This post is long, but it still didn’t sufficiently cover everything that needs to be said. Just needed to get some things off my chest. 🙂 I had written it a while ago and I’m kind of glad I delayed posting it because this needs to be said now more than ever. 🙂
Recently, I had to re-sever ties with someone I thought was my friend. I also noticed that at least 30 of my Twitter Followers also followed someone whose ideas and practices I find . . . problematic.
I started to ponder and wonder what the heck is going on.
What is a beard?
According to Wisdom Daily:
Hmm. Interesting. Before I started researching the use and history of the slang term “beard”, I wondered what sufficient word could be used for someone with racist thought processes, and learned that the word “beard” based on the above explanation works well. So, let’s stick with that.
Racism should be described as “unpopular”, “embarrassing” and something that every human being should be “too ashamed to own publically”. On Sunday, I posted a tongue-in-cheek commentary on farting and racism.
I wouldn’t say that I was thinking “really deeply”. In fact, I was merely and steeping in deep rage and trying to find the funny side (often times it’s nonexistent). I don’t understand why human beings routinely choose to be selfish, cruel, and dense. Selfish, I can often handle by parting paths. Cruel? That’s gross, wannabe villain a la Marquis de Sade, I’m distancing myself from you. But dense is a whole other level of irritation. Especially when people chose to be willfully dense.
Guess What? I’m Not the Government
Okay, so this is what went down on FB. This individual thought it was okay to come on my personal page and mention that since no one knows all of the facts regarding Ahmaud Arbery’s murder that I shouldn’t be reacting in a state of curiosity and emotion. Basically he wants me to be more emotionally flat than Star Trek’s Data. Yes, yes, I know that Data was able to experience emotional fullness after he retrieved the “emotion chip” from Lore, but the point I’m desperately trying to make is that I’m a human being. And besides being squishy, human beings can also be messy. I’m far from perfect! Crappy analogy? Probably, but I wanted an excuse to use this gif.
So, this individual, Who Shall Not Be Named, (I etched out his face to protect myself from trolls) chose to engage in willful ignorance. 🙂 His comments are gray and mine are blue. He starts out, figurative guns blazing, with the word “America”. I think it’s how he invokes his by far ::cue fluent sarcasm:: superior love and adoration for a country that we both live in after he chose to come on my FB page and leave nasty comments in the hopes of provoking a fight. Notice that I mention nothing about my ethnicity, but he zeroes in on it like a mouse spying Gruyère cheese. Please read the captions for more insight. Thank you! 🙂
I don’t get it. In one breath he says that I can’t fight racism and in the other, he deems what transpired wasn’t about racism? Okaaaaaay . . .
Happily Ever After: I’m no longer “friends” with this individual. He’s been blocked.
What is Racial Discourse?
This individual points out that he doesn’t “gaf” about my “god damn skin color” when just moments before he invokes the term “Racial Discourse” like it was a Street Fighter move.
And it wasn’t super-effective. Epic fail for this dude. Lol.
Racial Discourse is ”the collective text and talk of society with respect to issues of race.” Unfortunately, this individual and people like him “virtue signal” by proclaiming “I don’t see color!” Buuuut,
Which brings us back to this blog post’s title: Am I Your Beard?
Before I answer that let’s point out beard-worthy examples in the media.
Candace Owens may be a beard.
Huh? Haven’t heard of her? Yes? Bless you; do tell. No? I, too, for some time shared your (blissful?) ignorance. Until recently. Her supporters love her and praise her, lauding her with laurels for usually the very same reasons her detractors despise her. I don’t hate Candace Owens. I hate skinny jeans and calories. However, I don’t agree with her ideas or the biased conclusions she has drawn about race in the United States of America.
Though I have a feeling that plenty of Candace Owen’s followers use her as their beard. Her existence gives the illusion that they’re not racists, biased, or prejudiced because, “LOOK! LOOK HERE AT THIS BLACK WOMAN! SHE SAID THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACKS! THEY KILL EACH OTHER AND WHY ISN’T ANYONE POINTING OUT BLACK ON BLACK CRIME!” They view themselves as “good people” and they argue that being called racist is like being called the “n” word. Whatever. False equivalencies are so annoying.
Whataboutisms are also annoying as well problematic because they don’t address the underlying issues and instead simultaneously point an accusatory finger at something or someone else. It’s misdirection. It’s an ineffective way of shrugging off responsibility when you should be trying to find answers or solving problems. It’s like a child pinching his sibling and when found guilty for being a bratty little skin pincher, crying, “But what ’bout that time THEY told me I was loud?! HUH?! HUH!!! What about that? Look, SQUIRREL!”
What people need to acknowledge, accept, and understand is that just because someone is black doesn’t mean that they can’t be racist. They can indeed. I’ve noticed a curious trend, too. Celebrities like Cardi B. (who is not Black) will use the n-word and call dark skinned black women “cockroaches” and then when they’re criticized proclaim that their great, great, great grandparent was of African descent, which makes them black and that’s why they’re not racist even when doing racist (misogynoir) things . . .
However, the way in which race and privilege plays a part in the United States as a systemic machine is of greater concern. I will share a conversation I had with a liberal white person I work with. She has participated in Equity training, and she acts as if this training has and will absolve her from her crappy way of treating people of color. It’s as if she has been baptized and her future sins and past have been washed away in the tranquil waters of Equity Pools.
She admitted to me once that racism is not only real, but it is alive, well, and kicking. She went onto ask why would those that benefit from the privileges imbued by racism want to end it? Her exact words, “They won’t. And they’re not going to end it without a fight.” She’s correct. Why would anyone want to dismantle and burn to ashes something that makes their life easier? I won’t get into the answers to that question in this post, but I will say that I have touched upon it in others. So, feel free to browse.
Now, what kind of consequences occur if and when a black person or even any POC hates whites just because they are white? Perhaps, this white person is mistreated, bullied, harassed, or ignored. All sad. All unfair. But there’s a missing power dynamic that whites possess and there are laws built into not only protecting them, but rewarding them. When whites actively exercise their racist beliefs, it’s more than a matter of hurt feelings. Death and the devil are in the bloody details.
Candace Owens and I have little in common. We’re both black women married to white men. These similarities are quite superficial and that’s why I wonder WHY ARE HER FOLLOWERS INTERSECTING WITH MINE?!
Let’s continue with why I find Candace Owens problematic.
During one of her interviews on The Ingraham Angle, Ms. Owens mentioned that she never experienced racism growing up. This argument isn’t new especially if you have had the pleasure to speak with many different kinds of people. I’ve heard a lot of people (black, white, Asian, etc.) comment that during the 1990s racism wasn’t as intense as it is now. It’s a prevailing opinion that has increased in what some have called the post-racial era (lol — really? lol), but opinions are not facts. In this interview, Ms. Owens mentions that race has become a business. Likewise, it’s common knowledge that businesses rake in money. Well. She would know all about that. After all, she filed a lawsuit claiming the school district and their decision to delay punishment did not protect her safety. Her team argued that the school federal Title IX law of banning discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. She was rewarded $37,500 from the Board of Education for racist threats. Her actions that led to this settlement contradict her current narrative, blaming blacks for their circumstances and dismissing nation-wide issues by stating that they have a victim mentality. Victim mentality” is a dog-whistle that detractors against any movement love using, by the way.She’s no stranger to controversy.” But, she’s clearly thriving from it and now has a book deal from Simon & Schuster.
I’m not saying that people can’t grow and change, but she not only lied about and denied her own unfair experiences with racism (that she received a payout for) and then has the gall to gaslight those that have shared similar or worse treatment. And let’s say for the sake of fairness that in the future that she attempts to be diplomatic that doesn’t mean her followers will be. Why? Because they’re support of her is not genuine. It’s a deceptive tactic to keep her as their beard, their “best face”. They don’t see her as a person, but as a way to make them look good. It’s a parasitic relationship. She’s using them and seems to be complicit in being used.
Yes, Candace, racism is real.
And yes, Candace, two things can be simultaneously true. You don’t have to run from one plantation (Democrats) to another (Republicans). Both parties have no interests in helping poor people — black, white, Latinx, Asian. But perhaps you think that because you’re no longer poor, you don’t have to care.
So anyway, I didn’t understand why these people following Candace were following me. I don’t understand why people with #MAGA in their profiles try to follow me on Twitter.
Confuzzled, I reached out to one of my friends about this particular matter. Why? Because I noticed that he was following Candace. I didn’t know that was the case until I (out of curiosity) clicked on the “Followers” tab. 😦
Here’s our exchange:
Me: “I need to know something. You’re not the only one that is following me and that also follows Candace Owens. But because we have a writing history and you’re someone who I would call friend, I need to know why you’re following Candace Owens. It’s your right to keep that to yourself, but I don’t understand and instead of jumping to conclusions, I’d be much obliged that you share with me why. Thank you.”
Friend: ” It’s good to hear from you. The reason I follow Candace Owens is because she is a conservative. I’m also a conservative. Hope you are doing well.”
Me: “Okay. That doesn’t tell me much. She is indeed a conservative, but her rhetoric is often biased and lacks nuance as well as depth. What she often says is without context. I’d expected a more rounded response from you though.”
Friend: “Thanks for your comments.”
Me: “Noted. At least you replied.”
Ms. Owens often ridicules Black Democrats because she views them as brainwashed and mindlessly following tradition. My “friend(?)” identifies himself as a conservative and he seems to be channeling the same circular reason mindset. What does it mean to be a conservative? What does it mean to be a liberal? If we as citizens of this country only follow a particular party because of a title, or because it’s aligned to a religion or lack thereof, or because it’s tied to how we or the world racially identifies us, what does that say about us as people? It seems as if we have flattened ourselves with the ferocity of a bulldozer. We are broken, bleeding out, and no amount of surgery will fix us. If this is what we have become, then we are doomed. Again, he didn’t need to share anything at all. It’s not my right to know, but as a black women who has dealt with racism from people that look like me and those that do not, I found it . . . strange. I had hoped he’d provide more context.
As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts: white follows black. What the black community has suffered and is still suffering from will be visited upon white communities as those issues trickle out and down to other ethnic groups. All across the African diaspora we are treated like guinea pigs. In the global society (yes even Communist China and Russia have rich and greedy rulers), money equals power. Time is not on our side. The message they’re selling is that if you’re poor, you don’t matter. Lol. To say nothing of the middle class, which are going the way of the dinosaur and now that COVID-19 has catastrophically smashed the world’s economies with asteroid-esque impact, who and what will be left standing once the aftershocks have dissipated?
Is White Supremacy/Nationalism also a Beard?
Being poor is viewed as shameful and poor people are blamed for living poverty — as if they chose it! White people that are poor look at the world as if it’s their pearl. And the reason why a lot of white people don’t believe in white privilege is because they view the world through meritocractic (wait, is that a word? Well, it is now!) lenses; meaning, since they’re white they should be living high on the hog. But that’s not what white privilege is. Considering Lyndon Johnson’s quote above I’m wondering if it’s currently being used as a “beard” for angry white people that are also poor.
White supremacy is inexcusable and frankly, it’s redundant (white is the default). Whites that say they’re oppressed while at the same time feel they’re better than others just because of their skin color will in the same breath feel they’re being threatened, attacked, erased, and denied the fullness of their freedom because Star Wars, Doctor Who, and other forms of entertainment are pushing for diversity (really? you sure?) that’s . . . lol, look, I have no words for this, except to say that it’s stupid! False equivalencies are stupid! I may expand on this in another post. Maybe. Maybe not. I have other things I want to write, so, duh . . . torturous and seemingly fruitless teaching moments isn’t my thing.
For every ten black people that share their painfully traumatic experiences with race, there will be just as many who do not have any to lament on. Young Rippa, a popular YouTuber has explained that he is not “racially oppressed“. As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, Black People Are Not a Monolith. This is Eric July’s (aka Young Rippa’s) experience and he is free to express it. The resulting problem is that people often overgeneralize and when they hear even one black person (or any other POC) saying these things, they may take gross liberty to apply Eric’s narrative to mine. And worse, they will use his truth to counter or cancel someone else’s and condemn them as liars or race baiters (Duh, der, you’re the real RACIST for pointing out race! Lol. WTF. I just can’t even try to comprehend this logic) in order to cement convictions they never intended to break in the first place. Some of them may be using him as a beard.
So, am I your beard?
Are you using me to supply yourself with an appearance that whines, “I’m not a racist. I have black friends. Look, I follow this black girl and she’s one of the good ones. She’s not your typical black girl.” Blah, blah, blah. Just stop. No. You look and sound stupid. Even to yourself.
I am grateful to those of you that actively engage with me by visiting my sites, social media handles, purchasing and/or reviewing my books, and reading my posts. Thank you for also sharing my posts and even messaging me. Thank you for seeing me as an individual.
Thank you for your support!
And I’m using “your” and “you” as generalities because if what I’ve described doesn’t apply to you and who you are, then live your life accordingly and keep keeping on. This is for those that are inclined to click on my pretty, brown face for inauthentic reasons and then choose to “follow” me passively with no interaction.