When the brows furrow, the screaming starts and the guns come out, I keep asking myself, “What are White Americans so angry about?” The answer I inevitably land on, puts a knot in the center of my chest.
White Americans are not angry at ourselves for our complicity. For our willful blindness. For our silence. For our allegiance to a system that has always lifted us up, made us the standard by which everything is measured, taught, and seen. We are not angry at our White supremacy.
We are not angry at the laws and systems that have funneled generations of wealth into White pockets and out of Black communities.
We are not angry at the White men we elected who only use our trust to enrich themselves at the expense of anything that might have once resembled a government of the people.
We are not angry at the White men who bolster the institutions designed to force our Black brothers and sisters into submission.
We are not angry at the systems we built that keep the weight of the government firmly focused on maintaining our White privilege.
We are not angry at a government hell bent on forgiving, supporting and subsidizing the most privileged of the supreme White class at the expense of literally everything else.
We are not angry at the marketers and pollsters and who spin and twist words meant not to inform or enlighten but to convince and control.
We are not angry because we believed the lies they constructed to make us feel better about what we were doing. The lies that we said made it okay for us to steal from, and incarcerate and kill our Black brothers and sisters.
We are not angry because we turned a blind eye as long as we felt safe and our pockets were lined.
We aren’t angry because we were taken for a ride, duped, hoodwinked, tricked, or conned. We weren’t.
We are not angry at anything that we ought to actually be angry at.
It is time to tell the truth.
We are angry that we might finally be held to account.
We are angry that our Black brothers and sisters aren’t grateful for what we, in our privilege, believe that we have allowed them to have.
We are angry that they refuse to be silent or to pretend to believe the lies we tell.
We are angry at their righteous anger.
We are angry that they have the nerve to say loudly and shamelessly, “enough is enough and we’re not going to take it anymore.” We are angry that they are right to do so.
We are angry that they dare to tell the truth about this country that they helped build and that White people control.
We are angry that they have the audacity to say that we should be held responsible for our actions.
We are angry because we write the rules. We set the standard. We run the game. And we believe that’s the way it should be.
We are angry because we feel entitled to their compliance.
We are angry because we are spoiled children who have always had our way.
We are angry because they are right and true, and their cause is just.
We are angry because they are coming for our White supremacy.
We are angry because, thanks to the equalizing power of a simple cell phone camera, we’ve been found out.
It is time to tell the truth. We are angry because we are afraid. We are angry because our America is a White America and we like it that way.
It is time to say out loud that we are the problem.
It is time to tell the truth. White people have intentionally divided this nation. We deliberately and expertly strew dissent and hatred and mistrust within every community that we don’t claim.
We blame Black, Brown, LGBTQ and Muslim people, immigrants and everyone else we label other, for the harms we cause. We pit powerless communities against each other. We turn on our own, convincing the poorest White Americans, all evidence to the contrary, that we’re on their side and that the others are to blame for their plight.
It is time to tell the truth. We lie and cheat and steal to maintain our White supremacy. And we’re able to do it because we live in a White country, run by White men, who have expertly designed the system to keep their privilege and power intact.
It is time to tell the truth. To say to our Black brothers and sisters, enough is enough. To say that we need them to do whatever it takes to end our reign of White supremacy. We need them to dismantle this broken America brick by brick and to build something back new and better and stronger for all of us.
It is time to tell the truth. Some of us will fight to maintain our White supremacy. Some of us will not yield without force. But some of us will join our Black brothers and sisters. We will do what we are asked. We will listen without becoming defensive. We will learn without seeking absolution. We will give up our White supremacy without expectation of anything in return. We will not ask for gratitude or appreciation for doing this, the bare minimum of what is required by our God and our conscience. We will falter. We will disappoint you. But we will get back up and try again.
It is time to tell all of the others — we hear you, we see you, we believe you. We love you. We are with you. We will stay with you until this fight is won.
And it is time to tell our White brothers and sisters, enough is enough. We see the White supremacy. We know what we’ve done. It is wrong. It must end. We’re not listening to any more excuses, any more lies, any more convoluted machinations designed to convince us that White people are not the problem. We know where the problem lies.
It is time to tell the truth. White people cannot save this country. We cannot fix what we have so irretrievably broken.
We cannot fix what we have done to our Black brothers and sisters. It is too late. They must do it. They must build something new, something better, something unimagined and unimaginable by those of us who have failed so thoroughly.
It is time to tell the truth.