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Dear Totally-Not-Racist White Supporters of Black Lives Matter

Dear Totally-Not-Racist White Supporter of Black Lives Matter,

We see you.

It’s fairly easy to point you out in the sea of tan, brown, and black. Your skin presses against ours, the contrast as sweet yet obvious as a Reese’s cup. Martin Luther King, Jr. died for nothing if it wasn’t this. You walk the streets with us and curse racism with your fist in the air as we lead by example. It’s especially easy to scope you out when you’re pridefully saying the same chants that are targeted at you.

But in your eyes, they aren’t.

In your eyes, you’re exempt from the narrative, drenched in spiny anger and spilling from our mouths. They can’t be talking about me, you might think, I’m here, aren’t I? I don’t blame you, and that might sound like a lie by the end of this letter, but I don’t. I mean, what right-minded person would want to carry the title of Racist with pleasure? It seems logical to take comfort in the idea that discrimination is just something other people do, something that doesn’t apply to you.

But you have to understand, Totally-Not-Racist Supporter of Black Lives Matter, that that is one of the most feeble-minded, unprogressive things you can do in this dialogue because racism is a system that you—yes, you— contribute to, whether you’d like to admit it or not.

You say Black Lives Matter, but do you really believe this? Enlighten me, what are you doing in your everyday life to show this statement is true? It’s common sense to be outraged when an unarmed Black person dies at the hands of police brutality. But racism is more than lynchings and separated water fountains. You look at slavery, or the Jim Crow Era, and say “That is what racism is, that’s bad. I don’t do that, so therefore I’m not racist.” You’ve been conditioned to think that this problem isn’t deep rooted in the country’s government, institutions, and definitely not white culture. You also seem to think that by initiating your support, you have a supreme understanding of the Black struggle.

No. Just because you don’t mind breathing the same air as a Black person doesn’t make you any less racist than a fully robed KKK member shouting “White Power!” at a cross burning.

You saying the “N-word” at a ScHoolboy Q concert makes you an oxymoron to what you claim to be combatting.

You wearing or supporting people who wear cultural hairstyles and imitate our natural appearance via tanning and injections, makes your supposed allyship means nothing.

You calling out the Darren Wilsons and the Dylann Roofs of the world yet failing to recognize your societally-granted privilege and contribution to racism makes you as bad as the person who pulled the trigger.

I refuse to give you a pat on the back for saying Black Lives Matter, because that’s nothing more than a cold hard fact. I won’t say “Kudos!” for assembling after the death of another Black person because Black Life should not only matter when Death comes to collect another soul. If you only care about our rights when it’s a hot topic, you are the problem.

Now, don’t be mistaken. Solidarity is important, and having you in this conversation is important. So you’re mad about the Mike Browns, the Sandra Blands, the Aiyana Joneses and the Tamir Rices. Good, it’s not something you should be particularly overjoyed about. But when having these discussions, stop excusing yourself from the equation and listen to us as we tell you how to solve it.

Because, Totally-Not-Racist White Supporter of Black Lives Matter, we are and always have been talking to you.

Sincerely,
Anaisja and the Countless Others Sick of this B.S.

(P.S. Okay, maybe you’re not on the level as those KKK members, but I hope you get the gist.)

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Anaisja Henry
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Anaisja Henry is a sixteen-year-old Connecticuter who tends to introduce herself as Kakashi Hatake. A junior, she is her high school’s in-term “Afro/Soul Sister,” involved in various extracurricular organizations related to social studies and activism. When not being a broody, “fighting the power” Angry Black Girl, you’ll probably find her obsessing over Naruto, jumping between Tumblr accounts, or squealing over a book being updated on Wattpad. (But it’s probably just Naruto, to be honest.) You can find Anaisja on Twitter and Instagram (@anaiiisja).

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