Disingenuous. This is a word that is knocking around in my brain a lot lately. The Webster’s Dictionary defines it as not candid or sincere. Since George Floyd was brutally lynched in the street by a white supremacist who just happened to be a cop, I have seen so many companies post online and send emails saying they stand with people of color.

There are two things wrong with this sentiment. First, do not lump BLACK people with other people of color. NO OTHER RACE has been owned as chattel. Please spare me the ‘white people were slaves, too’ rhetoric. White people were INDENTURED SERVANTS and were not kidnapped from their land, brought here in chains in the bowels of slave ships, and ripped from their families. Nor were white people bred like animals on breeding plantations only to have their children sold from them. Nor were white people completely stripped of their family names and cultures. White people can trace their lineage back beyond the ocean to their lands of origin. Black people can only trace our lineage to a bill of sale. BLACK people need to be recognized as the ones being systemically and deliberately and cruelly oppressed by white people. So, if you stand with us, say you stand with BLACK people.

The second thing wrong with this statement that companies “stand with us” is the fact that black people have been getting murdered by white people for centuries under the laws of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and the KKK — otherwise known as the police department. We have been crying out for centuries. I know white people can’t seem to acknowledge all of the atrocities their race as a whole has committed against Black people, so let’s just take the last few years. Over TWO THOUSAND INNOCENT BLACK PEOPLE have died as a direct result of police brutality just within the last two years.

WHERE WAS YOUR CONCERN FOR ALL OF THESE LIVES??

WHERE WAS YOUR OUTRAGE AT ALL THE RACISM??

It was nowhere to be found. You remained silent.

But now that it is considered safe to do so, you want to proudly proclaim over the Internet that you “stand with us.” No, what you stand for is your bottom line. Yes, you are making donations, and having your public relations department craft beautiful rhetoric to try and prove that you are on the side of Black people. But you aren’t. What you ARE is AFRAID that your businesses will LOSE MONEY because Black people are moving differently now. We are choosing to exercise our economic power and NOT give our dollars to companies who merely — and barely — tolerate our presence. THAT is what YOU stand for.

I don’t care what white person is offended by this post. I am truly exhausted making white people feel “comfortable.” White comfort is costing Black lives and I will no longer worry about your white fragility. White people want us to constantly apologize for OUR BLACKNESS and move in ways that make you feel less threatened (as if that is even possible), but white people don’t ever want to own up to the racism and hatred they dole out on a regular basis.

White people always want to explain it away: “it wasn’t me, I’m not racist”; “that quote was taken out of context”; “my best friend is black” (don’t get me started on this one); “what about black on black crime?” (which is a dog whistle racist term because when a white person commits a crime against another white, you don’t call it white on white crime).

Times are changing.

Black people aren’t taking your bullshit anymore.

If you really want to stand for us, then say you stand with BLACK people.

Donate money to black businesses.

Donate your money to BLACK grass roots organizations that are actually doing things for the Black community (and this DOES NOT INCLUDE THE NAACP BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T DONE SHIT FOR BLACK PEOPLE IN A LONG TIME OTHER THAN STAND IN FRONT OF A CAMERA GRANDSTANDING TO MAKE THEMSELVES RELEVANT).

When you see a white cop harassing — OR MURDERING — a Black person, intervene. You certainly don’t have to worry about being shot!

When you see a white woman harassing a Black person and threatening to call the slave patrol (I mean the cops), stand there — BOLDLY, if you please — and be about it for us.

THAT is when I will believe you “stand for us.” Until then, your emails, ads, and proclamations of standing for us are rhetorical bullshit.

Writer. Blogger. Native Jersey girl in a Maryland world. Come visit me at www.audrarussellwrites.com

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