I Do Not Give A Fuck About Your Anti-Black Opinions...At All.
No. All “opinions” are not valuable. No “opinions” are neutral or accurate solely because they’re wrapped in clichés, benevolence, affirmations, platitudes or theism.
Regardless of your own identity, if it is your “opinion” that racism and anti-Blackness “go both ways” then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that people simply need to believe that good things will happen and structural oppression will collapse, then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that anti-Blackness, racism and misogyny do not have a specific impact on Black women–misogynoir–and being transgender and dealing with transmisogyny as well does not specifically impact Black trans women–transmisogynoir–then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that Blackness does not impact specific experiences for Black LGBTQIA people and all Black people are heterosexual via compulsory application, then you are historically, structurally, statistically, and socially INACCURATE. Period. If it is your “opinion” that the dehumanization of Black bodies and execution of Black people are isolated incidents or is ok when conducted extrajudicially or via the State since Black people (like every other race) also have civilian intraracial crime, YOU ARE WRONG. FULL STOP.
That anyone White or non-Black–and even including some fellow Black people who are unfortunately either directly or indirectly affirming White supremacy–think their “debates” on Black humanity are valid is the epitome of anti-Blackness. Do you get it? Your “opinion” is not valuable when it stands juxtaposed to the survival of Black people. I do not have to “factor in” any “opinion” whatsoever if it stands in direct juxtaposition to the truth or obscures nuanced realities of Black life. I owe such “opinions” and people who have them literally nothing. I don’t have to have an “open mind” about whether or not my humanity exists as fact. It is not debatable in reality even as anti-Blackness means dehumanization as the price. I don’t have to have an “open mind” about whether or not I as a Black woman “benefit” from the “oppression” of Whites and whether anti-Blackness discourse should center non-Black people (or remove Blackness specificity for “people of colour” when at times that is inaccurate), because one doesn’t fucking exist and the other is wrong. Imaginary and wrong.
I do not care about the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality people were raised with when anti-Black/bigoted/harmful and factually inaccurate things can be said but since anyone with the ability to speak can speak, all “opinions” are deemed “equally valuable.” They are not equally valuable. Lives are equally valuable (or should be; we see that Black life is not deemed valuable); “opinions” are not. Me respecting their “right” to an “opinion” is not the same as throwing confetti if their actual “opinion” creates false equalization between the oppressors and the oppressed, obscures history, denies the impact of structural oppression on Black people’s lives (and all of the self-esteem/“respectability” in the world will not protect us from extrajudicial or State violence), and involve theist platitudes. “Free speech” does not mean what people said is then automatically true and history and lived experiences can then be ignored.
And rights to “opinions”…that’s very cute that people want to argue this when their “opinions” are harmful and I am concerned about the rights to Black people’s lives, the rights to grieve–which includes anger–and, the rights to humanity. Harmful “opinions” do not become less harmful just because people add a suit, a degree, some Bible verses, money, a media platform, fame, tons of online followers, pleas for respectability, or non-Blackness/Whiteness themselves. I don’t have to respect any “opinion” that obscures the truth about Black people or facilitates harm of Black people. I will not tolerate it regarding the extrajudicial execution of Michael Brown or literally any other topic involving Black lives. Simply because people choose to lie or happen to be ignorant does not make their “opinion” equal to those discussing the proven truths of Black life.
I put “opinions” in quotes throughout this essay because for some reason, people seem to think “opinions” and facts exist on the same plane and their “opinion” can erase others’ lived experiences or noted histories. There is no “both sides” of an issue when one side is dehumanization–or facilities the dehumanization of Black people through the obscuring of history, the misapplication of structural power, the false equalization of oppressed and oppressor–and the other side is survival.