Supremacists – reflection by Mary E. Latela 10/28/2015
My sister on Mudroom, AddyeB, wrote a powerful piece on white supremacy which pours out like lava. She writes: “If only we protected Black girls the way we protect White fragility and Whiteness’ delicate sensibilities. If only we would grab the knife and slash the throat of White supremacy. If only we would snap its neck, break its spine, and render it incapable of oppressing Blackness and Otherness any further. If only Whiteness had the courage and audacity to yield its grip on your mind and choose another way of thinking, living, and co-existing. ”
The anger is not misplaced. I never knew about white supremacy until I went to a conference by the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) @splcenter. I receive the “Intelligence Report” every season – it documents hate events, maps out where those gatherings of guys and gals, many of whom call themselves “Christian,” meet – in my town and in yours.
They threaten every person – white, black, brown, etc. Their core belief is flawed, but so many people are drawn in, perhaps because of their own sense of powerlessness to “belong” to something, and this is something evil. These groups recruit our children, give them tee-shirts – and you know that a kid with a tee-shirt hangs on to that as his identity. They prey upon our adolescents, who are confused and afraid of rejection, taunt them with a “higher cause,” terrorism in our very neighborhoods.
I wish that every person, and particularly every woman, would commit to empower her sisters to use their voice to speak out, to name the sin, to lift up the people who try harder, want better, want education, not violence even in the classroom. Aren’t we sick of seeing children attacked by law enforcement? Of course we are, but we must not let our outrage silence our tongues.
In the 1970s when Betty Friedan told women they could expect and get more out of life, they listened. We all worked hard for women’s rights and still need to work hard. The struggles of the past must not be undone by losing our cool – or giving up.
Stay angry, dear sister, and put that anger into your amazing art and your heart-wrenching writing. And I will try to do the same.