silence is violence

This is a rap by Meyne Wyatt published on ABC news, deeply profound and so vitally valid … to watch his performance click here.

I’m always gonna be your black friend, aren’t I? That’s all anybody ever sees.

I’m never just an actor. I’m an Indigenous actor. I love reppin’, but I don’t hear old Joe Bloggs being called quite white Anglo-Saxon actor.

I’m always in the black show, the black play.

I’m always the angry one, the tracker, the drinker, the thief.

Sometimes I want to be seen for my talent, not my skin colour, not my race.

I hate being a token. Some box to tick, part of some diversity angle.

“What are you whingeing for? You’re not a real one anyway. You’re only part.”

What part, then? My foot? My arm? My leg? You’re either black or you’re not.

You want to do a DNA test? Come suck my blood.

“How are we to move forward if we dwell on the past?” That’s your privilege. You get to ask that question. Ours is we can dance and we’re good at sport.

You go to weddings, we go to funerals.

No, no, no, you’re not your ancestors. It’s not your fault you have white skin, but you do benefit from it.

You can be OK. I have to be exceptional. I mess up, I’m done. There’s no path back for me. There’s no road to redemption.

Being black and successful comes at a cost. You take a hit whether you like it or not. Because you want your blacks quiet and humble.

You can’t stand up, you have to sit down. Ask the brother-boy Adam Goodes.

A kid says some racist shit — not ignorant — racist. Calling a black fella an ape?

C’mon man we was flora and fauna before 1967, nah actually we didn’t even exist at all.

This was a learning moment. He taught that kid a lesson.

Didn’t like that? A black man standing up for himself? Nah, they didn’t like that.

“Shut up, boy, you stay in your lane. Any time you touch a ball, we’re gonna boo your arse.”

So he showed them a scary black, throwing imaginary spears and shit.

Did they like that? They didn’t like that. Every arena and stadium booed him.

“It’s because of the way the flog plays football.” Bullshit. No-one booed him the way they booed him until he stood up and said something about race.

The second he stood up, everybody came out of the woodworks to give him shit. And he’s supposed to sit there and take it? I’ll tell you right now, Adam Goodes has taken it, his whole life he’s taken it. I’ve taken it.

No matter what, no matter how big, how small, I’ll get some racist shit on a weekly basis and I’ll take it.

It used to be in your face, “Ya boong, ya black dog, coon”, kind of shit.

“I’m gonna chase ya down the ditch with my baseball bat”, skinhead shit when I was 14 years old.

“Nah, we’re progressive, now, we’ll give you the small, subtle shit.” The shit that’s always been there. Not the obvious, in-your-face shit. It’s the “we can’t be seen to be racist” kind of shit.

Security guard following me around the store, asking to search my bag.

Walking up to the counter first being served, second or third or last kind of shit.

Or hailing down a cab and watching it slow down to look at my face and then drive off. More than once. More than twice. More than once-twice on any one occasion — yeah, that shit, I’ll get weekly.

Sometimes I’ll get days in a row if I’m really lucky.

And that’s the kind of shit I let them think they’re getting away with.

To be honest, I can’t be bothered. I can’t be bothered teaching their ignorant arses on a daily basis. I don’t have the energy or the enthusiasm.

It’s exhausting, and I like living my life.

But on occasion, when you caught me on a bad day where I don’t feel like taking it, I’ll give you that angry black you’ve been asking for and I’ll tear you a new asshole.

Not because of that one time, because of my whole life.

At least Adam danced and they still pissed and moaned. But it’s not about that one time, it’s about all those times.

And seeing us as animals, that shit needs to stop.

Black deaths in custody, that shit needs to stop.

I want to be what you want me to be. I want to be what I want to be.

Never trade your authenticity for approval.

Be crazy, take a risk, be different, offend your family.

Call them out.

Silence is violence. Complacency is complicity.

I don’t want to be quiet. I don’t want to be humble. I don’t want to sit down.

an internet photo

d’Verse, OLN, Grace

37 comments

  1. Thank you for this article Kate….. we really don’t know do we !!!…. about walking a lifetime in their shoes…. we have so much to learn still….. it’s not about repaying….. it’s about understanding…

    Liked by 1 person

    • understanding and making a stand everytime we hear or see anything! We really don’t have a clue how invasive and destructive these attitudes are … inclusion is vital for humanity ❤

      Like

  2. Outstanding post…I agree with you 100%. My whiteness gives me privilege. Being black does not mean equality, many are disrespected. The elderly black or white are also disrespected, as are the handi-cap. We have made baby steps in this country for over 200 years, not leaps and bounds. There are some great actors both black and white, I believe talent moves one forward and not the color of their skin. I do not believe in looting, burning business, and murder. I am not ashamed of being white, I am ashamed of the direct this country is going toward once again. I have seen eight decades of mayhem raising its ugly head almost on schedule. I want our whiteness and blackness to be respected and treated equally, I fear that I will never live long enough to see it. I am of the 60’s…my friends throughout the years until death took them were, gay, black and white, actually of all color. However, I will not hold my head in shame, I must fight any way I am able to do at my advanced age. I protest via my blogging. You keep blogging, it is powerful. I hope you will visit my site as well. E.

    https://dailythoughtspoetryfiction.wordpress.com

    Like

  3. Thank you for this, profound truths and questions that need answering, I march tomorrow in solidarity, and the roots of the racism and imperialism and current system are so deep and tangled I think this involves us all. Are we letting us be led to the cliff, just hanging, surviving? Or like he sang “I want to be what you want me to be. I want to be what I want to be. Never trade your authenticity for approval.”.
    And the power end, “silence is violence,”, complicity and accepting the ruination of basic human rights.. in silence..in cages of the mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eloquent, raw, evocative, touching, true, dammit! May tomorrow be a better place and the old animosities die out at last. May we learn to measure a man for his honesty, his intelligence, his talent, his skills…for a million things, but never for the color of his skin. Please, Lord, may that day come!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Trendy Group of Friends and commented:
    Truth!

    You know, the racists failes to understand that human race is one single family of colors. The diversity of color is what made us unique and the appreciation of colors can actually bring progress in our society, because what one color fails to do, can always be done by the other other color because never made that possible.

    We Are One Big Family of a Single multiple-active Parent (nature).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s