This Is Why POC/BBIP Have Stopped Showing Up To Your (White-Centered) Organizing Spaces

"This weekend, white supremacist groups will host rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro. While Black Lives Matter Nashville (BLMN) understands why it is important to counter-protest these types of gatherings, BLMN will not participate in any counter-protest. We believe that gatherings of neo-Nazis and Klansmen like these distract us from the destructive ways systemic white supremacy rallies against the lives of black and brown folks in Middle Tennessee and this country every day." – Black Lives Matter Nashville

Organizers of color are saying this in Syracuse and in New York City as well (the latter part of the above quote).

Frankly, we’ve ran out of ways of saying it, and this is why some POC-led groups (nationwide) are are stepping away from white-led spaces that insist on defining what white supremacy is for people of color. This is because the work is taxing, draining, and (translates to) a waste of time because this work (then) distracts POC/BBIs from engaging, protecting, and empowering our own people. This is not a matter of political or scholarly debate—and the experts in the picture are starting to walk away for all the good reasons. Fighting klanspeople (lets get real, it’s not only men) and neo-nazis is important . . . but that is separate work from the foundational change communities of color are fighting to create.

Those who have been on the receiving end of White Supremacy’s perpetrated violence for over 500 years should not be dragged away from their work. We should not be expected to change the work guided by expert manuals we’ve so carefully (and painfully) handcrafted with our experiences.

Our manuals kill that which society nurtures.

We are not responsible for this mess (public klan and nazi parades)—and we won’t clean it up. Not this one. To insist people with shared histories of disenfranchisement and oppression (read: survivors of colonization) engage in surface work is to insist they participate in a negligent cycle which does not serve the immediate needs of their people.


Before you go, read BLM Nashville's full statement below:

Find your local Black Lives Matter chapter here or on Facebook (it takes a quick search; type: "Black Lives Matter [name of your city/town]").

Additionally, if you are a Brown, and/or Black, and/or Indigenous person looking for a community that centers your experiences and expertise, I suggest you give Hoods4Justice a like on Facebook. They're a New York City-based community whose work can provide you some ideas; don't hesitate to reach out to them directly if you live in New York City.

To learn about and support more POC/BBI organizations, see our list of causas.

Need a shorter link to this historia?

WhenSheWrote at Graffiti Alley in Toronto (Canada).

WhenSheWrote is sister to gifted first-generation 'Americans' and daughter of relentless Mexicans who separately immigrated to the United States in the 1980s. Currently a student of Geography at Syracuse University . . . Read more →

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