Almost a week after Charlottesville. Hard to know what to do besides make offer support, emotional and financial, to friends traumatized and physically injured. After the long tail of Occupy, somewhere in the middle of 2012, I decided I didn’t want to enact my politics on facebook. Some people do it very well and seem to even still have space to have a personality on display besides “person who is very political on facebook.” I moved to Japan. I was away from my family and almost all of my friends, it turns out I did just want to use this particular social media to keep in touch my aunts and cousins. Every now and then something would happen and I’d be overcome with the urge to write some long blah blah, my own little hot take. I would type and huff and huff and type and then, overcome with disgust at my own performative outrage, delete everything, close tab, and try to go take a walk or something. Probably this was always the right idea, but it didn’t really help in any way either. Sure, I didn’t puff myself up and mistake social media posting for action, but neither did I learn to articulate my politics, get feedback or pushback, or even any practice putting words together.
That’s not really what I want to say post-Charlottesville, but I’m not in habit of saying anything and I want to change that. That’s what this blog was supposed to be about. Practice saying stuff.
Since they aren’t going to go on facebook, here’s a list of things I’ve wanted to post long things about. You may notice that the internet essay machine has already taken care of many of them.
1. The statues were put up in the 1920s to terrorize Black people. Please read about all the racial violence happening at this time. (Here I would summarize a few wikipedia articles.)
2. Robert E. Lee has fuck-all to do with Charlottesville.
3. Stop feeling so self-congratulatory, “Love Trumps Hate” bougie Cville white people, y’all know that town is racist is shit and so are you, even if you aren’t an actual Nazi.
4. Alt-left is not a thing
5. But also, radicals, don’t feel like you were the only ones on the street. A lot, A LOT, of unaffiliated Charlottesville residents were out there. Glad the DSA is having a good year, but the DSA is not the ‘hero’ of this awful shit show. (Maybe I will actually write this one all out in an email to Chapo Trap House, with a ps on how bored I am of their constant low-level sexism.)
6. White people should read more books by militant Black writers, and learn how to deal with the discomfort that comes with realizing someone might not like you because of your race, or that they might have some very strong preconceived notions about you based on your race. “But I’m an individual and so nice!” you will cry, “why doesn’t Amiri Baraka seem to want to be friends with me?! ” Like they tell all us nice white ladies in yoga, lean into the discomfort and keep your yap shut.
7. A long auto-biographical spiel about me growing up as a white person in Virginia and how I became the awesome wokity woke radical cracker that y’all know and love today. It involved a lot of Amiri Baraka.