1. I’m restarting the 40 things #57 post because at least fifteen items last week were me b*tching about WordPress crashing. Bygones.
2. A friend shared this fantastic egg salad recipe with me.
3. I made it Monday despite the fact it would be a hard no for two of my peeps and a distinct unlikelihood for the third.
4. I finally decided I’m worthy of food I love even when no one else craves it — that led to a week of fabulous lunches for little old me.
5. But even delicious egg salad gets tiresome so I’ll probably cut that recipe in half next time.
6. Last week Bear and I were at a counterprotest. For what? So glad you asked.
7. Locals organized a gathering at the foot of the Graham Confederate monument to celebrate the 160th anniversary of North Carolina’s secession. Because of course they are.
8. Several local racial justice groups organized efforts to represent the opposite narrative: a time of hate and suppression isn’t worth celebrating. That seemed like a better use of our time.
9. The local sheriff has started cracking down on peaceful protestors by — wait for it — arresting them. I’ll reemphasize the peaceful part there.
10. Last week four people who peacefully protested Andrew Brown’s killing went before a judge. The white people left after charges were dropped. The Black man left with a misdemeanor he’ll carry from here on out.
11. Each of those people were at the same protest, doing the exact same thing, but the judge decided only one deserved to have it on their record. There is no justice in this system.
12. Anyway, there were two counterprotest sites last week: one at Wyatt Outlaw Park, a space directly overlooking the Confederate monument and historic courthouse, and the other at city hall. We chose to go to city hall as it was a safe(r) space.
13. I should be able to say it’s a safe space. Apparently that area is one where people are free to exercise their first amendment rights without applying for a permit. I shouldn’t have had to worry whether standing on a sidewalk supporting BLM would land me in jail, but I did.
14. We wanted to join the others across from the monument but I’m an activist and a realist and a parent. I just didn’t have it in me to risk tear gas or detainment last week.
15. Safer space or not, I talked with Bear about what to do if I’m picked up by the police. Process that for a minute: I’m telling my fifteen-year-old daughter who to stand with in the crowd in case shouting Black Lives Matter is deemed riotous by the police.
16. If our local sheriff wasn’t enough of an issue North Carolina’s pushed a bill into the state senate allowing for protestors to be charged with felonies under certain circumstances.
17. Let’s talk definitions. “A riot is a public disturbance involving an assemblage of three or more persons which by disorderly and violent conduct, or the imminent threat of disorderly and violent conduct, results in injury or damage to persons or property or creates a clear and present danger of injury or damage to persons or property.” [emphasis added]¹
18. Three or more persons? So my daughter and I can stand on a corner and protest white supremacy but if a friend joins us then we meet the quorum?
19. It’s hard to argue violent conduct should be permitted in the streets. Shoot, ten years ago I wouldn’t have even tried. Then I went to a protest last Halloween.
20. I’m betting most of you remember the 10/31/20 March to the Polls event in Graham.
22. I learned a swarm of S.W.A.T. outfitted police had no problem pepper spraying a crowd including the elderly and families with children.
23. I learned they’d hover menacingly at a March to the Polls event where organizers dared to speak on equal rights as others stood on the sidewalk to listen.
24. I learned I’d never trust their take on what constitutes an imminent threat of disorderly and violent conduct or clear and present danger.
25. We are still fighting the good fight but lo, some days I’m tired.
26. Sometimes I aim for white-to-white people education on twitter and whoa boy, we are a sensitive lot.
27. Here’s what hit my radar yesterday.
28. What in the actual HELL? I don’t care who you are, you do not touch other people without their permission. Even children. Even beautiful Black girls with fabulous braids. JUST NO.
29. Gianna did what she could in this particular situation: she leaned her head forward to try to break contact and then, as young people do, showed her feelings all over her face.
30. This little girl telling her mama “she touched my hair” says it all. Another white woman taking liberties where she shouldn’t.
31. I caught this video on a retweet through Black twitter and y’all, when I say they were furious…I could feel the heat rolling off my phone.
32. Sometimes when I come across these I’ll meander through the comments. This community is tired; white people need to start doing the heavy lifting when folks go astray.
33. I read through this one:
34. It had a whole lot going on in the comments. One white lady leaned in with “It shouldn’t matter what color you are…people are just curious…I think it’s more admiration…She’s a grandma & that’s nicely done hair.”
35. Side note: speaking as someone who’s seen what kind of work goes into that nicely done hair that’s one more reason you absolutely should not be running your hands over it. Damn.
36. We approached her with nobody should touch a child and the problematic history of whites acting like they have all access passes to Black bodies. We emphasized that she could have used words to compliment those beautiful braids instead of invading the child’s space.
37. We tried, but in the end this lady threw down with “now I’ll be afraid to touch anyone or even speak to them, particularly a Black person or child, I had no idea this is how you see me for being white.”
38. When you go to this woman’s account there’s no bio but her timeline practically screams left-leaning. She wants the January 6 commission, shares responsible covid posts…I’d bet my front teeth she considers herself an ally. And there’s the problem.
39. If you utter the phrase “I had no idea this is how you see me for being white” in 2021 you are REALLY not paying attention. That’s master level blind spot right there.
40. I chip away at it, though. Maybe some of our responses will stick with her. Maybe next month one will float back to the surface and she’ll hear it a different way. Maybe we can change the world one heart at a time.
1 – You can read House Bill 805 in its entirety here.