As we said this past week, Mundane stands in insistent solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We are devastated, as most with any kind of heart and conscience are, that police brutality and racism have remained such a pervasive and unchecked part of our culture. Our past and our present are deeply shameful.
However, we are also heartened and hopeful; it seems that revolution might be in the air. This moment in time is different. The boomers will be the last generation that let things keep getting worse, let capitalism run amok, gleefully gentrifying every city within an inch of cultural recognition, and being complacent with a broken system. As many are stating now, it’s not enough to say you’re not racist, you must practice anti-racism.
With a spirit of palpable change all around us, it’s not just a reckoning for the system, for the racists, for our collective identity—it’s a big fucking wake up call for white folks. White fragility and performative allyship have been loudly all around us since protests began on May 25th over the police murder of George Floyd. Not only do white people help to keep a racist patriarchy alive and well, they are historically uncomfortable talking about racism and processing their white guilt. And unfortunately, the time is over for the fragility and comfort that white folks get from looking away. Get in losers, we are sitting in our discomfort!
It is time to have the uncomfortable conversations with family and friends who are dead ass asleep—or even if they are missing just one piece of the puzzle. When they say, “Well, all lives matter, don’t they?” We say, “You are wildly missing the point!” We take the time to explain it to them.
It is going to be the job of anti-racist white allies to reeducate the ignorant white folks around them. Black people have BEEN too busy for that nonsense. When your mom says, “I just hate all the looting,” you explain that property cannot be prioritized over people. You explain that extremist right wing racist groups and COPS are inciting a lot of the violence at peaceful protests. You explain that the police need to be defunded nationwide, and choke holds need to be banned.
You explain that ANTIFA is a complex and often problematic organization, but they’re also very ready to fuck up violent Nazis and it is OKAY to punch a fucking Nazi. Don’t give me your Crystal Light revolution™. I want your boiling tea radicalism, white folks!
And that’s not asking a lot. Apparently acknowledging that slavery, segregation and the new slavery of the prison industrial complex were/are all fucking LEGAL is radical for some of y’all.
As the protests continue, wear comfortable clothing and bring lots of water and snacks to share. Do not lead chants. Watch out for people. Stay with the people you came with. If police violence breaks out, get in between the pigs and the black protestors. Don’t fucking post pictures with people’s faces in them, and honestly don’t really post pictures/videos at all. No one needs to see your Instagram story, shakily walking down the street to prove you were there. It’s not about you! Follow your local Black Lives Matter and SURJ chapters. Find out who their leaders are and follow them too. Keep your ear to the ground of the conversation and LISTEN, so we don’t have a bunch of black squares on the internet.
Lastly, READ. (Don’t order your books from Amazon! Buy from a black-owned book store.) Maybe start with White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. Then read Bell Hooks, Angela Davis and Malcom X as just a start. Do your research. Here are two links to get you started that I found in five seconds with a Google for “anti-racism resources.”
Not knowing where to start is not an excuse anymore! Spend your whole weekend reeducating yourself instead of farting on your couch. I know this whole missive is me yelling, but I have been yelling at family all week, so that’s just where I’m at! I don’t know everything! I have so much learning to do myself! I promise to do that work. Please promise to do it too!
Below are photos that our photo journalist Becca Risley took at Nashville’s second Black Lives Matter protest on June 4th. This protest was attended by over 10,000 people and organized by a group of teenage girls (here is their Instagram). If that doesn’t fill you with hope, I don’t know what will.
And for all my Nashville folks out there: Fuck Jim Shulman! Call his office and let him know he fucked up! And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, there’s your homework for the day.