Ms Red O

scandal-maniac:

geejayeff:

scandal-maniac:

divaspoet:

geejayeff:

I appreciate all the powerful, passionate and on point responses to the Mike Brown murder many black celebs were able to make in the media, on social media and in person at Ferguson. It’s inspiring to realize how many famous people truly get it and are willing to use their visibility to speak out. But how many are really just …well good at acting or singing…but not so great or comfortable at discussing racism with insight, expressing anger or distress constructively or feel secure or strong or supported enough in their own lives to risk backlash. Some spoke out. Some spoke out poorly. And some were silent. Which honestly seems like a pretty normal distribution for any community. But when you’re black normal is not enough. We expect our stars to shine brighter. I’m definitely disappointed when “new blacks” start that kumbayah BS at the exact wrong time. And I’d love to see more full-throated support for Obama and other people I admire with visibility. But I wonder if setting such high bars for people who have already succeeded against all odds is another dimension of respectability politics. Another way we make sure that even our successes never can feel truly successful.

No celebrity has to do or say anything, and those incapable of doing so in a beneficial manner certainly shouldn’t. There are also those celebrities who support any number of projects and causes privately. That said, every community with a cause, be it racial injustice, gender bias, discrimination of those with disabilities, economic disparity, etc., could benefit from a powerful, influential, notable person with a platform speaking out on their behalf. It’s why celebrities are used to endorse products. Often, the public will think, if those famous people buy a product, maybe we should too. Or if they support and donate to a cause, we should too. And why celebrities sometimes visit Washington on behalf of programs and initiatives that need funding. And regardless of the quality or worthiness of the product or cause, it now has attention brought to it; it’s “out there” so to speak, and being seen. Of course not all of us buy into that, but enough do. It absolutely works, otherwise companies and organizations in the business of earning and raising money wouldn’t continuously shell out big bucks to celebs. I don’t think it’s setting the bar too high to WANT those in the spotlight to speak out publicly, though it may be too high to EXPECT them to do so. I also don’t think it minimizes a celebrity’s success when noting that they don’t speak out about things. One of the criticisms of Michael Jordan was that he didn’t really speak out about politics or social/racial issues. It didn’t detract from his success or his money or his popularity (and may have even increased the latter two). If a celebrity chooses not to be a flag-waving, protesting, Twitter maniac beating the drum for every issue that comes along, so be it. They’re not obligated to do it and that is perfectly fine. It’s also fine to make note of that fact.

Celebrities get their fame and fortune, not from TV/movie makers; record producers or book publishers, but from people who pay to watch, listen and read. Who has most of the money? Which part of society? Knowing that answer is what keeps most celebrities silent. Well, People of all Colours (with an understanding of social justice), next time you want to spend what little money you have - ask yourself “is/are the recipient/s deserving of my hard-earned cash/credit/debt?” The power shift in the current paradigm will only happen if we realise that money is the principle tool that we need to use wisely. Your vote may count, but it’s the people with money who pull the strings. We individually don’t have millions, but together spend zillions.

msredo, divaspoet scandal-maniac

To whom much is given, much is expected. I get it.

But what about self-care. If it can be too much for someone on tumblr and we can understand that they may need to take a break for their mental and emotional health. Are celebs not allowed that same option?

This idea that women celebrities in particular should act for the good of the community without respite, without time or space to react, mourn and reflect privately seems similar to expecting black women to put family first and never take time for themselves. Because we have to be strong we can never say we are hurt.

Right now Jesse Williams is tearing it up on twitter. And he’s getting backlash, push back and abuse for it too. I have so much respect for the work he’s doing and the risk he’s taking. But do we truly expect every black celeb, especially women, especially on a platform where rape threats are common, to be equally strong and fearless all the time?

I will side eye the celebs that jump in the conversation only to offer aid and comfort to the bigots and abusers. But I’m going to decline to critique the ones who are silent right now because we’ve all taken a lot of hits in a short span and some times the most revolutionary thing a black woman can do is to put herself first.

geejayeff.

I agree with you to some extent. People with (lots of) money have access to resources the poor do not - security, media handlers, psychotherapists and gated mansions. Using the platform of their popularity to reach a public audience is the least they can do. Beside they are on Twitter dealing with trolls, not on the street dealing with Police.

But I wasn’t specifically thinking of any black celebrity whether a woman or a man. I was thinking more that WE, as consumers in capitalist economies worldwide, need to make informed choices about the people/products that we spend our money on. People who are rich stay that way with our money that’s in ever diminishing supply. There are a multitude of ways to protest - not paying for shit is what will hurt shit-makers the most.

You’re right, geejayeff, self-care is important, whether you’re celeb or not. Just ‘cause you’re a celeb doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to it, or to your protection or your privacy. And just ‘cause you’re in the spotlight doesn’t mean you have to talk about everything or voicing an opinion about everything. But, as scandal-maniac pointed out, being a (black) celeb/artist/entertainer also means they can afford to care about themselves, to withdraw, to protect themselves. Way more, a thousand times more than “regular” (black) folks. Also, if someone like Jesse Williams is taking a stand, and getting a lot of backlash, and risking way more than some (cause really, he is NOT that popular and know outside of Shondaland-related fandom), how come those who hare bigger can’t even send a tweet or wear a t-shirt or take a picture with their hand up? And it’s even riskier, as you pointed, for someone like Amber Riley ! So if someone more prominent & powerful doesn’t take a public stand at important time, I may think it’s less about self-care and more about their image/brand/business and self-interest. Now, I understand the difficulties for making it for black/POC, that is one of the reason I am always here for black/POC sisters & brothers making it, and I support them. I understand that no matter how successful, the white supremacist PTB can take it all back from you, in a matter of seconds. Heck, even people like Jay-Z, with all his b/millions, is literally owned by white power. But when “regular” people are losing their lives, and some celeb take a risk and take a stand against racism & injustice, but others, more powerful, just stay silent, I can’t just shrug and go. I am not going to talk ultra shit about them or stop appreciating their talents, but I am going to side eye them some, won’t look at them the same and at some point have less respect for them. Because as a black/POC/marginalized/oppressed, you get to know who will have your back and who won’t. 

geejayeff:

I appreciate all the powerful, passionate and on point responses to the Mike Brown murder many black celebs were able to make in the media, on social media and in person at Ferguson. It’s inspiring to realize how many famous people truly get it and are willing to use their visibility to speak…

geejayeff if I may : I don’t think it is either about black celebs paying the black tax (more than usual in their field or more than any other Black person/POC); nor about respectability politics (which, to me, would be to pressure them NOT to speak out, in order to blend in more easily & not upset the statu quo or to actually defend the statu quo). IMHO, it is about at least 3 things. 1) As John Legend aptly put it when he told to “stay on his lane” (or even as Kerry W always explains when she talk about her political activism), it is about being a citizen/taxpayer, an active member of the society, just like any other citizen. And you don’t have to make long dissertation/article or be a super smart social justice warrior and all if that’s not your thing, one hashtag/reblog is enough, whether you’re a celeb or not. That is how change actually happens. And that is why we need everybody to be part of 2) It is about the responsibilities that come with having power (as the saying goes “with great power come great responsibility”). Especially as, as artist/entertainers, they are not only part of one of the most powerful superstructure that helps maintain the system in place (by silencing protests with glitz ! and glam ! and shit !), but they are also in a position where they have access to some of the most powerful means of communication… And 3) yeah, they are Black/POC, and even if I don’t expect them to speak out on every single issues that black/POC face daily, there are important moments, situations, issues when you HAVE TO take a stand, as a black person/POC, because that comes with the territory, whether you like it or not, whether it is “fair” or not, that is what comes with being part of a marginalized/oppressed group.

Ultimately, to me, to remain silent during those important moments/situations or on those important issues IS, in fact, taking a side: the side of the oppressor.

So yeah, I do think it is important that way more celeb black/POC take a stand than the ones who are, and I have way more respect for so many black celebs now (I LOVE YOU JOHN LEGEND, 1st on Palestine & now Mike Brown?! I. LOVE. YOU !!! You too Jesse Williams, you too… And Amber too!!! ;), and far less for some other, either because of the new black bullshit they have been spewing or because of their deafening silence.

Against the pinkwashing of Israel

Why supporting Palestinians is a queer and feminist issue.

Last updated: 09 Aug 2014 13:42
Ashley Bohrer

Ashley Bohrer is a queer feminist Jewish activist and academic based in Chicago. She is a founding member of Jews for Justice in Palestine.
RSS
The Israeli army does not give a ‘free pass’ to queer Palestinians; in fact, its soldiers target LGBTQ Palestinians, writes Bohrer [Getty Images]

As the latest round of Israeli fire reigns down on Gaza, a problematic discourse has resurfaced in the West. This discourse seeks to convince white Americans and Europeans that supporting Israel is an imperative for women, LGBTQ-identified individuals and their allies.

This line of thinking alleges that Israel has enacted legal protections for LGBTQ folks and is therefore a bastion of liberty for queers in the Middle East. The rhetoric of many mainstream feminist outlets has been similar, arguing that because Jewish women enjoy legal equality with Jewish men in Israel, women and feminists are obliged to support the current campaign of terror and destruction in Gaza.

Examples of this troubling and misleading argumentation can be read in James Duke Mason’s article for The Advocate on July 9, Robert Trestan’s article for The Rainbow Times, and any number of articles by arch-conservative Phyllis Chesler, including one published on July 26 at Israel National News.

This “pinkwashing” of Israel not only plays on a variety of racist and Islamophobic tropes but also impedes a thorough and nuanced analysis of queer and feminist liberation. 

Rights for some, violence for others

Pinkwashing replays a frequent trope in discussions of conflict in the Middle East: that Israel is a democracy committed to human rights. What these discussions continually fail to address is that these human rights apply only to Jews and are consistently, flagrantly disregarded for Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid.

The millions of Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank are not enfranchised in this so-called democracy. The millions of displaced Palestinians living in exile or in refugee camps are not enfranchised in this so-called democracy. The thousands of Palestinians caged in Israeli jails are not enfranchised in this so-called democracy. Nor are they protected by the legislation that supposedly supports and protects women and LGBTQ folks.

The more than 1,900 Gazan civilians who have been slaughtered in the past four weeks, many of them women and children, were never afforded the protections of basic human rights accords, let alone democratic procedure.

INTERACTIVE: Gaza Under Attack

This pinkwashing is thus misleading, purporting to secure rights for women and queers which are routinely violated along racial, ethnic, and religious lines. Just as feminists and LGBTQ activists are obliged to dismantle racial hierarchies in our own communities, so too must we reject them in Israel and Palestine. We must assert unequivocally that anything less than liberation for all is unacceptable.

To refuse to do so retrenches the all-too-common neoliberal strategy of divide and conquer. The idea that Israel must be defended regardless of its human rights abuses or racist violence, separates LGBTQ liberation from larger social and structural phenomena.

It refuses to acknowledge that Palestinian queers are among those who are harassed, brutalised, displaced, bombed, and incarcerated. Whatever liberties might be extended to Jewish queers in Israel, being queer does not save Palestinians from the constant and brutal assault that forms the conditions of their lives. The Israeli army does not give a “free pass” to queer Palestinians; in fact, its soldiers target LGBTQ Palestinians.

Stories over the past few months have revealed that in fact the Israeli army pressures LGBTQ Palestinians into becoming informants against their friends and families by blackmailing them and threatening to expose their sexualities. This so-called gay-friendly state of Israel preys on the vulnerability of queer Palestinians, a vulnerability that many of us who live in “progressive” “human rights-friendly” countries still face.

Israeli LGBT organisation Aguda estimates that around 2,000 Palestinian queers live in Tel-Aviv at any one time, most of them illegally. The dismantling of economic stability and opportunity inside Palestine forces LGBT Palestinians to leave their homes and to live as undocumented, precarious workers in Israel, where they have no protections against harassment, rape, intimidation, or job discrimination, and in which finding safe housing and steady employment are scarce.

The options presented to LGBTQ Palestinians are living as stateless, undocumented migrants or braving the constant violence and indignity of living in occupied territories. Neither of these sounds like LGBT liberation to me.

Neither does it sound like feminist liberation. An image has been circulating twitter in Israel that at one and the same time justifies the rape of Gazan women and the seige of their communities. The photo, accessible here shows a woman wearing a hijab with the words “Gaza” written on her chest. Her body is splayed in a sexually provocative position, and a message in Hebrew is emblazoned on the top: “Bibi, finish inside this time”. It is signed “Citizens for the Invasion.”

This invitation to rape replays the same kinds of victim-blaming narratives and images that feminists have no problem condemning in Western contexts. This image, and the glee with which that image has been shared on twitter dramatises the ways in which racist violence and sexual violence are bound together in the Palestinian experience of occupation, siege, and war.

This disgusting image is merely one effect of the deeply anti-feminist strains of the occupation of Palestine. When Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, made the following statement, he was not reprimanded, but rather defended by the University and the State: “A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught.”  

Colonel Eyal Qarim of the Military Rabbinate has declared publicly that it is permissible for Israeli soldiers to rape Palestinian women for the purposes of “maintaining morale”. These statements merely crystalise what the women of Palestine know very well: that the unjust, racist occupation of Palestine is not only Islamophobic, but misogynistic and heterosexist.

Just as in the United States and Western Europe, oppression is a multi-faceted phenomenon, one which works through the simultaneous mobilisations of race, gender, sexuality, and class. And if we fail to address the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class in our analysis of Palestine, we contribute to a system of ideological cover that shields Israel and the IDF from having to account for its crimes.

It is thus incumbent upon Western feminists and queers to support the demands of Palestinian women and LGBTQ folks for their liberation. We should support their demands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). And we should support them in their demands for equality inside Gaza, the West Bank, and diasporic communities.

We should support organisations in Palestine pushing for feminist and queer liberation, organisations like Aswat, Kayan, Al-Qaws, Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (PQBDS). We should begin to see the struggle for queer and feminist liberation, not as a single issue struggle to rally behind, but as a crucial dimension to the project of global, universal emancipation for all. Anything less is unacceptable.

Ashley Bohrer is a queer feminist Jewish activist and academic based in Chicago. She is a founding member of Jews for Justice in Palestine. 

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The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial Policy.

Over 300 Survivors and Descendants of Survivors of Victims of the Nazi Genocide Condemn Israel’s Assault on Gaza Letter: ‘Today it was published as an editorial letter (free of charge) in the London Guardian on-line! Per the request of the editors, it was published with the name of six survivors and a link to the full listing’

“Why are police calling the people of Ferguson animals and yelling at them to “bring it”? Because those officers in their riot gear, with their tear gas and dogs, want a justification for slaughter. But inexplicably…we turn our attention to the rioters, the people with less power, but justifiable anger, and say, “You are the problem.” No. A cop killing an unarmed teenager who had his hands in the air is the problem. Anger is a perfectly reasonable response. So is rage.

…How dare people preach and condescend to these people and tell them not to loot, not to riot? Yes, those are destructive forms of anger, but frankly I would rather these people take their anger out on property and products rather than on other people.

No, I don’t support looting. But I question a society that always sees the product of the provocation and never the provocation itself. I question a society that values property over black life. But I know that our particular system of law was conceived on the founding premise that black lives are white property…

[…]

Nothing makes white people more uncomfortable than black anger. But nothing is more threatening to black people on a systemic level than white anger. It won’t show up in mass killings. It will show up in overpolicing, mass incarceration, the gutting of the social safety net, and the occasional dead black kid. Of late, though, these killings have been far more than occasional. We should sit up and pay attention to where this trail of black bodies leads us….”

We the undersigned Palestinian individuals and groups express our solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, a young unarmed black man gunned down by police on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri. We wish to express our support and solidarity with the people of Ferguson who have taken their struggle to the street, facing a militarized police occupation.

From our families bleeding in streets of Gaza, Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem; from the Zionist prisons overflowing with our political prisoners; from our endless refugee camps, ghettos and Bantustans; from our indigenous people living as second-class citizens in what became “Israel” in 1948, and our dislocated diaspora: We send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives.

We understand your moral outrage. We understand your hurt and anger. We understand your impulse to burn the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity; we support your right to rebel in the face of injustice.

And we stand with you.

The disregard and disrespect for black bodies and black life is endemic to the white supremacist system that rules the land. Your struggles through the ages have been an inspiration to us as we fight daily for the most basic human dignities in our own homeland against the racist Zionist regime that considers us less human. As we navigate our own struggle against colonialism, ethnoreligious supremacy, capitalism and tyranny, we find inspiration and strength from your struggles and your revolutionary leaders, like Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Kwame Ture, Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seale and others.

We honor the life of Michael Brown, cut short less than a week before he was due to begin university. And we honor the far too many black lives who were killed in similar circumstances, motivated by racism and contempt for black life: John Crawford, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tarika Wilson, Malcolm Ferguson, Renisha McBride, Amadou Diallo, Yvette Smith, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston, Rekia Boyd and too many others to count.

With a Black Power fist in the air, we salute the people of Ferguson and join in your demands for justice.

Rinad Abdulla, professor, Birzeit University
Susan Abulhawa, novelist & activist
Linah Alsaafin
Rana Baker
Budour Hassan (via shiseido-red)

Tears, y’all.

(via jazzypom)

guys, just wanted to let you know, for what it's worth, that the ferguson cops media black out strategy isn't working, at least on international medias. your story is making news here in paris and they're showing everything. they showed the cops throwing tear gas, they showed them stealing al jazeera's journalists cameras, they showed the peaceful protesters begging them not to shoot and being arrested or hurt, they described the cops like terrorists & M. Brown for who he was: an innocent child.

nikkisshadetree:

revolutionarypertunia:

whitepeoplesaidwhat:

KEEP REBLOGGING THE NEWS, PEOPLE. Stay on tumblr, twitter, and if you’re blessed to not have a bucket of ignorant bolts as friends on FB, get your news there. From first hand accounts of the people who are there protesting in Ferguson. They are risking their lives recording and taking pictures. So please spread their evidence.

As a side note, I also try to stomach through listening to my opponents side, just so I know what bullshit they’re spewing and get myself studied on how to debunk them. So turn on the news on TV. Listen to what they’re saying and listen with a third ear.

-Holly

It falls to us to bear witness, now!!!

Ain’t it something that in Paris Mike Brown is being called an innocent child but here, in his country, he is being called everything except a child of God and being blamed for his own death?

France is always better at recognizing racism everywhere else but at home : here the Mike Browns are named Mohammed or Mamadou, they are black/arab/muslim/from African descent, are daily harassed & racially profiled, and when murdered by the police, they are called “thugs”/”thieves/”savages” by the mainstream media and politicians. Watching what’s happening in Ferguson is like reliving the protests & riots that happened here almost 10 years ago in 2005 & remembering Zied & Bouna. So yeah, some of us KNOW what it feels like & are in total solidarity with the people of Ferguson.

america-wakiewakie:

america-wakiewakie:
Five Rebuttals for the Riot Shamers by Tyler Reinhard | Mask Magazine

1. “THIS DISTRACTS FROM THE MESSAGE.”
No it doesn’t. If you think this is a distraction, take a deep breath and focus. It’s not “about one person”. It’s about fearing the loss of your family and friends at the hands of police. It could happen at any moment, and Michael Brown’s murder reminds us of this. He was quite literally supposed to start college today. It’s possible to have compassion and sympathy for the bereaved and still act out against the systematic exploitation of communities of color. If you can’t do these two things at once, it’s time to examine your commitment to a world without this terrifying syncopation of police violence and economic starvation.
As for distracting the media, well … Attempting to appeal for mainstream media visibility in this age of instant information is a pathetic neutralization of our capacity. Let them cover the sensation if that’s what they’ll do. Our resentment should not be engineered by their attention span.
2. “DESTROYING ‘YOUR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD’ WON’T HELP.”
I’m not sure how people who make this argument imagine ‘owning’ a neighborhood works, but I’ll try to break it down: we don’t own neighborhoods. Black businesses exist, it’s true. But the emancipation of impoverished communities is not measured in corner-store revenue. It’s not measured in minimum-wage jobs. And no, it’s especially not measured in how many black people are allowed to become police officers. Here is a local discussing WHY AREA BUSINESSES MIGHT HAVE BEEN TARGETED.
White flight really happened. Go LOOK IT UP. And insinuating that simply because all the white people left certain neighborhoods following desegregation doesn’t mean they are suddenly ‘ours’. This kind of de facto ‘self-determination’ is so short-sighted it makes me wonder how we can even talk about gentrification and segregation usefully if we think black people somehow ‘have all these neighborhoods’. We don’t have ghettos. Ghettos have us. Prisons have us. Sports teams own us. Record labels own us. We don’t have shit.
3. “LOOTERS AND VANDALS ARE CRIMINALS.”
I grew up afraid to put my hands in my pockets at the store. For us “can I help you find something?” means something very specific. Young people of color are presumed guilty. Police cars slow down when they pass us on the street. They search our pockets and dump out our bags. On our way to and from school. To and from work. If we walk through a wealthy neighborhood, we might get shot. A third of us have been to jail. The law protects this kind of targeting, so yeah, we’re criminals. We are criminals because we are seen as criminals. We were criminals long before we climbed through broken windows. We were criminals long before we ‘refused to disperse’.
4. “BLACK COMMUNITY LEADERS OPPOSE VIOLENCE.”
First of all, this is kind of a baseless generalization. One of Martin Luther King Jr.’s lesser known quotes ‘riot is the language of the unheard’ keeps me grounded here. In fact, did you know that MLK AND MANY OTHER NON-VIOLENT BLACK ACTIVISTS EMPLOYED ARMED GUARDS in the 60s?
Besides, all of this talk about ‘violence’ this and stereotypes that is just so unhelpful. Let’s maybe talk about the fact that in cases like this police deliberately censor footage gathered, in some cases ARRESTING PHOTOGRAPHERS for fear of sparking unrest. You know why that is? Because they understand what most riot shamers don’t: if you corner injured people, there is no where to go but against. Judging people’s commitment to ‘the cause’ based on whether they can bottle up their reasonable frustrations, and finding selective affinity with only those who can say from safe distance to ‘turn the other cheek’ is part of what sparks these riots in the first place.
5. “REFORM THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, DON’T RIOT.”
Something tells me people who make this argument haven’t really looked into the prospects of this task. Let’s be real, this ‘justice system’ people suppose is possible has been the subject of political and economic philosophy for hundreds of years. I got news for you: it’s not looking up. The ‘fair’ economic system that a reformed justice system would require is a myth.
“So are you saying we should just give up?” That’s what people ask me when I say things like this. My response: “eh, how about just not reducing everything to patience and progress?” Don’t ask kids to wait around and dodge bullets until the system treats us fairly. Just stop putting that on them. Believe it or not, you don’t have to save the world. And you sure as hell ain’t going to do it on Twitter. Just step back with the riot shaming, and work on your perspective.

america-wakiewakie:

america-wakiewakie:

Five Rebuttals for the Riot Shamers by Tyler Reinhard | Mask Magazine

1. “THIS DISTRACTS FROM THE MESSAGE.”

No it doesn’t. If you think this is a distraction, take a deep breath and focus. It’s not “about one person”. It’s about fearing the loss of your family and friends at the hands of police. It could happen at any moment, and Michael Brown’s murder reminds us of this. He was quite literally supposed to start college today. It’s possible to have compassion and sympathy for the bereaved and still act out against the systematic exploitation of communities of color. If you can’t do these two things at once, it’s time to examine your commitment to a world without this terrifying syncopation of police violence and economic starvation.

As for distracting the media, well … Attempting to appeal for mainstream media visibility in this age of instant information is a pathetic neutralization of our capacity. Let them cover the sensation if that’s what they’ll do. Our resentment should not be engineered by their attention span.

2. “DESTROYING ‘YOUR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD’ WON’T HELP.”

I’m not sure how people who make this argument imagine ‘owning’ a neighborhood works, but I’ll try to break it down: we don’t own neighborhoods. Black businesses exist, it’s true. But the emancipation of impoverished communities is not measured in corner-store revenue. It’s not measured in minimum-wage jobs. And no, it’s especially not measured in how many black people are allowed to become police officers. Here is a local discussing WHY AREA BUSINESSES MIGHT HAVE BEEN TARGETED.

White flight really happened. Go LOOK IT UP. And insinuating that simply because all the white people left certain neighborhoods following desegregation doesn’t mean they are suddenly ‘ours’. This kind of de facto ‘self-determination’ is so short-sighted it makes me wonder how we can even talk about gentrification and segregation usefully if we think black people somehow ‘have all these neighborhoods’. We don’t have ghettos. Ghettos have us. Prisons have us. Sports teams own us. Record labels own us. We don’t have shit.

3. “LOOTERS AND VANDALS ARE CRIMINALS.”

I grew up afraid to put my hands in my pockets at the store. For us “can I help you find something?” means something very specific. Young people of color are presumed guilty. Police cars slow down when they pass us on the street. They search our pockets and dump out our bags. On our way to and from school. To and from work. If we walk through a wealthy neighborhood, we might get shot. A third of us have been to jail. The law protects this kind of targeting, so yeah, we’re criminals. We are criminals because we are seen as criminals. We were criminals long before we climbed through broken windows. We were criminals long before we ‘refused to disperse’.

4. “BLACK COMMUNITY LEADERS OPPOSE VIOLENCE.”

First of all, this is kind of a baseless generalization. One of Martin Luther King Jr.’s lesser known quotes ‘riot is the language of the unheard’ keeps me grounded here. In fact, did you know that MLK AND MANY OTHER NON-VIOLENT BLACK ACTIVISTS EMPLOYED ARMED GUARDS in the 60s?

Besides, all of this talk about ‘violence’ this and stereotypes that is just so unhelpful. Let’s maybe talk about the fact that in cases like this police deliberately censor footage gathered, in some cases ARRESTING PHOTOGRAPHERS for fear of sparking unrest. You know why that is? Because they understand what most riot shamers don’t: if you corner injured people, there is no where to go but against. Judging people’s commitment to ‘the cause’ based on whether they can bottle up their reasonable frustrations, and finding selective affinity with only those who can say from safe distance to ‘turn the other cheek’ is part of what sparks these riots in the first place.

5. “REFORM THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, DON’T RIOT.”

Something tells me people who make this argument haven’t really looked into the prospects of this task. Let’s be real, this ‘justice system’ people suppose is possible has been the subject of political and economic philosophy for hundreds of years. I got news for you: it’s not looking up. The ‘fair’ economic system that a reformed justice system would require is a myth.

“So are you saying we should just give up?” That’s what people ask me when I say things like this. My response: “eh, how about just not reducing everything to patience and progress?” Don’t ask kids to wait around and dodge bullets until the system treats us fairly. Just stop putting that on them. Believe it or not, you don’t have to save the world. And you sure as hell ain’t going to do it on Twitter. Just step back with the riot shaming, and work on your perspective.