When I first started learning about racism in-depth and opened my eyes to the injustices around me, I was a bit too optimistic about it all. I thought that racial solidarity was easy to achieve. 1, 2, 3 and boom it’s there! I was positive that I could show solidarity to other races, especially ones who suffered more discrimination than I.
Very quickly, I learned, that this was impossible, because of the rampant anti-blackness that exists within communities of color.
As murders of innocent black people continue daily by the hands of police, some non-black POC have been speaking out and sharing the perspectives of black people, offering support over social media, and attending protests or donating. This is helpful in ways, especially in using their platforms and privileges to allow black people to be heard.
However, the majority of non-black POC are not trying to show solidarity at all. Many are either bashing on Black Lives Matter, insulting black people, or committing crimes against black people themselves. Most are doing nothing at all– they are not learning, nor being taught of the injustices black people face daily.
What non-black POC are doing, is riding on the backs of black people without offering much support in return, which is what they have been doing since colonization. Non-black POC continuously profit from black people’s work, they enjoy their culture and appropriate it, take their language and their music but nothing else that comes with it. We love to rap and use AAVE, but when it comes to supporting black people, we fall silent.
This includes the non-black POC who try and show solidarity as well; this includes myself at times, and no doubt you, the reader, if you aren’t black. We live in a society where black people are continuously rejected and murdered for just being black, and the majority of non-black POC walk along with this system without any objections; they do not care for the anti-blackness embedded in their own communities.
Solidarity at the moment is basically a myth, because merely partaking in a hashtag doesn’t erase generations worth of anti-blackness. The majority of non-black communities of color bask in black culture but reject black people. Worldwide, black people are hurt and tortured for their skin. Not to mention mixed black people, who are denied half their background because they aren’t accepted by the anti-black part of it.
Asian communities glorify whiteness; colorism is rampant and darkness is seen as hideous. We chase after white faces but want black music and culture. Such realities are just testament to how anti-blackness pervades in non-black communities of color.
This is why donating ten dollars or using a hashtag is merely a beginning towards showing solidarity, and not the end of it. Our communities, our people, are grown to discriminate against black people. From the beginning, we are reinforced stereotypes and taught to hate blackness, to see ourselves somehow superior to black people, and inferior only to whites.
Non-black POC, you must work against your surroundings to show solidarity. When will you open a conversation amongst your friends who say the n-word, your peers who mock the Black Lives Matter movement, against their anti-blackness? When will you call out your families for being anti-black, when will the uncles and grandparents hear your voice against their hatred?
For the majority of non-black POC, the answer to these questions is never: maybe it is because they don’t care enough, maybe they’re scared, or maybe they don’t have such opportunities. Many people of color cannot speak out against their own communities, because they are unsafe to do so, whether that is within their families or their schools– and that reality itself is a testament to how difficult achieving solidarity is.
And for me, and other non-black POC, battling anti-blackness within our communities is something we already practice. However, until all non-black communities eradicate anti-blackness entirely and offer our full support to them as a whole, we have a lot to change before racial solidarity becomes a reality.