the contrarian

United States

Proud member of Dumbasses Inc.
Profile is by Sara Kipin.

Anti-gun, pro-choice, very queer, an ally of BIPOC, and supporter of the BLM movement. Read my pieces. Educate yourself.

Joined 2018. Left 2020.

Message from Writer

Bye.

What is Juneteenth? And Additional Information

June 19, 2020

FREE WRITING

13

Approximately 155 years ago, an order was issued by one Major General Gordon Granger, telling enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, they were free. The Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln, was finally in effect. This was two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, where one of the last battles of the American Civil War took place.

Of course, that doesn't mean that slavery dropped off the side of the Earth after order No. 3. Some "freed" African Americans were still working on plantations, unaware of the news. The mayor of Galveston city at the time forced people back to work, and lynchings still occurred. In one case, former slave Katie Darling continued working for her mistress for another six years.

It was in no way a means of celebration - African Americans were still enslaved and forced to work in the same harsh circumstances as they were before the American Civil War, but their resiliency was remarkable. The men and women who were still seen as below their fellow white Americans took June 19 and transformed it from a day of ignored military orders to a holiday - their own annual rite that began one year after order No. 3.

If you'd like to read more, here an informative article from The New York Times, and here is something from the actual Juneteenth website.

This took me less than an hour to write and research. Don't give me more credit for doing something as basic as looking up "What is Juneteenth" on Google. Just a forewarning, there's a rant coming up because I am not happy about what I've been seeing on this site. I will be as kind as I can be considering the circumstances, but please understand that I need to get this off of my chest.

If you consider yourself an ally to BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People Of Color), then let me ask you a question.
After Derek Chauvin was fired, arrested, and charged, what did you do? 

Did you say, "Oh, thank goodness that's over," and go back to your routine before George Floyd was murdered? You signed the petitions, liked and shared pieces that had the resources to support the BLM movement, and maybe even went to peaceful protests. But now the movement has lost its steam, there isn't much in terms of news, so you think you can stop pretending to be an ally and go back to ignoring what our black and indigenous brothers and sisters are still fighting and dying for. 

Now, before I get too into it and turn this into more of a rant than it has to be, I'm going to list off some general guidelines taken from this article/pamphlet, "Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies."

1. Assume racism is everywhere, every day. Just as economics influences everything we do, just as gender and gender politics influence everything we do, assume that racism is affecting your daily life. We assume this because it’s true, and because a privilege of being white is the freedom to not deal with racism all the time. We have to learn to see the effect that racism has. Notice who speaks, what is said, how things are done and described. Notice who isn’t present when racist talk occurs. Notice code words for race, and the implications of the policies, patterns, and comments that are being expressed. You already notice the skin color of everyone you meet—now notice what difference it makes.

2. Notice who is the center of attention and who is the center of power. Racism works by directing violence and blame toward people of color and consolidating power and privilege for white people. 

3. Notice how racism is denied, minimized, and justified. 

4. Understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism. Notice how racism has changed over time and how it has subverted or resisted challenges. Study the tactics that have worked effectively against it. 

5. Understand the connections between racism, economic issues, sexism, and other forms of injustice. 

6. Take a stand against injustice. Take risks. It is scary, difficult, and may bring up feelings of inadequacy, lack of self-confidence, indecision, or fear of making mistakes, but ultimately it is the only healthy and moral human thing to do. Intervene in situations where racism is being passed on. 

7. Be strategic. Decide what is important to challenge and what’s not. Think about strategy in particular situations. Attack the source of power.

8. Don’t confuse a battle with the war. Behind particular incidents and interactions are larger patterns. Racism is flexible and adaptable. There will be gains and losses in the struggle for justice and equality.

9. Don’t call names or be personally abusive. Since power is often defined as power over others—the ability to abuse or control people—it is easy to become abusive ourselves. However, we usually end up abusing people who have less power than we do because it is less dangerous. Attacking people doesn’t address the systemic nature of racism and inequality.

10. Support the leadership of people of color. Do this consistently, but not uncritically.

11. Learn something about the history of white people who have worked for racial justice. There is a long history of white people who have fought for racial justice. Their stories can inspire and sustain you.

12. Don’t do it alone. You will not end racism by yourself. We can do it if we work together. Build support, establish networks, and work with already established groups.

Don't stop fighting just because you think that it's over. You're not allowed to take off the weight of being an ally when BIPOC cannot take off the weight of their skin color and centuries of oppression and abuse because of white superiority. Racism is still as loud as it’s always been, so don’t you dare think you can turn a blind eye to those who are still working to make things better for themselves. 

If you’ve already got the privilege that BIPOC have been fighting for since the colonization of the United States of America, then there should be no reason that you shouldn’t still be using that privilege to fight for those who aren’t so lucky.

Print

See History
  • June 19, 2020 - 8:39pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

3 Comments
  • jun lei

    yes!! just because it's not a headline doesn't mean it ceases to exist.
    my queen, please run for president. i'm begging you.


    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    people always use the excuse of “but i’m tired :(“ and...sorry karen but a revolution doesn’t happen overnight? allyship is more than a week of sharing blm on your insta story. it irks me when people say such things and complain when bare minimum support like signing petitions take very little energy. anyways: thank you for always saying everything so, so right. you’re a queen, truly.


    4 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    thank you for writing this. i don't think i can say that enough. thank you.


    4 months ago