Because I am an activist. And because my Black Life Matters.

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What saddens me the most about this week, is the number of White people I called ‘friend’ who have, both in word and deed, proven they are not ‘friend’s at all.

And, before you say it, I didn’t send Facebook requests to any of them. They all sent them to me. Every single one.

And, to a man/woman, they are saying they aren’t racist, yet feel justified in spouting birther nonsense, claiming our duly-elected President can’t possibly be because he’s Black but not really, and shouting “All lives matter” in the face of evidence that clearly shows they don’t, especially the not-White ones. One or more has had the audacity to call me racist when I’ve pointed out the hypocrisy and bigotry inherent in his words.  Right after he said, “You know me, I’m the least racist person you know.”, then quoted Public Enemy lyrics (out of context, of course) to prove he was down with the cause, with the expectation that, because he knew the name of a Black cultural icon I should listen to his nonsense.

I’ve been an activist for many, many years, for many causes I care about. I’ve spoken out against income inequality and stood up for women’s rights, the rights of the disabled, mental health services for veterans, and others. I’ve marched for LGBT equality and accused of being a lesbian (like that’s an insult) because I did; I’ve stood in front of an abortion clinic that had received bomb threats and dared an elderly White woman to prove she really gave a damn about the unborn children she claimed she was there to protect after she made a nasty comment about ‘welfare mothers’. I stood there even after her son raised his fists in my face, implied he had a gun on him, and threatened to kill my ‘nigger ass’ for having the balls to call him an ignorant redneck and put my arms around to protect a 14-year-old Latina rape victim from his ugliness. And his eyes, in which was clear that, give the right circumstances and nobody else looking, he might have been her rapist. And yes, I’ve stood up for rape victims, including the one I held her step-father at bay and out of her ER exam room for until the police came. He was trying to take her home. She was too afraid of him to tell the police he was raping her. She was 12. I had to tell them, and her mother. Because she told me.

I’ve worked suicide hotlines for young LBGT men and women who couldn’t take it anymore, and I’ve sat beside AIDS patients as they died, because otherwise they would have died alone. I’ve stood between trans-men and -women and provided a barrier between them and the thugs who were so god-awfully afraid of them their only choice, their only recourse, was to destroy another human being who, up to the point they suddenly got harassed, had no idea their harasser even existed, or that their presence was an offense. I’m standing up today for young Black men and women who can’t walk down the street without fear they may never make it home, and their murderers with a uniform and a gun will never see punishment.

I did this, because all lives do matter. They matter to me, as they should matter to each and every one of us.

Now,

I would never, EVER dream of saying “All lives matter” in the face of someone who said, “Trans lives matter”. It’s unconscionable.

I would never, EVER dream of saying “All lives matter” in the face of someone who said, “Latin/Hispanic lives matter”. That’s unthinkable.

I would never, EVER dream of posting the video of a Black woman who clearly has no idea she’s part of the problem when she rails against her own people for standing up for their rights as American citizens when I know my Black “friends” will see it and claim that, as a White person, she vindicates my point of view because, well, she’s Black isn’t she? That’s the worst kind of ignorance, and she should be ashamed of herself for spouting it. My White ‘friends’ should feel ashamed for promoting it.

But White people seem to think it’s okay. And they seem to think I have no right to protest against that ignorance. Because I’m Black.

And … to them … my Black life … doesn’t really matter.

So, why did they friend me? Were they really that much in need of a token Black friend to make themselves look not-racist? Or was it, instead, out of a need to blind themselves to who they really are; racist … bigoted? All of them are now fully aware of the folly in that line of thinking.

Some of them would say, “I friended you because I remember we were friends in/at {fill in the blank space in time}.” To those, I would say, “You were never my friend then, as you’ve proven you are not today. I cannot, and will not stand by and watch you belittle my existence, then tell me I should just be okay with that because, well, it just isn’t something you can understand, but you don’t think you need to put the energy into finding out what’s really happening because it makes your head hurt. And I shouldn’t keep making you think about it when you don’t want to because you just can’t stand feeling like you’re the worst kind of human and, well, “all lives matter”. It’s time you felt something other than comfortable being what you are. And if you think for a minute I should now apologize because your feelings are hurt, fuck you and the horse you rode in on … friend”

Funny, though;

I’ve been accused of defensiveness twice today. Ok, but why? Because your racism/homophobia/misogyny/self-righteous religiosity/bigotry/overall ignorance is now the cudgel with which I’ve slapped you? Or is it, again, because I’ve exposed you for who you are, by showing you to be the worst kind of ugly?

Well, fine. Call me defensive.  I’ve been defensive for many, many years.  It’s part and parcel of activism.  But be aware: the term isn’t pejorative, not for me.  Nor is it an insult from under which I will ever struggle to climb.  Because, when I was defending all those other lives … that mattered … ?

I was defending yours, too.

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