White folks: Tread lightly. This election is testing what little patience we have left.
Today is the day we Black folks learn if we’re moving forward or backward to whatever time period the MAGA people were talking about. Today is the day we learn if more White voters are for progress or against progress. Today Black people will learn if America is more racist than sexist, or more sexist than racist. We’ll learn if we can trust White men and women more than we have before, or less than ever.
Black people all over this godforsaken nation are on pins and needles. We’ve been intentionally bombarded with misinformation and bad data on White-owned social media platforms to demotivate and discourage us. Many Black people feel as though their needs and concerns aren’t being addressed, like we’re putting out a fire we didn’t start. Voting feels more like work. Black folks have been neglected, abused, and ignored, yet they have asked us to save a country that has never saved us. Black folks are afraid for their children and grandchildren. We worry about the trauma this moment is causing on our parents, who have done this walk of shame to the polls for America too many times before. More than anything, we’re angry. We are angry as hell.
Our nerves are frayed, and our tempers are short—very short.
Black folks know White folks cheat, have cheated in the past, and are planning on cheating to steal this election as sure as I strike my keyboard. We are tired. Fucking exhausted. Even Black and Brown kids are tired. They are tired of racism at school by teachers and their classmates. They are tired of Donald Trump being their leader. Our kids realize this isn’t right. He’s contrary to everything we preach, and yet he’s our leader.
Black kids are anxious. Their lives are impacted by the results of this election too. I don’t know one Black child who wants Donald Trump to remain our president. He brings them as much grief as he does the adults in their lives. Trump’s racism has impacted them too. We just want respite, but White people have made that impossible.
Our nerves are frayed, and our tempers are short—very short. This week, for White friends, allies, observers, and folks new to anti-racism, is a moment not to fuck with Black people. This fight that was already won is being fought again because we live in a society that consistently undermines our rights and well-being, giving preference to White people.
I like to call weeks like these “I wish a motherfucker would” weeks. During times like these, Black folks cannot and will not tolerate the usual bullshit we are forced to endure from White people, racist or not. Black people have spent the past few years talking about racism, and most White people wouldn’t listen. We tried to prevent this moment from being a moment, but White people had to have their way. Now here we are, waiting to see what White people are going to do this time. I already voted, and my vote has been counted. I’ve called the Black people I know to ask them to vote, just in case White folks don’t show up to save this shithole country. We’ve given. There is no more blood in this turnip.
Black folks have been left with an unflushed toilet bowl full of fresh stewing shit that White people left for us to clean up.
We already know White people will not clean up all the messes they made. In fact, we see White folks’ timelines. They’re sharing cat photos and threads. They’re jockeying for which White policies should be a priority, none of which address systematic and institutional racism. Black people see you guys patting yourselves on the backs for voting, doing the bare minimum as usual while reaping all the benefits. So, White people, please tread lightly this week, maybe for the next few weeks. We are emotional wrecks, and dealing with White people’s shit is not anything we’re entertaining right now. I’m going to give you some advice to save your feelings and possibly your asses.
When a Black person says, “I wish a mother would,” trust me, we mean business. It’s the trouble you don’t want. This is a very fragile time, and we don’t know who are our friends and who are foes. Sadly, the worst of times can reveal the true character of a person. Don’t cross the line. Take heed to some solid, unvarnished advice.
Be a smart-ass
Keep your sassy, inconsiderate comments in your head, and bite your tongues. This is not the time to be a smart-ass. If you feel the need to be a grammar and spelling Nazi, please don’t. This is not that time. If you feel like arguing about whether racism is real, or if you have your White version of what racism means and you wanna share it, please, dammit, don’t. It won’t end well for you. We don’t need the additional stress. Unable to process your feelings, imagine what it’s like wondering whether a Trump voter will harass you at the stoplight because you’re Black? Don’t, just don’t. Mediate with White people, and talk about how we got here. Save your smart mouths and that foulness for ya Thanksgiving Zoom dinners and leave Blacks folks alone.
This thing isn’t over until Trump is defeated decisively. If there is any wiggle room, he’s going to contest some state election results. He’s going to attempt to steal the election, and he has plenty of help. Don’t try to convince us everything is okay. Your credit is bad. We know you wouldn’t know a runaway wagon if it was barreling your way. We’re not assuming anything. We don’t get the luxury of being optimistic. Life is coming at us fast; assuming the election is in the bag is for people who aren’t impacted by the assumptions.
Humblebrag on social media
We don’t want to see your damned White kids on our timeline who had to drive home to vote because their mail-in ballots didn’t arrive. You only care about voter suppression now because your family’s rights were infringed upon. We noticed your absence for the past 40 years. To us, there ain’t shit to brag about, because you’re late! This battle is old. Don’t just be happy because you voted. Your White vote is the beginning, not the end. There is more shit to do, and a lot of our problems stem from White apathy.
Your happiness is a sign of your immaturity and inability to comprehend how serious this is for us. Until Black people are safe, you can’t rest. If you act like you don’t understand this, trust, you’ll be getting dragged and shamed. Then your feelings will be hurt because you thought you were doing something great when you really were showing you were accomplice to apathy. Contain your enthusiasm for a bit, and don’t assume this thing is in the bag. You’re fighting Whiteness, and it conceded nothing without a fight.
White people, you don’t have to apologize for saying something wrong if you’re quiet.
Enter ‘Black-only’ conversations
If you are on social media and you see a post that says “Hey Black People” or “Black People Only,” that means not you, White person. If you enter these chats with your little White profile pics announcing you’re White with your two cents happily, expect to be dragged for filth. No one is going to help you. No one is coming to your rescue. No one is going to defend the indefensible this week. Black people are mourning and wounded, and this week is a time we will huddle together to comfort, support, and love on one another. This is a collective agony we Black folks know all too well.
Only Black people who have endured this generational curse can understand what this moment feels like. This next week and the proceeding weeks, the world cannot and will not revolve around you White people. Abstain from family discussions when asked or be dragged for the ages. I have warned you.
Believe the hype
This week, the media will tell you everything about how Black and Brown people voted. Pundits will bash Black men for voting for Trump, they’ll show all the videos of Black folks standing in line waiting to vote for hours, and they’ll make a fuss about Hispanic people voting for Trump in numbers that make no sense to the average person, but you know who will escape further examination? White people will. So, this week, examine how biased your White media is before you attempt to talk about politics in your social circles.
If you’re White and you want to talk about the results, compare White votes. Don’t look at what everybody else did; focus on White people. Y’all did this. You don’t get to look at other people’s stuff. Look at yourselves.
Get froggy in these streets
If you are in the streets, mind your manners. If you don’t have any, buy some books and read up on basic etiquette. If you’re accustomed to being rude and inconsiderate, don’t do that. You don’t know what people are experiencing, and you don’t know how the Black and Brown people you’re interacting with are dealing with this moment. We’re all suffering because of Covid, but the extra White supremacy sauce y’all like to serve ain’t cutting it this week. It’s unnecessary. It’s uncalled for, and it’s likely going to get checked.
Are you a habitual line-cutter and need to ask a question and go to the front of every line? Don’t do that, sis. Get ya ass in the line and wait. You’re probably going to have a problem this week. Are you the grouchy dude who likes to take up extra space on the train or who hates honoring social distancing ordinances? Back up, sir, nobody is fucking playing with ya this week, buddy. Got smoke for Black men and you exercise that in the streets? Better try Jesus, don’t try him. If this was ever the week for White people to have and learn manners, this is it.
Be on your best behavior, White folks, because there are some Black people ready to give you all the business you’ve never had. That’s a Black ass-whooping. Don’t be your usual asshole selves, not this week. Let us breath.
Now we have to put our faith in White people, and Lord knows I have zero reasons to have faith in them at this point.
You can never go wrong being quiet. You can’t get your ass tangled up in your underwear when you’re quiet. You don’t have to apologize for saying something wrong if you’re quiet. There is no need to elaborate or expand on questionable comments and words if you’re quiet. Being quiet will stop you from getting your feelings, homes. The week is a wonderful week to practice being quiet. If you have nothing appropriate to add, be quiet. If you feel you need to be a know-it-all, know no one wants to hear that. This is not a contest. If you want to change the subject, definitely don’t do that. You’ll be sorry if you do.
Vote to save America. Black people are not your heroes and personal saviors. We’re victims of racism, domestic terrorism, online bullying, and voter suppression. Stop looking at us as saviors and heroes. Stop thinking this is a competition where one wins and the other loses. This is a battle of good versus evil, and evil has been winning, as far as Black folks are concerned. Vote for the Biden-Harris ticket. It’s not the best ticket, but it’s all we got. After you vote, meditate on what that means for others, not just yourself.
Reflect on how Black and Brown people feel having to vote under duress. Reflect on how many Black and Brown voters have been intentionally undermined. It’s like we have guns to our heads, being forced to take money out of the ATM before White robbers kill us. We’re giving you White folks something valuable and precious, and you, the White robber, don’t value any of it. The robbery is transactional. That’s not right. If White people did better and voted for the success of the nation instead of the power of Whiteness, we wouldn’t be here.
Respect our elders
Many of the older Black people in our communities are tired too, but because they grew up in a different era, they may not respond to White people’s bullshit in the same way I would. (Unless they are like my dad—he doesn’t play.) Be mindful that our elders have experienced much more trauma and for far longer than we have. The last thing our elders need is to deal with disrespectful young White people, White men being assholes, or White women being Karens because today this is just another day in their worlds. Treat our seniors and elders with kindness. They’ve come too far to turn back now. Respect them.
Your Black friends and co-workers are going through it. Validate their feelings. Listen to their righteous anger, and please don’t take it personal. Black people have been fighting many aggressions silently this year. We’re all struggling. Acknowledging you know our feelings are valid is helpful.
Do more. If you’re White, and in America, there is more that needs to be done. White people need to do more. You must hold your old and new representatives accountable. You’ll need to take to the streets, because Trump isn’t leaving the White House without a fight if he loses. You may need to get in the streets and protest with us. You’ll be joining Black people, because we’ve been there. You may need to stop a White supremacist from harming a Black or Brown person. It may seem like nothing to you, but it’s a big deal to have White folks stop White folks from being racist assholes, especially White men.
No matter who wins this week, the seeds of domestic violence have been planted in those interested in physically, verbally, or emotionally abusing Black folks and people of color. Make sure you’re there to comfort your Black and Brown friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers. Random acts of kindness are most appreciated during this time. Remember, when Black folks see you, the first thing they see is that you’re White. We don’t know if you’re a good White or a bad one.
I’m going to say this again: Being quiet will be your friend this week if you have nothing to add to the national discussion on race. Black folks aren’t moving on. You can talk about reproductive rights, etc., but until this election is settled and we’re safe, we have business to take care of. Black and Brown people are fighting for their lives. We got the enemies within, and we have crazy, inconsiderate, lazy, and selfish-ass White people creeping up from the outside using various methods to attack. We are just tired.
It’s fight or flight for Black people. We’re fleeing anything unhelpful and fighting anything that remotely appears to be an enemy. If there was ever a week to get checked by a Black man or woman, this is it, White people.
Tread lightly. Speak wisely.
I’m not advising anyone to be scared of Black people. Just know, my friends, Black folks are exhausted and afraid.
If we’ve been communicating here on Medium and on social media for the past two years or so, I know who you are, and we have no worries. If you communicate the way sane anti-racists do, then we’re good. I’m not advising anyone to be afraid of Black people, just to share that tonight is stressful. This entire week is going to be stressful, because now we have to suffer through court challenges that will give this insane man more power to torment those of us who are sick of his ridiculousness. Medium and other social media platforms have lots of trolls likely hired to swarm Black profiles until all the votes are certified. Hopefully, 45 will lose in a landslide, but we gotta wait on White people to decide if enough of them will be humane instead of their typical inhumanity. Only time will tell.
Just know, my friends, Black folks are exhausted and afraid. I’ve called everyone I know to get them prepared for civil unrest. I’ve given my sons more of “the talks” Black parents give their children all their lives. My dad gave me one last week. They are vital to our survival.
I’ve been stocking my home since March for civil unrest, because I knew this was period was coming. I got weapons for home protection and personal protection. I even purchased gifts for my grandkids for Christmas (they celebrate, I do not), just in case something happens to me or my ability to earn. Between Covid, police brutality protests, random acts of White terrorism/violence, and government/financial collapse, I just wanted to be ready for as much as I could be.
I have controlled all the things I could control. Now I have to put my faith in White people, and Lord knows I have zero reasons to have faith in them at this point. If the history books are correct, nothing happens from this point forward without violence. The violence is that White rage White people terrorize us with when they want to maintain the social order. It’s coming. It’s here.
With that said, I wish a motherfucker would try me this week. I have zero patience and zero chill for the usual bullshit random White folks try. I’m not a child, and I don’t play childish games. I don’t bother anybody, and I’m not letting anyone bother me. Most Black folks will have the same attitude. So, if you’re White, this is going to be that week. It’s the one where you don’t want to experiment with Black folks.
Y’all be safe. Wear a mask and buckle up. Tonight is the night we get to see just how racist America is. Black family, I’m rooting for you, and for us. We’re going to see how serious White people are about saving this country. It’s about to get wild out here, but we’re going to be alright.
Marley K in Quarantine, Election Night 2020 (locked, loaded, and ready)