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An Open Letter to White Liberals: Take Two

Y’all really defending Nazis?!

Saturday Night Live

White American liberals, we find ourselves at yet another conflict. As I sit here and type these words, the events of Charlottesville and the aftermath continue to keep our collective eyes on the Nazi threat in America. However, white American liberals are just as dangerous. And your silence is killing us.

Many of you are likely puzzled. “Our silence?” Yes, your silence. Your collective unwillingness to address not only the overt expressions of white supremacy like we saw in Charlottesville, but also the quieter and more insidious aspects of white supremacy and imperialism that you are only too happy to take part in. As a collective whole, you, the white American liberal, are willing to disavow Nazis (which is the very least that you can f*ckin’ do) but in the same breath condemn both Antifa and #BlackLivesMatter. When you do this, you place people who are willing to fight against the rise of fascism and people who just want equity for People Of Color in this country on the same plane as a literal f*cking Nazi.

When white liberals complain about Antifa, compare them to Nazis and use terms like “alt-left” (don’t deny it. We have the screen-caps fam. Y’all started that epithet so go f***yourself), you directly equate the fight for racial, economic, sexual, and gender equity with a group that has called for the direct genocide of anyone who isn’t white, straight, cis-gendered and able bodied. I see this taking place in every arena in which these issues are discussed, from the online world of Facebook and Twitter to real life at rallies. You get online and you make jokes about things like “white power”; Then, when you’re called out on that problematic bullshit, you delete your status and post a new one opining that you “can no longer make a joke”.

You’re goddamn right! You don’t get to make a joke about something that isn’t coming for you. You don’t get to sit in the ivory tower of your privilege and make light of something that took to the streets and killed someone, that took to the streets and beat a man near to death. To you, white liberal Americans, these events are just things for you to circle jerk about with your little friends about how y’all are “good”. To you, these events are something you can write off. Hell, I see more collective rage from white liberals about our demand to tear down Confederate statues than I do the literal loss of life at the hands of actual Nazis. Let that sink in.

You, white America in general, but white liberal America in particular, are angry that we are demanding the removal of statues put up of Confederates for the express purpose of reaffirming white supremacy. You, white America, take to your keyboards and smugly tell People of Color that we must “fight hate with love”, that you “won’t tolerate violence from anybody”. To that I say, go f*ck yourself. You don’t get to sit in the comfort of your privilege and tell the oppressed how to fight the oppression we are seeing. Your centrism has caused you to choose sides and you have chosen the side of the fascists.

So, the way I see it, y’all got two options. You can shut the f*ck up and just ride with us. In any way that you are able to. That can be going to these protests and putting your body on the line with us. It can be showing up to the jail house, like they did in Durham, and saying you were one of the people who tore down the statue even if you didn’t participate. You can make art. Spray paint an anti fascist mural and tell the world we stand against oppression. When your family starts complaining about #BlackLivesMatter or Antifa or making racist jokes/statements, speak the f*ck up and ruin the day. When your friends say racist sh*t speak up and call them on it; make being a racist lonely. Not everyone can do everything, but every single one of you can do something.

Your other option is to remain silent. To continue participating in these systems that allow for, and in the cases of the Nazis and Klan among others, call for an increase in oppression. However, let it be known now. If you choose that route; we’re coming for you when we come for the Nazis. So, liberal white America, let me put your options real plain for you. You can either get down or you can lay down. Because we’re tearing down this whole system.

Yours in solidarity

Written by Adair Schmidt

Adair Schmidt

Adair Schmidt is a political activist and was a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He was previously a contributor on Project Sanity and is now on The Discourse. Follow him on Twitter @adairschmidtPS.

Adair is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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An Open Letter to White Liberals: Take Two