Oww, Ouch!: How to Apologize

So, you caused harm. Pulled your weapons of whiteness and inflicted pain and suffering on someone with less privilege than you. Maybe you were called in. Maybe you were called out. Maybe you shut down. Maybe you lashed out. Maybe you sat with it or maybe you stormed away and pulled out more weapons to defend yourself against the truth. Before you have any hopes of moving on or making amends you first need to admit to yourself the problem. Are you assuming your experience is universal? Do you think your opinion is more valuable than the person/people you hurt/offended? Have you denied someone else’s experience as real and valid? Do you feel entitled to the thoughts, experiences, education, labor, empathy, time and counsel of women of color?

The answer is yes! You have been conditioned this way. White supremacist culture dictates that you (and I!) have internalize these very messages. Therefore, this is exactly what you need to unlearn and resist everyday in order to mitigate the danger you cause to black women (and other folx with marginalized identities).

Be honest with yourself about the heart of the disagreement or else there will never be a path to legitimate healing and restoration. If the black (or brown, indigenous, disabled, queer/trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming) woman in question is on a path of transformative justice and equity (and a lot of us are) then your challenge is that much greater.

So you caused harm, now what? You could just say sorry and keep it moving. Hope the other party will get over it. But that is probably doomed to fail. Why?

Because saying sorry does not show that you understand what the issue was or that you have committed to making changes to your behavior to ensure the offense or harm doesn’t happen again.  If your apology sounds like, “I’m sorry IF I OFFENDED YOU.” I hear, “I’m tired of talking about this and don’t get why you’re mad, but maybe this will end it.” or “ I don’t want you to be mad at me so let’s make up.” Neither of those get to the heart of the pain you have inflicted with your words or actions.

Skip all ifs and buts in your apology and stick to just the facts. What did you do that caused pain? Do you understand why in hindsight it was wrong? If so, say so but do not explain your intentions. As Appel Rossell so brilliantly laid out in her essay for The Establishment, When Will People Of Color Start Raising The Goddamn Bar For White People?, “White people, you see, have this thing called good intentions. And we’re told these intentions — which only white people have, while people of color just have suspicious behavior and sassiness—trump impact, everyday.”

Good intentions are not more important than perpetuating white supremacy and inflicting racial trauma (or ableism or transphobia or Xenophobia or anti-semitism, etc.) on people that are fatigued to the marrow of our bones from fighting for access to our full, unyielding, resplendent humanity.

Do better.

See also the handy infographic: 5 Easy Steps to A Sincere Apology originally created for Resist Oppression.


KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation.

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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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PushBlack Takes You to School…

from your Messenger app.  Opera Snapshot_2018-03-20_112022_www.messenger.com.png

I believe I have shared about this before, but here goes, again. This time in a more official capacity.

Sign Up for PushBlack on Facebook today.  You will get history lessons sent directly to your messenger inbox regularly.  But not just any history lessons.  Take this entry on Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Did you Know That FDR’s New Deal Was Racist?

PushBlack contextualizes the racist policies inherent in The New Deal. FDR and The New Deal are typically praised for pulling America out of the Great Depression, however, that was not true for black people.  Roosevelt’s New Deal actively hurt black people by allowing employers to pay blacks less and kept black people from homeownership.

These are the true legacy of FDR’s New Deal that black people are still fighting.  When we talk about dismantling white supremacy, this is what we are talking about.  Truth is power and power is liberation.  Know your truth and don’t be afraid to stand in it and for it, daily.


 

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KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation. 


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Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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Booting Becky and Choosing Myself

Originally published by Threads of Solidarity on Medium on August 1, 2017

And Featured in HuffPo Black Voices on Sep. 14, 2017

Dear Beckys,

We can not be friends. In case you don’t know, Beckys are white women who aren’t actively seeking to understand and dismantle white supremacy. Beckys are good people; they are well meaning and their intentions are everything. Beckys are colorblind and think classism or sexism or fascism or capitalism (or literally any other -ism) but not racism, is the problem we all need to join forces to fight against. Beckys are positive that if we focus on positivity and respectability we shall overcome. Beckys don’t realize the harm they cause. Beckys are white (or white presenting) women who have privilege and implicit bias on their side but refuse to acknowledge it. They participate in maintaining white supremacy and don’t understand or care to unpack how they are complicit in order to affect change.

In short, I can not be friends with white women. Not white women who can’t acknowledge that being colorblind is problematic AF. Not white women who see calling out racism as spreading hate. Not white women who lash out and turn into teenagers spewing insults when I speak my truth and it hurts their feelings because she is set on saying to herself “But I’m a good person!” Not white woman who can’t acknowledge simple concepts like white privilege. Not anymore. Both in real life and online, I can not have friends that are not working on anti-racism from the inside out.

It’s my fault though. I invited you to the cookout too soon. I gave you a pass when you said something subtle, casually, as a “joke.” I was afraid of being seen as angry so I laughed along or stood quiet. My silence earned me validation, earned me “one of the cool ones” status. So I did not guard my space and protect my energy from internalizing your reality. I was naive and didn’t understand but now I know. While I know you may not have been aware of what you were doing, you also did not care enough to want to understand. So don’t call me your best friend if you don’t want me to be whole.

I have escaped the Sunken Place but with people like this in my life, it’s like having one foot still in and constantly fighting off being dragged back down. Not today Satan. I am stronger than your invalidation. I am wiser than your lack of understanding. I am happier than your perception of me when I am fighting for my liberation. “My eyes are open and I cannot and will not force them shut.” I am deliberately grabbing liberation and creating it for myself.

I am

deliberately grabbing liberation

and creating it for myself.

My liberation starts in accepting the truth of my reality and not allowing others to gaslight me into believing there is something wrong with me. I deserve to be whole. I deserve to be comfortable. I’m done swallowing hard and biting my tongue to keep from explaining why what you said wasn’t okay. How that, that thing you just did, is an example of fetishizing, tokenizing, pre-judging, colorism, exceptionalism, tone policing, respectability politics, anti-blackness…the list goes on and on.

I know you don’t want to hear that you are complicit. Guess what? I don’t want to experience (or explain) the harm you are causing in demonizing or dehumanizing people who don’t look like you. Make no mistake, it causes me harm and triple the harm if I say nothing and try to move on. You’re tired. I’m exhausted. I have exhausted my patience, my time, my energy, my love and my acceptance. I have extended my limits of tolerating intolerance and given too many “well meaning”, “good intentions” passes. I’m tapped out. I’m done being silenced and made to feel small. Because I can’t have friends that aren’t on the same page as me; not now, not ever! if I want to be whole. It happened before and it will happen again and if I don’t stand for something, I will fall for anything. I’m done being pushed until I fall off the cliff.

So before you ask me, what happened to Kelly or Jane or Becky? Or why she doesn’t come around anymore, don’t. Before you look at me sideways like I can’t keep a friend, don’t. I chose myself and my sanity over her comfort. That’s what happened. The end.

Signed,

Deliberately Grabbing Liberation

(Formerly known as “angry, bitchy, black friend”)


KILLING GEORGINA is creating poetry and prose to heal and achieve metaphysical liberation.

Opera Snapshot_2018-02-23_164833_www.buymeacoffee.com

https://buymeacoff.ee/RiaMoni


Subscribe to Patreon.com/KillingGeorgina


Gratitude is good, gratuity is better. If you appreciate the content, the emotional labor, the value added by holding space for and amplifying the lives and experiences of women and femmes of color, hit me up here.

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#WhytewomenboycottTwitter

#WhytewomenboycottTwitter

rosemcgowan.jpeg

So, I said what I said. #MeToo. Meaning, I too have been sexually harassed and assaulted in my lifetime. Meaning, I too have been harassed in the workplace, namely by white men, in my lifetime. Meaning, I too have been assaulted by a white man or two in my lifetime. Depends what I want to count and what I want to forget. By saying #metoo, I did not say what, where, how or who because I don’t think it is any of your business. I am not here to be your trauma porn. I am not here to expose all my vulnerabilities on demand. I said what I said and I stand with all victims and survivors of traumas that come in all forms.

But lest you forget, I am first and foremost a black woman though, so fuck Rose McGowan and her peak white feminism and fuck #womenboycottTwitter because as Rosa Clemente said last week when it started (paraphrasing) this is peak white privilege to surrender use of a major platform because of your hurt feelings and sensibilities while Black and Indigenous people are using every avenue we have available to us to stop the bleeding. People are dying in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island, protests continue in St. Louis, people are dying in Somalia, black lives still don’t matter, indigenous people are still colonized and oppressed.

So no, I won’t boycott Twitter or FB to stand with white women that historically and currently have not stood with me. Instead, I will spend my time using whatever platform I am given to help support, donate, amplify others causes and needs and raise my voice in protest. Because silence is violence and white women continue to wield the power of that violence to bend people and structures to protect and uphold whyte feminism. Whyte feminism is white supremacy. Take your pink pussy hats and shove em…

 

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Change the Page

timeforchange.jpeg

I am not your pusher

I am not your whore

I will not stand aside and hold the door

while you climb

and push me to the margins

skip my footnote

ignore my humanity

take the credit and more

I will not sit back and hide my pain

while you continue to

slander my name,

steal my flame

A desire for

equality, equity, fairness

you fake.

My fire, my heart

Our creations, our art

You take.

 

 

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Killing Georgina


Killing Georgina

Have you met Georgina?

Georgina is my pain

My guilt

My self hate

My denial

My compromise

I want to kill her

Bury her

Forget her

Forever.

But I named her,

Looked her in her eyes,

Watched her sink,

Into that place.

Break. Cry, “No no nonono”

She’s stronger than she looks

Proof of indoctrination

It is real

It is effective

I need to “Get Out”

of Defense Mode

Acknowledge it

Sit with it

Hold space

Meditate

Mediate

Stay.Woke.Every.Day.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, repeat. Push forward. Chip away.

Killing Georgina begins today…


Gratitude is good, gratuity is better

Escaping the sunken place and amplifying my teachers here