this is strictly a few of my experiences with my fellow white people in portland.
so a few years ago–two, now?–this woman from wall street decided to retire to portland and use all her money to create an art gallery in an entirely zero carbon footprint building.
She picked a lot in a residential area (my neighbourhood, which if you’ve been following me you know all about and if you don’t, let’s just say in the 15 years or so i’ve lived here it went from being working class ppl of colour and working class/disabled/sex working queer punks, most of whom were white but not all; to being a place where i get to hold out because i’m a sex worker and by working my ass off i can afford my rent but tensions are thru the roof and i do get into fights with my entitled frat neighbours on the regular) which was its own issue to me, because there are fuckall galleries all over the place on the nonresidential streets. so she took what could have been a home for someone from here. unlikely, but possible. She also created an ADU and again could have offered affordable housing to a local, but did not. She started her gallery and hired a white artist to paint a mural of black kids, and there are little signs that say “peace” all over her yard, but nothing about black lives matter, resist, anything.
There’s also a white Portland local who made the news for being like the martha stewart of weed cooking or something. the new yorker just wrote about her. I criticised the article bc jfc more white people are hopping on the marijuana gravy train while we still have young kids of colour facing up to a year in prison for a ridiculously tiny amount of pot, and all the old pot arrests are still rotting in prison despite their crimes NO LONGER BEING CRIMES??? they don’t even get out, let alone reparations, but selling pot has become white people’s game and white people get lauded for it and I’m white but that BOTHERS ME. it’s wrong.
and in each case what I feel are my VALID criticisms get shut down by some of my white acquaintances bc the women in question are NICE and WELL INTENTIONED??? but this isn’t a vacuum! nice and well intentioned doesn’t mean fuck all if you aren’t willing to back up and redirect the attention on you back to communities of colour.
that bitch has 15 “peace” signs across her yard and a mural of black kids and not even a blm sticker.
I’m not separating myself from these women because while i don’t do THESE things I have done others. but I strive for the grace and integrity to accept criticism (real criticism, not fake criticism about being aphobic) and hear it and change and god forbid anyone defend me based on the “niceness” of my character–i am not nice and that’s not a defense.
the"martha stewart of pot" argument has stuck with me because it’s so exceptionally stupid and racist. it shouldn’t have happened. she’s nice? so the fuck what? people are still getting arrested for pot crimes why is she getting a new yorker profile? (i know why: white supremacy)
we just have to keep doing better even when it’s uncomfortable. and that’s the hardest time to maintain graciousness and integrity bc we all want to be comfortable but I pray that I can and that we all can and that we DO actually destroy white supremacy. i don’t want to live like this. purely from selfish reasons i don’t want to live in this fucked up white supremacist patriarchal world, i need it to change.