The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.
—The Original X-Man First Class, Brother Malcolm
2020 has been a global reckoning that has been long overdue. It only took countless murders, an act of God in the form of a worldwide pandemic, nationwide protests/riots and civil unrest for society (read white people) to finally make it “socially acceptable” and trendy to (mis)use the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter.
However one must be vigilant when it comes to gains and strides of progress. There are always opportunists, derailers, false prophets and other predators looking to exploit a righteous movement. Be it Rachel Dolezal, Awkwafina, Cardi B, Shaun King—these blackfishing parasites continue to leech off of our culture.
This year alone I’ve witnessed racist gay white authors defend preserving Confederate monuments and then claim that they totes aren’t racist because they support the #BLM movement. The country trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A which was already used by a Black female artist and her band. When the latter refused to forfeit her name and likeness to the trio of bigots so they could appear woke to their fans, Lady AntiBLM sued her for what was already hers. The caucacity.
Many of the local protests for police reform and racial justice this past summer in downtown Nashville proved to be little more than performative pep rallies and tailgate parties to placate white fauxgressives.
White Liberals have hijacked the conversation about diversity, political correctness and what topics we should be outraged about. When a terrorist attack occurs the media and liberals rightly remind us that it’s unfair to judge an entire religion by the actions of a small minority, but I haven’t heard similar unequivocal statements made in the media about the African-American community being unfairly judged by the negative actions of a few. The media lectures about intolerance of the Right, but is the first to show the mugshot of a young black suspect while showing the much more positive yearbook photo of a young white suspect. In fact the criminalization of African-Americans, especially men, has been turned into public policy in large part because of our negative portrayal in the media, which is predominantly filled with white liberal voices.
—Jiba Molei Anderson
Where once racists proudly identified themselves on their online personal profiles with the usual classy mandates of No Blacks, No Asians, No Trans, etc., Wakandans now have to suffer unwanted advances from repulsive and entitled Jeffree Stars/Andrew Sullivans looking to live out some mandingo fetish. To make matters worse, we’re supposed to appreciate the attention.
One previous dinner date in particular with a local loser comes to mind. In spite of me reiterating ad nauseam that I had no desire to discuss racism, police brutality, or the state of Black culture …this self appointed white savior blatantly ignored me and continued klansplaining his “hot takes” on the brilliant Founding Fathers, his simple solutions to ending racism. One can imagine how even more nonplussed I was when I eventually learned said local loser was in a monogamous relationship and was using me to cheat on his boyfriend. I may or may not have exacted a good measure of revenge some time afterward. Though in hindsight, I realize I have some responsibility to bear in this ordeal. He made it clear to me that he was the lowest of bottom feeding demonic scum. After all, he did mention in passing that he was a fan of one Bernie Sanders.
Since then, I’ve devised a few deterrents and stratagems in regards to warding off and exposing racists. For example, if I’m unsure if the suitor shooting his shot sees me as a person or a fetish, I just simply tell him that if sex happens, I’m looking for them to be the top. Within seconds before ghosting, they make it known if they still believe that Black Lives matter. It’s always nice when the garbage takes itself out.
[African Americans] never immigrated here. They were forcefully brought to this country, and they had to fight for themselves. The African American community is a huge example of inspiration for people of color, for immigrants, to stake your claim for this country, that your voice matters.
—Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed
To be Black means to be blessed and cursed. We’re the only race to have our culture adopted and emulated by the rest of the planet, all over the world. In spite of weathering every unspeakable atrocity possible, our achievements are undeniable. The United States alone is a testament to this. Be it feminism, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, equality for disability, economic reform — there’s not one liberty that Blacks didn’t make a reality. We are magical. We are beautiful. We are gifted.
The brass tacks? There’s nothing wrong with appreciating and embracing a culture respectfully and with humility. That’s how humanity as a whole evolves. There’s also nothing wrong with having a type. But one’s methods and motives have to be on point. And when compromises (be they ⅗ or otherwise) are made in regards to a person or a people, that’s how dehumanization happens which leads to other problems. When left unchecked those problems will inevitably result in the reckoning we’re enduring now.
Dennis R. Upkins is a speculative fiction author, journalist, activist, and hopeless comic book nerd. His first two young adult novels, Hollowstone and West of Sunset, were released through Parker Publishing. Both Upkins and his previous work have been featured in Harvard Political Law, Bitch Media, MTV News, Mental Health Matters, The Nerds of Color, Black Girl Nerds, Comicbookdotcom, Geeks OUT, Black Power: The Superhero Anthology, Sniplits, The Connect Magazine, Yopp Voice, and 30Up.