I do not need your apology. I do not need your words. I will not pat you on the back for finally seeing what my people have been saying all along–that even with a Black man as our President– racism, sexism, homophobia, hate for & fear of the other exists.
I want your eyes, your ears, your actions. I want you to listen when my people tell you there are systems in place to keep us down, systems which help you at the same time that they (these systems) in-prison us. I want you to listen when my people tell you about the ways you benefit and perpetuate these systems (whether you mean to or not). It is not an attack nor is it my people saying you are evil, or unloving or somehow embody all of those -isms.
It is my people lifting your veil of innocence and showing you the reality we live in. It is my people showing you: if you continue to remain silent then you are part of the problem– notice I did not say you are the problem– but PART of a larger system that keeps the injustices against the other shrouded in SILENCE and ignorance. PART of a larger system that allows for discriminatory thoughts and speech to be swept under the rug because the speaker is not “racist or sexist or homophobic,” their words just are.
If words are “just words” then why then do you feel attached when we point out your privilige? Is it maybe because you know your actions do not align with what you say? You say you love us and care for us but you do not act to help us. You see there are systems of oppression blocking only our doors yet when we tell you to look at the difference between you and us, you ask why we have to make everything about race.
My people live their skin color every day. My people cannot choose to forget their race or skin color in the name of “love.”We cannot choose to forget our race or skin color when we are dissected for your pleasure: the uneducated gangster thug in your favorite movie and the Vassar-graduate girl you’ll one day marry. Your art versus your reality. We cannot choose to forget our race or skin color because talking about it makes you uncomfortable. Living our race and our skin makes us uncomfortable, EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Does yours?
We are lifting the veil off your eyes because you say you love us and we want you to listen, we want you to act. Our silence does not create a more comfortable and loving environment for us. And your resistance to self-reflection, your silence, your inaction do not create a more comfortable and loving environment for us either. You love us then use your actions to change the systems and your people causing us harm.
Talk with us. Not to us. React with us. Not to us. Listen with us. Create with us. Act with us.
But please act with the intent of awakening with us.
With tender love + curls,
Your Little Dominican