The Whitney Museum chooses silence in an effort to displace, downplay, and negate valid public outrage regarding their policies, ethics and leadership. By Jamara Wakefield May 17th marked the start of the 79th Whitney Biennial. The Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition, featuring typically young and lesser-known artists, at the Whitney Museum of American Art […]
Removing Black Bodies From The Front Lines Of America’s Sins
I’ve decided to remove my Black body from the war and reclaim my time. I care about the status of the country I live in, but this war is never-ending, and ultimately no longer mine to fight.
By Barbara Muhumuza
August has been a tumultuous month — the climate has been packed with hateful bigotry which has created an atmosphere of fear for marginalized groups and our accomplices. I imagine that it can be unsettling to witness the reality of America’s truth come to light, especially after being deluded for so long that this America was anything but the one it was created to be.
Seeing the honest reflection that you, white people, have spent decades denying is quite probably difficult to absorb. For Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), however, this is not new. Frankly, this is much more passive than the things we’ve seen and died for and from.
That doesn’t make it any less of an issue, but how much longer must we put up with this rhetoric that this America — bold, hateful and willing to burn anything in the way of its need to upkeep white supremacy — is anything other than the America it has always been?
Black people know that this America is the same America we were brought in chains to. This America is the same America that insidiously infiltrated and destroyed Black leaderships in order to prevent Black communal efforts of progress. This America is the same America that has always been inherently anti-black, anti-indigenous, anti-poor, anti-queer, anti-anything that isn’t white and rich.
The beast has always been the same, it’s just an expert at metamorphosis. This hateful, bigot-filled, anti-black, racial tension that has unleashed the smoke of its fire, is not something that Black America fears because it’s simply what Black America has always known. We are not the ones suffocating here. We will survive, as we always have.
I blame (white) liberals. If anything liberals have taken up the most dangerous political agenda because it’s liberalism that persuades us to tuck away our rage. It is liberalism that convinces us that flimsy progress is better than none — even if that progress is still subtly fulfilling America’s anti-Black agenda. It’s liberalism that makes the convincing argument that we live within a “post-racial” society, and completely ignores how this country was built on the backs of those separated from their right to humanity.
Liberalism does an amazing job of performing intersectional failure, and we all suffer because of it. It’s the white liberals that are screaming “Trump’s America” while simultaneously denying the history of America, and the ways that they have benefitted from it. This is what happens when you forge progress where there is none. Yes, there are no more chains. Yes, we have been given much more opportunity than before. But there is no benefit in celebrating progress that barely lasts. There is no celebration of progress that fails to be inclusive. If only some, and not all are given the right to live without struggling to survive, then we all fail and the perceived progress means nothing.
I’ve decided to remove my Black body from the war and reclaim my time. I care about the status of the country I live in, but this war is never-ending, and ultimately no longer mine to fight. In the words of @AmeriKraut: I’m staying my ass home, and removing myself from the front lines.
It is time to remove black bodies from this trauma because this war begins and ends with those that have promoted inclusion when their agenda is in danger, yet perform exclusion when it comes to sharing the benefits of that same agenda. I’m not only tired, but I’m unamused, and despite the work and resilience of our ancestors, I’m sure that they too understand that taking a step back is not an admission of defeat, but a well deserved new form of survival.
This isn’t meant to encourage the fight for social justice to relinquish itself, but a call to redefine its meaning. What and who are we fighting for? Who are we fighting against? Most importantly are we fighting with allies next to us, or are we being used as shields to protect them from what they forged? There have been many efforts made by so many Black people — Black women especially — to promote and increase social justice for all of us, but this battle? This current political climate? This brewing, boiling threat of race, and nuclear war? This is not for us to combat.
We didn’t put Trump in office, not by omission of votes from the younger demographic, or with our failed votes against him. We didn’t condone any aspect of his behavior or his endorsements of racial bias. We got bullied by him and his supporters while in protest of his potential presidency. We got ridiculed by him while in protest of this American legacy that he is reigniting in full, incinerating flame.
Donald Trump is the face of what America has always been, and despite our efforts to prevent this, we lost, and that’s okay. This is not our bed to lay in, it is time to allow the white liberals to reach the front-lines of the battle. It is time to allow those that scream “fight love with hate” to experience what true hatred is —how demonic, and terrorizing it can be. It is time to acknowledge that while we must remain diligent in our efforts for progress, we also must remember how we got here.
America, for me, is past the stage of possible reform. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only remedy for a place like America is for it to incinerate to the ground. Reform does not exist for a place specifically built on the existence of your demise and because I know this, I know that my time, our Black time, and bodies, and effort shouldn’t be wasted to save her.
It is time to reclaim what belongs to us, and sit on the sidelines while those that built this trail are forced to finally walk it. If America burns to the ground, that’s fine with me. At least, I’ll know that I didn’t endanger myself fighting against what was always meant.
Author bio: Barbara Muhumuza is an undergraduate student at GSU. She is studying psychology, and is an avid black mental health advocate. She is also a poet, and is working on a book that will be released next year. She DJ’s on her spare time, and can be reached on all social outlets as @simimoonlight.