Kim: People feel like we live in a post-racial society. Does that feel true to you?
Ellena: I'm from Melbourne, Australia. It's not true at all. I've been complicit in being colorblind. One of my closest friend's is Somalian. I was thinking about getting a fake tan and I asked her, "Have you ever had a fake tan before?" I completely forgot she was Black. But what I learned from that is that it's easy for white people to universalize their race. That's what colorblindness means to white people: whitewashing.
A few days ago, I was chatting with one of my housemates, when the conversation turned decidedly to Oakland and to why I was here. And I balked.
Don't get me wrong, I said the honest and appropriate things--that I was seeking refuge in Oakland, that I love the culture here, and that the Bay Area was my true home. I realized that I am a gentrifier in Oakland in particular, and that the presence of white people is unwelcome and potentially toxic for the existing communities of color that have always made Oakland their home--in large part because of redlining and other racist segregation techniques that are still used (albeit illegally) to this day. But that I was doing what I could to counter the difficulty of my presence, which, I'll admit, felt a little weak even to me. After all, I wouldn't tolerate that deflection from another white person who is called out for appropriating a culture in clothing, so why am I talking about land as though it is any different?
How do you go from being with somebody in the morning, going to sleep for four hours, then waking up to find out they died? I don't think people understand this pain. Berkeley PD knows us all by name. It didn't take them long to figure out who did it.
Part 1 of 4 | See Later Post
Kim: Stop using the word Black as loosely as people use the term, Mexican. Africans aren't Black. As Black people, WE get to choose who we see as one of us. You aren't in this village, so stop assuming our identity because it's popular now. By doing so, you're taking part in our genocide. Respect our culture without insisting on having access to it.
Been living with some radical programmers. They take care of everything for me. They get it. They support me. But there's a white boy here who doesn't. I told him he had to leave and he flashed on me. So, after the fight, in the middle of the the night, they said I went into his room, twice, and just stared at him. I don't remember anything. I just blacked out. I just remember pacing and then all the sudden I was standing over his bed staring at him. Twice.