by Jon Williams
I was told before the MLK march that some black folks didn’t want to participate because they thought it was thrown by the city of GJ, so the city of GJ could be considered less racist. I assured him it was thrown by members of the black community and he should attend. . .
I’ve lived in GJ over a decade and I’ve always walked the line of knowing my place and how to be #AliveWhileBlack here. You listen, don’t create any fuss, speak well, don’t have polarizing haircuts or clothes, let people speak for you and fight your battles.
A few months ago, a black friend of mine explained that he recognized that his experiences while being black and living downtown were different, and people tore him apart because it shook the core idea of the city we live in. . .which is that racism doesn’t exist here (as said by the previous mayor)
When I helped start Black Lives Matter, it was to help educate the community on racial hardships. . . With a heavy heart, I have to admit I was wrong about something. You can’t educate a community who is unwilling to listen. . .
I’ve been told by many people that I admire that I speak in a way that isn’t polarizing to non-people of color (by using phrasing like non-people of color versus white people).
I interacted with four black women today and asked them to share their experiences of racism in this town versus what my experiences are. . .and black women in GJ suffer and hurt here. . . Maybe not all of them (cause I haven’t met all of them) but I’ve heard shared experiences from women who don’t know each other. It’s a discussion of racism.
You have to wake up GJ. Listen to these stories, check your privilege and truly listen.
Our black women need us, and it’s up to each of us to hear their stories, protect them, and share what we’ve learned.
I used to think this city tried to hide its racism. . .
It’s not hidden,
It’s just directed at black women
And it’s time we noticed and stopped it.