxiety for me as the artist,” he says, wondering, “’When is the timer going off?’ ‘Will I be able to finish this eye?’ ‘Damn, I haven’t even gotten to the lips yet.’” In a note to Colossal, Brandon expanded on the project:
Although this anxiety may seem minor in that the consequences for me are very low, it does really have an effect on me. Anxiety is a feeling that black people are far too familiar with, and to experience that feeling while illustrating these portraits allows each piece to feel like a performance. A lot of Black people are forced to live with this anxiety and accept it as part of our every day. But these feelings build up and are exhausting. I shouldn’t have to do a prayer every time I see police pursuing a Black person in the streets. I shouldn’t feel anxious when the police are talking to a person of color. I shouldn’t feel so damn anxious that I remove my hat and jewelry when the cops pull me over. I shouldn’t feel so anxious that I would second guess calling the police if I ever needed to. This series is pulling me in, in ways that art has never done.
Brandon has been sharing deeper insights behind the portraits, in addition to timelapse videos, on Instagram.

I Need Your Help. Yes You.

Today, I talked with an incarcerated man named Shan Carter. He is on death row in North Carolina. He needs your help to share his story. He wasn’t given a fair trial and he has proof that he is innocent. His legal representation is ignoring him. His case is filled with so much corruption. This is serious, you guys. 

Here’s a statement from Shan’s Sister, Tina:

“Shan Carter’s family and friends love and miss him. We will never stop fighting to prove his innocence and until justice is served. I’m not just saying my brother is innocent just because he said so, I’m saying he is innocent and wrongly convicted because there is documentation and DNA test to prove he is innocent. All Shan and his family wants is justice to be served and to prove the corruption in his case so that no one will have to go through what he is because of the corruption in the system. Thank you to all that support him!”

Shan Carter Matters. He deserves a fair trial. He deserves justice. 

Please please please help him!

Main thing here is they seemed to have convicted him based one person’s testimony who wasn’t even present for the crime

Exactly, and was proven to be an unreliable witness.

The Angry Black Woman

Black Woman Stereotypes 2 / 4

[ These are just some thoughts I have in my head about this topic, it isn’t meant to be a purely academic discussion. It’s meant to be a conversation to learn about another perspective. ]  

-

The angry Black Woman stereotype is very interesting to me. I feel like that everyone except Black Women consciously or subconsciously apply the stereotype to Black Women. I don’t mean that as an insult, I’ve just noticed it. I’ve been called “an angry Black Woman” in my English class where I experienced the most racism so I’ve explicitly experienced this one.

I will go talk about three groups I’ve noticed take part in applying this stereotype.

1. Black Men

After I watched American Son, a movie/play based on a Black Woman searching for her son who was stopped by cops, I went on Youtube to see how other Black people reacted to the movie/play. I came across multiple videos of Black Men talking about how the Mother was acting “Crazy” and “Hysterical”. 

Ummmm this Woman was looking for her BLACK son who was stopped by the COPS in his CAR late at NIGHT and has been MISSING for hours?

SHE IS ALLOWED TO EXPRESS HER FRUSTRATION???

So this is just one example of how, even in the Black community, Black Women are seen as too sensitive or hysterical because we express ourselves just as much as Black/White Men. 

2. White Women/White Friends/ White People

White Women specifically and White people generally seem to be intimidated by Black Women expressing themselves. It’s shocking to them. I’ve heard many White Women/people in my life say,

“Why don’t you cool off?” “Don’t let it get to you.” “Don’t worry about it.” “Take a breath.”

Mind you, I never scream at anyone. All I do is calmly say “What the fuck” at someone acting like an idiot lol. I do understand it comes from a good place sometimes, but ultimately it just seems like they’re trying to “handle” me. Because I’m so damn angry. When I’m not. 

3. People I Confront For Being Stupid

On here, I’ve dealt with idiots. If the 100th person reblogs my petition post and says,

“dOn’T dOnAtE tO cHaNgE.oRg” 

or

If someone says,

“sO i’M nOt AlLoWeD tO eXpReSs My OpInIoN?”

I will message them. 

 I am straight up. I will say: 

“So you’re making this about you? The OPPRESSED WHITE WOMAN? AHHHHHHH WAAAA” lol

 or 

“Wow, you didn’t even read my post before reblogging?”

I use humor. But my God does it trigger these people!

 If I’m right I will explain why in depth but if I can tell you didn’t even read/consider the info and are just complaining, yeah I’ll poke fun at you. Because you’re acting stupid. If you make valid points, I’ll discuss it with you. And I have done this with multiple people privately and resolved multiple posts. I even got a friend out of it, @yeshasays​ .

Does my tone come off as passive aggressive or aggressive? Well, I sure damn hope so, because I’m TIRED of y’all’s bullshit. My first week doing this I was nicer, no, actually I was protecting White people’s feelings. But now, I’m just being completely transparent. 

I’m telling you all of this because usually when I say, “I’m done” or “Bye”,  the person being an ass will be like,

“Wow it was just a question…”

Or 

“Glad we had a civilized talk….”

These people see me as screaming at them when really, I’m excited I get to find a Nicki Minaj gif to react to this convo. But those phrases above, just prove that people read into Black “anger”/Black Women’s “anger” soooo much. They’ll think I’m having a breakdown when I’m laughing at them.

I’m laughing at them. I don’t give a shit. I’m past the point of crying about it or being angry. I don’t feel anything. And yes that’s a warning sign, but right now that’s how I’m coping. 

So when I get “mean” asks or “mean” comments, I’ll expose you. And top it off with a Nicki Gif. Because that’s how little I give a shit. If I know you’re a big problem, I’ll call in my bro, @yeshasays​ to handle your fuckin’ ass. Because I don’t have the time to write out a response to protect your White fragility. 

I do notice though, when a White person confronts another White person instead of me, they are wayyyy more chill. Kind of like,

“But Mommy she hurt my feewings!”

type of vibe. 

Which sucks because I’d like to be able to say what I need to say without backup, but we don’t live in that kind of world. 

Anyways, in essence, 

Black Women are allowed to have feelings because we are human. We get to cry, scream, feel just like you. If a Black Woman is angry, let her be. She is most likely angry for a logical reason. And before you tell her to “calm down” or “let it go”, imagine your friend saying that to you, when you are expressing your feelings. We as Black Women shouldn’t have to keep our problems to ourselves because it makes you uncomfortable. 

My Mother even does this. She assumes I’m more upset than I am. When I have a healthy relationship with confrontation and I should be allowed to express myself as a human. I will NOT hide away my honesty, humor, and irritation because it makes others uncomfortable. If they feel uncomfortable with me, they damn well know where the door is. 

I suggest my Black Sistas adopt this ideology. 

-

Whew that was a lot of rambling.

Please participate in this discussion, don’t be scared to say something stupid, I’ll know if you’re coming from a genuine place lol.

Discussion time.

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-Faithxx

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I love how this makes me sound like I'm a mafia enforcer when really I am like that one White Mormon Neighbor showing up with my pants around my waist and saying OWO Y'ELLOW. HAVE YOU CONSIDERED....

I Need Your Help. Yes You.

Today, I talked with an incarcerated man named Shan Carter. He is on death row in North Carolina. He needs your help to share his story. He wasn’t given a fair trial and he has proof that he is innocent. His legal representation is ignoring him. His case is filled with so much corruption. This is serious, you guys. 

Here’s a statement from Shan’s Sister, Tina:

“Shan Carter’s family and friends love and miss him. We will never stop fighting to prove his innocence and until justice is served. I’m not just saying my brother is innocent just because he said so, I’m saying he is innocent and wrongly convicted because there is documentation and DNA test to prove he is innocent. All Shan and his family wants is justice to be served and to prove the corruption in his case so that no one will have to go through what he is because of the corruption in the system. Thank you to all that support him!”

Shan Carter Matters. He deserves a fair trial. He deserves justice. 

Please please please help him!

C’mon you guys, I know there’s 1499 of you. Let’s help this man.

hi y’all–

if you don’t already know (and i haven’t seen any major news coverage), indigenous land defenders have been protesting Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore. at least 12 were arrested yesterday (3 July)  and a number of their cars and trucks were impounded. 

the land that’s been carved into, called the Black Hills or, in Lakota, Pahá Sápa, is sacred to a number of indigenous peoples, particularly the Lakota, from whom the land was stolen originally. the faces engraved on this ancestral land belong to presidents with documented histories of white supremacism–and the carving itself was done by a member of the KKK. 

learn more + donate to the black hills legal defense fund HERE 

  • video coverage via Indigenous Rising HERE 
  • Layli Long Soldier’s poems on “Ȟe Sápa” are good reading on the Black Hills
  • there are many places to learn about the actions of Roosevelt, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, but for Lincoln in particular (who I think still often gets taught as a white savior), I’d also recommend Long Soldier’s “38″ and LeAnne Howe’s Savage Conversations.
  • you can also donate to the Lakota Law Project HERE.

Please give @ogorchukwuu on instagram a follow.

So I’m probably gonna get hate for this. Yes, a lot of these are not appropriate in ANY instance. But most, for instance, the last one, is an opinion. To me, that’s just saying that you’re not even allowed to have a differing opinion otherwise you’re racist. How is that fair? How can someone respectfully disagree? As a human, I have an opinion, but I’d be shut down as a racist if I said any of these. That isn’t really fair. Instead of shutting down anybody that might disagree, open up for a discussion and *EXPLAIN* why the situation is racist. As a gay transwoman, I have the right to say that yes, I know *exactly* what oppression is. To have your rights stripped and live in fucking fear each day. My state has a Trans Panic law. You know what that is? I can be brutally beaten and murdered because of my gender identity. You know, the same fear that POC have over the color of their skin, but because I’m white and have a differing opinion, I’m not allowed to speak. It’s posts like these that make me feel as if BLM isn’t about equality anymore, but rather Black Supremacy. Before you scream at me, I’m aware it’s not. But these posts don’t really help that fact. Disagreeing with somebody/Having an opinion is NOT RACIST.

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Hey there! Also trans and gay.

So here is the thing. Gaslighting at its core is simply the following: saying "that didn't happen because..."

Obviously any number of things can apply to that sentence that are NOT gaslighting.

We are not talking about those instances.

This post asks you to merely investigate sentences that begin with that, that it may be racial gaslighting. The same way that when we talk about homophobia, we dont need to say not ALL cishet are homophobic. We arent talking about them.

It is not racist for you to engage critically with something. However, you do seem to have a very clear inkling that something isnt quite right about even what you're saying here. And I'm not attacking you. But no, we cant have an opinion on the discrimination BIPOC face. Just like how Cis people dont get an opinion on the fact that you and I can be murdered with panic as a legal defense. There isnt anything to have an opinion about there. It is just wrong.

For the future, I'd really suggest phrasing this differently. I understand you have questions. But approach them from the place of wanting to understand. That is the way we are going to foster understanding and clarity. That is also why I'm responding.

If you have questions I'm willing to have a dialogue.

Edit: we had a dialogue, no one need come for her about this post as it has been removed; if you have questions you can always refer to my notes above for clarity!

The loving ally, Richard Loving

Early Life

Richard Perry Loving was born on October 29, 1933, in Central Point, Virginia, part of Caroline County. In stark contrast to the segregation found in other Southern communities, the rural Caroline Country was known for its racial mixing, with people of different ethnic backgrounds openly socializing together, a dynamic which informed Richard’s personal connections. As a young man, he had a passion for revved up engines and drag car racing, winning prizes, and earned a living as a laborer and construction worker.

Marriage to Mildred Loving

Of Irish and English descent, Richard met Mildred Jeter, who was of African American and Native American descent, when he was 17 and she was 11. He first visited her home to hear the music played by her siblings, with Mildred not initially taking to Richard’s personality. Yet a friendship developed which eventually lead to a romantic relationship. Mildred became pregnant at 18 and the two decided to get married.

Arrest and Sentencing of Mildred and Richard Loving

Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act, which forbade interracial marriages, barred their union. With Richard knowing that he and his bride would be unable to get a license, the couple traveled to Washington, D.C. on June 2, 1958, to be wed and then returned to Virginia, staying with Mildred’s family. Several weeks later, the local sheriff, who is believed to have received a tip, entered the couple’s bedroom at around 2 a.m. and took both Richard and Mildred to a Bowling Green jail for violating state law which prohibited interracial marriages. Richard was allowed to post bail the next day while Mildred was held for several nights.

In January 1959, the Lovings accepted a plea bargain. Judge Leon Bazile ruled that the prison sentence for the couple would be suspended as long as they didn’t return to Virginia together or at the same time for 25 years. Effectively exiled from their home community, the Lovings lived for a time in Washington, D.C., but found that city life was not for them, especially after an accident involving one of their children. The couple attempted to return to their hometown for a family visit only to be arrested again and would later secretly re-establish residence in Caroline County.

Bobby Kennedy and The ACLU

In 1963, Mildred, who was known for having a quiet dignity and thoughtfulness, wrote to then-attorney general Robert Kennedy for help and guidance. His office then recommended that she get in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union. Two ACLU lawyers, Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, took on the Lovings’ case later that year. During the proceedings, Richard, a generally silent fellow, was adamant about his devotion to his wife and would hear no talk of divorce. The Lovings story would also be presented in a March 1966 LIFE Magazine feature with photos by Grey Villet.

Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Case

Upon Bazile’s original ruling being upheld in appeals, the case eventually went to the Supreme Court. In Loving v. Virginia, the highest bench in the land unanimously struck down Virginia’s law on June 12, 1967, thus allowing the couple to legally return home while also ending the ban on interracial marriages in other states. The court held that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Chief justice Earl Warren wrote the opinion for the court, stating marriage is a basic civil right and to deny this right on a basis of race is “directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment” and deprives all citizens “liberty without due process of law.”

With the Lovings able to openly live in their desired community, Richard built a home down the road from his extended family. He and Mildred continued to raise their three children.

Children

Richard and Mildred raised three children: Sidney, Donald and Peggy, the youngest two being Richard’s biological children with Mildred. The oldest child, Sidney Jeter, was from Mildred’s previous relationship.

Donald died at the age of 41 in 2000 and Sidney died in 2010. Peggy, who goes by the name Peggy Loving Fortune, is the only living child of the Lovings and is a divorcée with three children.

Death and Legacy

Richard was killed in an automobile accident on June 29, 1975, in the county of his birth when his car was struck by another vehicle operated by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign. Mildred, who was also in the car, lost sight in her right eye.

An unofficial holiday honoring the Lovings’ triumph and multiculturalism, called Loving Day, is celebrated on June 12th, when the prohibition against mixed-race marriages was lifted from every state constitution. After a 1996 TV-movie, another work on the couple’s life, the Nancy Buirski documentary The Loving Story, was released in 2011. The big-screen biopic Loving, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, was released in 2016. The film received a groundswell of critical acclaim and was nominated for a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards. (source)

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amorphous-calcium-carbonate

“Men and boys are seen as the primary target of racial injustice,” AAPF associate director Rachel Gilmer told TakePart in May. “This has led to the idea that women and girls of color are not doing as bad, or that we’re not at risk at all.”

But studies show otherwise: Black women are killed and sexually assaulted by the police, and incarcerated at almost three times the rate of their white female counterparts. Yet news coverage of these cases are focused largely on the relationship between law enforcement and black men.

From the linked article above. None of this diminishes the importance of any Black Lives Matter protests or the lives of black men.

Source: mic.com

Do something!

Racism in Mental Health

June 28, 2020

Day 7 of 7

[ These are just some thoughts I have in my head about this topic, it isn’t meant to be a purely academic discussion. It’s meant to be a conversation to learn about another perspective. 

Also, this will be a collaboration with @yeshasays because he has a lot of information about mental health resources and he’s my friend.]

-

So I’ll be short and sweet,

My approach to mental health has evolved over the years. I was prescribed medication for my ADD and depression and I felt no better. Prozac doesn’t make you happy, it makes you just “ok” with living. Then I took Adderall to focus and it made me nauseous. I’m trying not to be so reliant on medication and that’s my personal choice. I think it’s best to find what works for you!

Over to Yesha:

“Hey all, 

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Why is there a mental health month entirely for minorities? 

Because:

>Black Americans are more likely to be incarcerated than any other group, as well as face racism, police violence, state violence, and violence from other people around them. This has a severe impact on mental health. 

>Hispanic Americans also face racism, and if among the undocumented immigrants or DREAMers, may suffer from anxiety and paranoia around their housing situation and the possibility of ICE appearing at their doorstep. 

>Asian Americans (especially since the rise of COVID) also face alienation; as do Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans (with the resurgence of out and proud Nazism). 

>Native Americans and indigenous peoples have the impacts of being forced into underfunded reservations, frequently without adequate healthcare. Leaving the reservation means abandoning your support structure.

>LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to be homeless than any other demographic (and this also disproportionately impacts Black/POC LGBTQ+). 

In short, mental health is rough for anyone. Add in the exciting twist of racism, religious intolerance, sexuality or gender identity… and it can be a great deal for anyone. 

I am not Black. I am quite White. And while I am nonbinary/transmasculine and queer, I clearly cannot speak to anyone’s experience other than my own. That being said, I am dedicated to supporting Black people, especially in this incredibly difficult time. 

I’m sure we all know that access to medical care in the United States is problematic at best. This is doubly so for mental healthcare. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is to access pro-Black, anti-racist healthcare. The particular needs of Black Americans cannot be met fully and completely by anyone who hasn’t either experienced it, or is utterly willing to learn and dedicate themselves to providing the best assistance they can.

With that in mind, I have a number of Black resources here for anyone who needs healthcare at this time. I absolutely encourage you to look into these. Some of them are quite free. I know that NAMI is. I’m including information from them, The Anxiety And Depression Association of America, and a masterlist from Self that may also be useful. Some of these may duplicate. I’ve noted resources specifically for Black Women, Black Men, girls, families, and also self education articles. 

It is worth noting: depression and anxiety frequently do not look the way you think they may. Anger is a common symptom of depression. Feeling empty, vacant, sensitive, ‘burned out’, constantly fatigued, forgetfulness, and physical pain are all normal. 

Additionally, take it from me, someone who had to struggle and fight with this for a decade before I got proper care: You may not click with a therapist right away. This does not mean it is not for you. You have to shop around and find people you connect well with. Just like friendships, therapists have to share your communication style. Not everyone will work. 

If, also like me, you require medication, psychiatric help is in a similar position. Don’t be afraid to ask for something different from a psychiatrist, or choose a different one. Medication takes time and trial to work with. It is an art, not a science. 

There are many, many articles online about mindfulness and other items that might also assist. I am simply including pro-Black links here. 

I hope your mental wellness journey is a wonderful one. 

-Yesha

Thank you Yesha.

-

Discussion time.

Did you know July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?

Do you think minorities are forgotten when it comes to mental health?

Let me know what you think here

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Important resources for Black people here for mental health!!!

Racism in Education

June 27, 2020

Day 6 of 7

[ These are just some thoughts I have in my head about this topic, it isn’t meant to be a purely academic discussion. It’s meant to be a conversation to learn about another perspective. ]                                                

—-    

Ok this will be my most challenging post. This is a long read but I’d appreciate you reading it all because I’ve been doing free emotional labor for almost a month and if you want to be an ally, that means learning from other perspectives. So please read. This drained me so much to write, please make it worth it. 

You have the time, please read.

As I stated in my intro, I moved from a very conservative State (I don’t even want to say the State because I hate it so much.) to Washington State. I moved after graduating online school a year ago. 

Growing up in that State I was almost always the only Black girl in my class. For my whole educational career. I hated when we would discuss the civil rights movement because I could feel my White peers staring at me, like I was the face of my race. 

It was junior year that broke me. 

I began the year optimistic. I always did, even though I had experienced racism before each year, pushing me to move to 4 different schools in 4 years. 

I moved to a school in a rural area with a lot of mormons and maybe 5 Black people in the whole, huge school. 

It was in September that my mental health plummeted. I don’t know why. I guess I was overwhelmed. I was in an AP US History class and there was work over the summer that everyone else did, but I didn’t. I had just gotten there, after all. I didn’t have the textbook. That class was such a heavy workload that we were having a quiz every other day, 1 test a week, and I was trying to study for a test that my peers had months to study for, and already took. 

I attempted to take my life, but I knew I didn’t really mean it. I’ll be honest about that. I just wanted everything to stop so I could catch my breath. 

I went to the ER on a Thursday night. My Mom drove me. 

We sat in the ER for a little bit and then I was taken to a little room where a nurse came to talk to me. BTW I have never had a good interaction with a nurse.

This nurse came in and basically shamed me. 

“You’re so young. You have your whole life ahead of you. You don’t need to do this to yourself.”

Yeah, no shit. I thought about that every day. My grades, getting into college, getting into law school…. that’s the point. I was overwhelmed. 

She suggested that I punch a pillow if I “Got upset” because that’s what her daughter does. 

Fuck off. 

The Doctor came in and he gave me butterfly bandages and he was so much more understanding, shockingly. (I’ve shadowed Surgeons and Doctors and they can be a little abrasive).

I liked that the Doctor fixed me up. I liked having this wrap around my wrist. I felt like I could move on. Like I let something out. 

The Doctor asked if I needed to stay at this place that dealt with cases like mine. 

I said,

 “No.”

I couldn’t have that on my record for what I want to do. So, I went home.

I took the Friday off and my Mom visited the school to let them know what happened. I was already preparing for pity.

I had to come in on Monday to set up a 504 (students with disabilities act) for depression. I don’t think I had depression, but whatever. I dropped out of AP US History.

They made accommodations for me: more time on tests, working in the library, more time on assignments, etc.

I want you to know that I did not touch those accommodations for 5 months. 

I knew I didn’t need them. I maintained a 3.8 GPA.

I sat in a room with all 8 of my teachers (we had a block schedule 4 classes per day alternating), seeing all of them look at me with disgusting levels of pity.

They each talked to me in private saying things like,

“If you ever need anything, let me know.”

“I’m here for you.”

“You matter.”

I thought,

 “Hm ok, that’s nice.”. 

I went on for months without using my accommodations and practically wooping my “normal” classmates in intellectual discussions.

But then the casual racism I experienced was escalating. 

First, in the beginning of the year, my AP US History teacher put his hand on my head and said to a student,

“If you really believe that, Faith would be a slave right now.”

(I don’t remember what the hell we were even talking about)

Then I got little questions/comments like,

“Why do you dress White?”

“Cracker is just as offensive as the n-word”

But now we were going into Black History Month. My new history teacher was an old White Man and we were talking about the civil rights movement, while in English we were reading “Black Like Me” with my blonde, Female, millennial teacher.

I nailed everything in the civil rights movement discussions. The teacher loved me. I nailed the conversations about “Black Like Me”. 

But….I don’t know. The environment got really toxic. There was more racism, gaslighting, slurs. Every. single. day. It could break anyone.

I would be on the brink of tears in class every day. 

Guess who didn’t notice? 

All 8 of those concerned teachers. 

They don’t give a shit. 

My grades were still pretty good, but I started working in the library. I couldn’t be around all of those racist peers. 

While in the library, my counselor would come in and interrogate me. 

“How long have you been in here?”

“Have you tried, really tried to go to class?”

Of course I tried! I felt like I wanted to be dead and so I left. That’s what the 504 Plan was for. Again, I hadn’t touched my accommodations for months so I thought maybe these grown adults would use their tiny brains and think,

“Huh maybe she needs help.”

But no. 

I would go to the counselor almost every day and say 

“I’m not doing well.”

And she’d ask,

“What does that mean?”

Ok…so I have to tell this Woman that I feel like dying but not at my own hand? Because she can’t use social cues and read my face stained with tears?

I couldn’t say anything. 

She said,

“What can we do to keep you going here?”

I said,

“I don’t know”

Because that’s not my job.

Then it happened. 

My history teacher was talking about affirmative action.

He said,

“If I worked at a bank for 30 years and went to work at another bank, FAITH would get a job over me because she’s a BLACK WOMAN. Do you get that? She covers TWO minorities!” 

He said this while pointing his wrinkled finger in my face.

None of my peers said anything.

I replied with,

“Well, what are my qualifications?”

He ignored me.

He went on a rant teaching his opinions, not facts. So I wrote down what he said on sticky notes. 

I called my Mom at break and asked her

“Is that racist? Do I do anything?”

I was so desensitized to racism I couldn’t tell anymore.

My White Mom, my awesome Mom said,

“YES.”

I went to the Vice Principal and reported the teacher and gave her the sticky notes. 

The next day we got an email from the principle saying that the teacher said, he never said anything about me.

So I was a liar?

To get evidence, I recorded the whole next class. I was scared every minute that he would find out. 

He didn’t. And he said more awful things.

I had concrete proof.

We told the Principal and he ignored me. My Mom emailed the superintendent (very high up person in the school district) and oh now he responds? 

They basically said,

“We gave him a warning, he won’t do it again.”

Ok so he just will hide his racism now. Just remember, teachers legally aren’t allowed to teach their opinion. The Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional to teach opinions.

I was still required to go to this racist Man’s class. I still answered every question he posed to the class and he recognized my intelligence. 

So WHY?

WHY me?

The whole year he loved having me as a student and then….that?

Moving on to my English class.

We had to do a cultural experience trip and so my acquaintance and I went to the Black History Museum. Because I’m Nigerian-American. I do identify as Black though because everyone assumes it anyways, but I wanted to learn more about the history in my city.

We were required to make presentations talking about the experience we had. I decided to add a little twist. 

I made a whole slide in my slideshow dedicated to every racist thing said to me in that class. 

The slide was met with laughter because racism is just so funny.

My teacher said nothing. 

So I, the student, the minor in the room, had to say,

“I see you laughing but this is why I’m leaving this school. This is serious.”

Nothing from my teacher. 

Cut to maybe a week later and I was done. I was sitting in my English class about to burst. My acquaintance asked me,

“Are you doing ok?”

I replied,

“No. Absolutely not.”

A classmate checked in on me, while all my 8 teachers who actually knew about my attempt on my life didn’t.

We went outside and I decided to leave the school that day. Three weeks before summer break. I couldn’t be in either class anymore. I felt my brain rotting from being exposed to the absolute shit that those students/teachers would spew, every day.

I lost my 3.8 GPA

I lost my credits for the semester.

The racist teacher is still working.

I had to go online.

It happened again.

Another racist history teacher. 

Wasn’t removed.

I graduated with a lower GPA.

Didn’t apply to my dream school.

I have the trauma seared into my brain. I’m terrified of taking another history class. Terrified.

Ok, that’s it. If you made it this far, thank you. It took me awhile to write this. I hope this gave you another perspective. 

So…. discussion time. 

Let me know what you think here

I’d like to hear from you since I delved into my trauma. 

I don’t think I’ll ever tell this story again, it makes me sick and tired. But I’ll answer questions/asks.

If you have a lot of White guilt and wanna do something, you could donate some reparations to my venmo lol: @faithrebecca1397 (last 4 digits are 4809)

I’m having all of these currently and I’m glad someone explained how racism fucks you up. Thanks to @realdepressionproject on insta.

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July is also Minority Mental Health Awareness month. As we move into that, please keep in mind that the content you (not the OP, other people) people to can be deeply upsetting, especially during this already upsetting time. Please tag appropriately and consider providing options to see upsetting content instead of inundating feeds with photos of people subjected to violence without a warning, especially when Black people in this country are already exposed to so much upsetting content.

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”

-Malcolm X (1962)

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IMPORTANT NOTE: be careful with the “Ain’t I A Woman” speech!! This is actually a really racist interpretation of her speech written by a white man after the fact!

Sojourner Truth did not talk in the way she was portrayed in that speech rendition. Make sure you look up the actual verbiage she probably used!

@yeshasays This is the one I found, but there are multiple versions because it was given in 1851. 

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): 

Ain’t I A Woman?

Delivered 1851

Women’s Rights Convention, Old Stone Church (since demolished), Akron, Ohio

“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about? That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? 

[member of audience whispers, “intellect”] 

That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full? Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him. If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them. Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.” [1]

Sooooo, I don’t know what you read, but this is the version the post was talking about.

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And that would be exactly the racist and inaccurate version I was talking about.

Well the point still comes across the same. That’s my point. It doesn’t have to be from her directly, it brings up the question: Am I a Woman? What/who is considered a Woman? Does my skin color make me less than a Woman?

If you’d like to add more resources that you’ve found to share the Black experience from a Woman’s perspective, that’d be appreciated. I get you don’t like that resource, so why not provide something and be productive? 

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If you’re perpetuating a racist white womans perspective of a black woman by dumbing down what she said and changing it to a stereotypical southern uneducated person’s vernacular, then that does matter. The account is racist. And that was the point of my cautioning people when they researched the speech to begin with. That was the productive contribution.

Sojourner Truth’s actual speech can be found quite easily on the internet, in a form that does not perpetuate racist stereotypes onto a woman who met none of those. Here are screenshots of the more accurate translation.

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STRONG EDIT HERE:

OP and I are all good, and she did a great job with this post. We talked. I should have been more clear in my wording that this wasn't directed at her. If you're going to reblog this, please get this version. I refuse to take credit for her hard work or derail the necessary convo because of my additions.