Today I read a piece written by popular Atheist Matthew O'Neil entitled, "It's Time to Stop Advocating for Violence." As I read through the numbered disclaimer...
"1) If someone its in a position of being threatened, in whatever way that may come, they should have every right to defend themselves.
2) People come from different backgrounds, which means they have experiences that I likely have never faced and will not fully understand.
3) I acknowledge that I am a privileged individual that has not know such circumstances, and am incredibly fortunate as a consequence.
With all this being said, I want to proceed with the main thesis of this article: People shouldn't be assaulted because they hold beliefs that you disagree with."
... I grew concerned that I was reading another tone policing piece of garbage written by another person privileged with whiteness. My concerns were correct! As most white people do when they are tone policing, Matthew tries to be polite and acts as if he is truly helpful or sincere about what he is about to say. The Fact is that there is nothing helpful or sincere in telling those who are marginalized that:
"If there is a person who says things like "homosexuality is unnatural," "whites are the superior race," or "a woman's place is in the home and not in the workplace," you should not assault them. This includes punching. Because punching is assault. And assault is illegal. And illegal things can land you in jail, which means a criminal record, and will end up damaging more than just your opportunity to be free. It means being put into a criminal justice system that will ruin your life."
You don't get to tell us how we process the experiences of our blackness or any other forms of marginalization for that matter. You can keep that white gaze bullshit to yourself. We reserve the right to react in any ways we damn well please. Using Richard Spencer and his assault as an example of how one should and should not react does not make it ok for any white person to tell a Black person how to act. We have been assaulted, raped, lynched, kidnapped, enslaved, burned and robbed throughout the entire history of this country. So if you and the other offspring of slave masters who wish for us to be peaceful while people like Spencer who advocates for "peaceful ethnic cleansing and denouncing Jews, homosexuality, and other minority groups".... you are terribly mistaken!
"What are the consequences? He asked as I rolled my eyes into oblivion. once my eyes completed their roll, O'neil lists Spencer's threat of self protection for him and his alt - right goons. NEWSFLASH: Most states are open carry and the idea some big truck driving, well suited piece of white racist trash will be on site with an automatic rifle or side arm is not farfetched. Have you not heard of Trayvon Martin and his murderer George Zimmerman?! Consequence? What are the consequences of white people just shutting the hell up, recognizing their privilege and paying reparations?! The only consequences that I suspect would occur are the ones that white folks should be subject to. But, you want us to be docile in the face of threats that you have never faced Matthew.
But I digress, for too long we've had to go along with what white folks have told us about who we were are, and should be. White people should be lining up to be accomplices and at points that means self sacrifice. When O'Neil cited the the horrible incident in Portland, Oregon it pissed me off even more, because there are countless incidents like this that go unreported. They go unreported because we dont like to call the police when we are victimized, generally the police will answer the call and make things worse. Police tend to think the victim is the one who committed the crime, we don't call the police because our lives would be endangered. So you and that spokesman from SPLC can kiss our collective Black ass.
While placing emphasis on the fact that any violent actions from a marginalized group towards their oppressors may give their oppressors media attention, empower them and even arm them, O'Neil never considers that when we act.... We were pushed to that point and pretty much are out of fucks to give. To make things worse he cites the Women's Suffrage movement to support his tone policing claims that nonviolence. It is typical of white people in general and white men specifically, to want those who have experienced the violence of marginalization to be calm when demanding equity and justice. Peace is the "best route for marginalized folks" he says or we risk looking "violent and irrational."
THEN, he cites the Civil Rights movement! This was highly insulting as white folks always refer to this period in the movement for Black lives to tone police, misquote and refer to Dr. King as the template. We did not "find more success through non violent measures" alone! Let Black folks be and decide how we will best address you, your skin cousins and without your redundant suggestions...
"The bottom line is this: History has shown that violence is less effective than non-violence in producing positive, progressive outcomes. Yes, there has been violence, but it has accomplished little if anything if history is to be believed. Punching someone is assault and is illegal. Want to spend time in jail and ruin your life because you disagreed with someone? Assaulting someone will do that. Also, the racists and Nazis are arming themselves now and apparently aren't afraid to take lives.
Don't go to jail. Don't lose your life. Don't. Fucking. Punch. Nazis."
Here is the real bottom line, you seem to have this need, a need to have a say in how we handle our oppression. Your words seem to lend to your white privilege that say you have to have a say, to give permission in order for our actions, words and thoughts to have weight or be deemed violent or irrational. History tell us and the current climate continues to tell us that Black people are violent and irrational any damn way, we are automatically criminalized for or Blackness. Because you lack the ability to see our experience, it is important to understand that your white opinion is not the one that matters. It must be noted that we say what we say and do what we want to do without need of your acceptance or approval.