I fully support and agree with Jesse Williams’ speech. This post is in regard to people “opposing” the truths of what he said.
As it relates to Race & Culture and the hardships and negativity that POC (person/people of color, i.e. anyone who’s not white) have, there are 4 truths:
1) If you live in America and are a POC, your race/culture has had to deal with oppression, discrimination, rasicm, classism, and negativity on some level.
2) We (POC) suffer in different ways, to different degrees. Yes, we have suffered in some of the same ways and that is something that we have that connects us in a very potent and unfortunate way. Yet it remains true that not all suffering is the same. It does not take away from, demean, or dismiss the suffering of others, it’s just a truth that there are different degrees to it, as there are many things in life.
3) Someone acknowledging the hardships of their own race/culture does not take away from, demean, forget, or dismiss the hardships of other POC. People can only come from their own point of view. We can at the very least try to understand, if we don’t already identify with, the same issues or other issues other POC have endured.
-And as it pertains to speaking for other POC and their hardships, I don’t expect Latin or Asian people to know any or all of the hardships of people of African and Indegenous culture nor should I, just as I can’t and don’t know all of their hardships and the way they experience their hardships. It’s not okay to expect that. It’s unnecessary to expect that. That’s not something we should have to identify with in the first place nor is it anything to be proud of to share such terrifying and horrible treatmemt.
4) The more melanin (aka the darker) your skin tone, the worse, more neglected, more unrepresented, and more ignored you are.
-And as it pertains to Indegenous Nations (of pre-America and pre-Australia as main, big examples), the worse your history is with white people invading your land the more hidden, ignored, and forgotten you are.
These are simple, verifiable facts. And as it stands, we each should be a part of and acknowledgement our own personal race/culture and embrace it, as well as be aware of and support our fellow POC who face the same and different forms of negativity. It takes knowing yourself and then coming together with others to move forward and better this life and this world.
I am of African American, Blackfoot Nation, and Cherokee Nation descent from both my mother and father, as well as Crèole and Irish descent. So I know very much about hardships and negativity towards people of color.
The truth is, our race and culture are a part of who we are, they do not define us, but they are huge parts of who we are as individuals. We could easily have been born any other race, no one chooses what race they will be, or what culture they’ll be born into either. But it is still something to be acknowleged and respected, because we are all people who are different, beautiful, special, and unique. So it’s not teaching kids and people to “not see color”, but it’s acknowledging and respecting another’s race and culture. That’s what this is about, acknowledging and knowing the hardships and negativity towards POC, learning from it so we can know how to be and do better and not go back to it, and moving forward. People also have to understand that this is a conversation that has to be had because it is our history as humanity. It is the truth of where we came from and the conditions that led to us being in the place we are right now. We need to finally acknowledge our history, know our history, deal with the conditions we’re in, and move forward.