These are some of the ways white solidarity in regard to fighting against anti-black racism can appear.
These are some ways in which white people can be comrades to black people.
Neither of these individuals are running around saying, “Look at me! Look at how I’m so excellent at being a good white person!” Neither of them said, “Hey! But not all white people…!” They, in fact, said, “Too many white people…!” and got to work. Neither of them has to convince black people of their intentions. What they did was say, “How can I be of service?” and, when told, did as they were asked. They were not there to condescend to black people or speak over black people or pretend to be able to know what it must be like to be black in America. They were there to support the cause, which they recognized as imperative for our liberation and their own.
They put themselves in harm’s way (and when you are allied with black people in a bold and physical way, you have definitely, automatically placed yourself in harm’s way by your mere proximity to black bodies and causes, because the System’s aim is not always true) not because it wins them a gold star for the White Ally Games, but because they know that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere and whatever evils are perpetrated against black peoples, it’s only a matter of time before those same evils are perpetrated against non-black peoples.
In other words, they are not, to paraphrase James Baldwin, Liberals; that is to say, they aren’t missionaries placing themselves in the mix to feel good about themselves. They know, as much as we do, that Whiteness must be abolished. They are not oblivious to their own privileges, showing up in name only in order to score political correctness points. They, rather, understand that the duty to fight against anti-black racism is the duty of anyone who wishes to think of themselves as an actual human being; who, in fact, understands what “humanity” actually means.
Let these two individuals be some sort of examples to the folks who insist upon “Not all white people…!”
Being a comrade is an action. It is not going around touting your role as The Exception. It is not seeking balms and cookies from black people for being in touch with your BASIC, BASELINE humanity.
If you think it is, you’ve been doing this shit ALL WRONG.
If you have to say “Not all white people…!” if you feel compelled to protect and absolve Whiteness in any way, particularly during an event in which Blackness is being annihilated by Whiteness, your priorities have been made clear. You are not comrade; you are enemy.
[Photo descriptions: A young white man is standing on the grass in the midst of an outdoor, daytime gathering where many individuals, black and white, have shown up. He is holding a sign that says: BLACK LIVES MATTER MIKE BROWN
A white woman is standing alone on the grass. She is holding a white sign with black letters that reads: “I Shoplifted as a teen. How many times should I be shot? #MikeBrown. She added, in the photo’s description, an additional bit of text:
“I want to be clear, the purpose of this photo is NOT to infer guilt on Mike Brown. But too often in the killing of black people by cops, alleged guilt of a minor crime is all that is needed for the white public to write them off. I want to circumvent that entire derailment technique, because in the end, it doesn’t matter. If I get caught shoplifting, I don’t get shot eight times. And Michael Brown shouldn’t have, either.”]