On white terror

Irrational white fear of black bodies is actually the scariest thing for me as a black person. The reason is twofold:


1) “White folk” is a second language for me so I never know for sure when the joke isn’t funny, the tone is too “aggressive”, or the stance too imposing for whatever norms white folks are using for how they expect me to speak and act. For one thing their norms are far more fluid than ours, changing rapidly to accommodate the most recent nationwide expressions of white guilt or to absorb some peculiarities of yet another appropriated culture. Just because I passed the test last week doesn’t mean that any of that shit is applicable to today’s white folk.

The other thing is, how I’m supposed to act ain’t how they supposed to act. I gotta be prep school respectable to match up to their lower echelons and even then I may not be doing enough. I’m already a giantess, overly hype, fuzzy-headed negro. I read loud & angry before I even open my mouth. What can I even say to put me at an equivalent safety rating to, say, a petite blond? I’m unfathomably dangerous without even doing anything.

And so the worse part is, because I appear so dangerous I must say/do something to prove myself otherwise but I have no idea what that could be since I don’t experience myself the way white people do.


2) Once white people are scared it’s already too late. It immediately becomes extra police presence & brutality in a gentrifying neighborhood. Or a a stop and frisk in a upscale one. Or a job that suddenly has none of the openings that were advertised just yesterday. Or a barrage of bullets for reaching for your house keys or wallet. Things that make me scared. Things that make me angry. Things that I have to be intentional about under-reacting to so that I can stay “safe” for them.


For me too kinda.


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