“I See and It’s Not Nearly Enough”

“I see what you continue to do.”

27 August 2020

An essay about seeing oppression and white supremacy in action.

I See and It’s Not Nearly Enough

I see how police officers and forces and governments react when they are challenged for their violent policies and racist behaviors. I see how they empower and embrace white supremacy groups and vigilantes while targeting Black people, people of color, peaceful and agitated demonstrators. I see how so many Americans have opinions about rioting and looting but stay quiet about the murders, violence, and oppression that prompted the latest historic demonstrations and remonstrations.

I see you.

I see what you continue to do.

This shouldn’t have been eye-opening; the oppression and white supremacy have always been evident. I see how those of us of with privilege need video footage to be outraged, then go back to our practiced obliviousness. I see the battles on the streets for the soul of this nation, how the conflict is escalated and escalating, how many of us hide and wait and wish and pray for something only actions can address.

I see the bravery of those who do, for the best of this nation and globe.

I see the rest of us and our lack of bravery.

I see the rising fascism, the federal routing of decency, the enabling of bigots, the spreading wave of laws and restrictions to target peaceful and agitated demonstrators and voters, especially if they are Black or people of color. See the care with which a white supremacist is treated even while committing violence. See the brutality with which a peaceful and agitated and angry demonstrator is treated.

I see how people who are Black, Asian, Latinx, of color, transgender, queer, indigenous, immigrants, refugees, women, nonbinary, intersectional are treated.

I see you.

I see how even allyship doesn’t ensure kindness, respect, community. Even us allies put the burden of our reckoning and salvation on those who suffer oppression. It must be so oppressive.

I see how we are failing others. How we are mediocre and failing.

I will remember all that I see. I will remember it when I vote, remember it when I spend money, remember it while I take advantage of the system that works in my favor, remember it when I offer support, when I’m asked for support, when I’m hiding out, when I’m going out. Remembering is a place to start, the bare minimum, not enough, something I have control over.

I see it all over and over again. The least I can do is remember what I see.

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