It has been a rough two weeks. Like, hide-in-my-bed-and-never-leave two weeks. America has chosen a known white supremacist to be president. This cannot be real life. But it is. And we are all trying to deal with the trauma and pain that this election has created. I love that there have been multiple community gatherings to express the fear, anxiety and next steps that will need to be taken to ensure safety.
But I don’t like what those spaces have continued to support, which is inherently white supremacy. When white people enter spaces like this, they often take up way too much space to talk about how they are individually affected, ignoring the black and brown voices in the room. Then they end up crying and expect those same people to continue to hold emotional space for them.
During my weekly staff meeting at work, white people took up so much space to cry and talk about their feelings, completely ignoring the real and continuous trauma that black and brown people are experiencing. Through their intentions to be a ‘good white ally’, they effectively silenced the voices most affected (one of those voices being my own). It immediately turned into a space for white people to feel guilty, instead of holding safe space for our black and brown employees.
Let’s make something clear: black and brown people with multiple intersections of identities are the ones who will be the most affected. Not white people.
I need white people to stop crying and instead, hold space for us. I need white people to realize that they are not the only people in the room suffering and that many people are legitimately afraid for their lives and for their families. I really need white people to do better and stop re-traumatizing us by expecting the most affected to hold emotional space for those who caused us to arrive here in the first place. This is because of you and your ancestors – white people – and ya’ll need to get it together. If I am expected to represent the entire Latinx community, then I am going to do the same for white people: 53% of white women voted for Trump, and I am holding white people entirely accountable for this obvious fuck-up.
I do not have time to hear you cry about sad you are. I do not have the energy to console you after all your friends voted for Trump. I am still dealing with my own ancestral trauma, which started the day Columbus landed on the island of Borinken. We have been dealing with this shit for centuries, and now you, white people, are just waking up.
It’s about damn time.
So please, do me a favor: dry your white tears, get your white friends together, and support the black and brown people who have already been doing this work for years. We’ve been waiting for you to do your part. Ya’ll just need to take the first step.