This post is dedicated to Heather Heyer, who died on August 12th, 2017, standing up against Nazi Fascists in Charlottesville, Virginia. There are no words to describe the amazing woman you are. Your life was stolen far too early. May you somehow, rest in peace. – Devon
This post may offend some people – even people who call themselves my friend. If you are offended by anything I say please let me know in the comments below. I am open to your thoughts, opinions, and insights. Just be aware I reserve the right to ignore you.
“I remember being out with my friends, walking past a group of men in robes. The robes were black, one of them looked at me, pushing his hood up ever so slightly, and for the first time in my life, I think – I know I felt fear, I felt evil. I was standing before the very human version of evil. Never in my years have I felt so cold, so terrified as I did that night.” – R
An old acquaintance said that to me once, at the time I thought he was being ridiculous. To put his quote into further context, he was explaining to me that he was afraid he was going to go to heaven, and I would end up in hell, because I choose the path of Witch craft.
At the time I thought he was being ridiculous – because although I knew evil existed, I had never actually seen it.
I’ve not seen the videos of Isis members beheading innocent victims, I have not watched the videos of members of the “White Nationalists” attacking black men and women, I have not watched the videos of police officers shooting innocent men.
I have chosen not to watch these videos because I did not want to subject myself to the evil that men are capable of. Today, however, I could not help but watch the video of a white man deliberately driving at forty-five miles an hour into a crowd of Antifa supporters.
Men and women, mostly white, who believe that white nationalism is bullshit, were run over with a car, purely because they choose to fight with love, purely because they choose to protect all human lives, not just the ones they deem “worthy”.
Today I watched as white men and women sat back and demanded that Black Lives Matter take up the fight.
You all know I do not support BLM – in this moment I, a spiritualist, a believer in love over hatred, a pacifist, demand that we the people of color do the exact opposite.
I have been trying all day to find the words to describe how I feel – I cannot explain the feelings raging through me right now. Sadness, fear, anger, hatred, misery, depression – I feel all the negative emotions, I cannot find the words to express an invitation to have hope.
I have hope that the civil war that I see brewing in my neighboring country will end swiftly and in peace. I, however, a spiritualist, a pacifist, a believer that every life matters, I, however, unfortunately, live in reality.
I know that the war I see brewing will not be swift. It will not be peaceful, it will be violent, and it will be filled with blood.
What happened in Virginia is nothing short of evil. To see men and women – grown men and women marching with torches screaming Blood and Soil shake me to my core. I cannot imagine how those young college students felt, surrounded by so much hatred, standing up against verbal violence, threats of rape and death. They are heroes. We should all endeavor to be as strong as they are.
I cannot offer you hope – I am nothing more than a soft quiet voice in a country apart, wishing you all peace tonight. I do not think it matters how I feel – I am not American, I am not one of you.
I asked myself what Martin Luther King would say if he were alive today, I believe he would call for calm; I believe he would call for peace.
I do not know if his voice would matter in this day and age.
The women’s march came out to decry the violence – the same group mind you that does not stand for sex workers, women of color or LGBTQ women, calls for an end to the violence – how are we supposed to believe in these groups when they are so filled with hypocrisy?
Today I tweeted that women surrounded by white nationalist men are equal in terms of the victimhood they live in. I was wrong; I admit that I was wrong.
These are grown women who can if they choose to, leave these men. In the year 2017 there is no excuse to stay in an abusive relationship, no matter how afraid you might be, no matter what threats he throws into your face, you know damned well there is help if you want it, you choosing instead to pick up a torch and scream Blood and Soil, you do not have my pity, my empathy or my respect. You disgust me.
You, a woman, raising daughters to hate, to believe that men are superior so long as they are white men, you a woman refusing to stand up for yourself when millions of women have been doing the work for you, I am ashamed to be categorized the same as you.
It is time for Black women to step back. For us to raise our children with love and light, for us to take care of our husbands and our wives, our families and ourselves most importantly; it is the time that we step up to the microphone and ask – nay demand, that our white sisters stand up and raise their voices in our absence.
Black women and men have had to fight this battle for nearly a hundred and sixty years, their time has come and is now over. Women who are not of color, women with white skin; it is time for you to put your money where your mouth is. For you to stand up and denounce this white power bullshit.
It hurts me to say this – being that I am half white, it is confusing to me, my spirituality and my politics are rarely on the same page, today of all days it is more difficult for me. I know what is morally right, what my heart tells me to do.
My heart tells me to tell you to burn these mother fucking Nazi symbols to the ground. My heart says we should burn their churches, fire them from our companies, block them from our schools and our communities, and make sure that they know they are not welcome in any area of our lives.
Yet my spirituality tells me to ask for peace and for calm. I see Oprah say that the only way to end racism is to kill the racists, which is how you radicalize these people, however.
When we step up with violence we give them the ability to say “see? We told you they want us dead.” So instead, rather than fight them with violence, rather than kill them, we must shun them from our community.
We must not allow them to shop in our stores, use our banks our beaches or our farms. We must remove their ability to have any effect upon us.
The Amish – when someone has acted upon any sin that affects the entire community they excommunicate that person from the said community, this is what we must do with these people.
When the Vancouver BC riots occurred after the NHL game, hundreds of people were caught on camera fighting looting and beating each other up. Every single one of them faced justice; we must ask no less than that for what happened in Charlottesville.
We, Canadians must stand up against violent rhetoric. On Friday afternoon I happened to be walking through Surrey Central Skytrain and had the unfortunate pleasure of hearing “Christians” talk about Jews taking over the world, destroying our children and our communities.
Surrey British Columbia is a place filled with people from all cultures, races, religions, creeds, and nationalities. If you think it isn’t happening in Canada, you are either full of shit, or you’re lying to yourself and choosing to deliberately ignore what is happening.
My formative years I spent about six months convincing myself I wasn’t adopted (I wasn’t) because my bullies used to torment me – my skin color is black, my mom is white, there for clearly, I am adopted. Apparently, they had heard conversations between my mom and their parents. So for six months I was convinced my mother had been lying to me…I was nine.
The fact that you are blatantly ignoring what is happening in America, what has been happening here, makes you a part of the problem.
It’s both amusing to me, and disgusting, to see people with white skin claim to be people of colour because “somewhere down the line my ancestors were a different race than just white.” No, if you have white skin, you are white.
If I have privilege because I am light skinned, you sure as hell have privilege because your skin is whiter than fucking alabaster, and pretending that you don’t is both disgusting, and makes you part of the problem.
Recently I had to have a rather uncomfortable conversation about a stuffed monkey. To the people who owned the damned thing, it was just a symbol to represent who they are – something fun and silly. To me, it was a constant reminder of the fact that people used the sock monkey as a way to make fun of Black People.
Every time I saw this thing I had to question whether or not I should be there, this past week the monkey vanished from sight. It was a strange feeling.
Do you have any idea what it is like to look at a white person, as a woman of colour and say “hey that’s racist” having no idea how they will react? In a word, terrifying.
Although I am glad the monkey is gone, I feel bad, because I forced them to take away something someone made out of pure kindness. Not one person I spoke with about sock monkey’s understood or even knew about the origin.
It took me a long time to recognize racism for what it is – I think it’s because I was so focused on what was happening to me, that I wasn’t paying attention to the world around me, my eyes were not open.
I didn’t have anyone to teach me that being called the “Whitest black girl I’ve ever met” was not okay. I didn’t have anyone to teach me that being called Nigger was not okay, that hearing the words “White Power” yelled in your face after I was raped (the first time) was wrong – I knew they were wrong, but only because I saw the hatred these things were said with. Not because anyone in my life cared to teach me how to protect myself from this hatred.
I had to learn the hard way to recognize hatred and ignorance for what it is. Every time someone hears my story of abuse and shame and says something like “I know how you feel.” I have to force myself to choke back my anger and calmly say, “you don’t know how I feel.” What’s worse is that often I feel bad because I know this sentence is never said with cruelty in mind – but by saying you know how I feel you are actually denouncing how I feel. How can you possibly know how I feel? You are not me. You will never be me, as I will never be you.
You don’t know what it’s like to be asked by a cop if having your head pounded into a wall is just part of rough sex.
You don’t have to listen to your boyfriend explain to your friends that you like rough sex and that the bruises are just a part of that, that it’s the “black side” of you that is kinky.
You have no idea how I feel because everyone sees you and assumes you are white. Everyone looks at me and assumes that I am African, no one bothers to ask where my family comes from they just assume.
I will never tell another survivor I know how they feel – I don’t. I may empathize with them, but I will never in my core know what they are going through, because I have not walked in their footsteps, but I digress.
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once. – Robert A. Heinlein
I think in all honesty he is right; we cannot have both. Time and time again humans have destroyed each other in the name of peace, love, nationalism. Instead of coming together as one united race under God or whatever you call our creators, we continuously destroy ourselves.
The Romans did it, the Catholics did it, the Nazi’s and here we are again, there are currently only ten countries not at war with someone in the world.
According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, a think tank which has produced the index for the past 10 years, only Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam are free from conflict. – The Independent
The other night I was watching Independence Day, the first and second one – they talked about the idea that no matter where you come from, no matter your nationality, race, creed, orientation, or colour we as humans needed to stand together to fight against this alien threat.
Part of me thinks it is time to let the aliens invade – maybe then we as humans would stop murdering each other. The other half of me thinks that in all reality even if aliens did show themselves, as soon as any kind of conflict was over with them we would end up going back to killing each other.
At no time in human history has the world known pure unadulterated peace. At no time in human history has the world known true unadulterated freedom. Well….actually, we did. Back when human’s first walked the earth and they were too busy learning to create the wheel to worry about trying to murder each other. We had peace then.
We have elected officials who are supposed to lead us; they are supposed to be the smartest of the smartest – our military personal police included are supposed to be the best and brightest trained and paid to defend us.
The Bible says “The Meek shall inherit the Earth” my question is simple…when the dust settles when the final bullet is shot when the final body falls…will there be any meek left?
I don’t know what will happen in a thousand years, a hundred years or even tomorrow. I do know, however, that as courageous as standing in silence or in song against white supremacists calling for your death might be, the time for silent revolution is over.
To remain silent against tyranny is to remain complacent, to remain silent against this pure, hideous evil is to acknowledge your belief in it.
After five hundred years of non-stop white men murdering innocent non-violent black men – many of those years caught on camera I might add – the time for quiet contemplation is over. It’s time to pick a side.
If we must fight the Nazi’s again, let us do it together. Let us show them that we are not afraid, that we will not go quietly into the night. That we will stand up for what is right, against hatred against tyranny and if we must, against our own governments.
We the hackers, the activists, the protestors and the spiritual must stand together. I do not know how to make this any more clear – I do not know how to inspire people to act, but what I do know is that if you do not stand with the victims of Ferguson, if you do not stand with the victims of Charlottesville, if you as a citizen of the planet Earth do not stand up against Tyranny, racism, nationalism, and abuse of all kinds…then you are a part of the problem.
“It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.” –Mahatma Ghandi
If you do not know what is like to not see your name on any specialty item until you have to special order it at three times the cost, you don’t know what its like to be me.
Until you realize you cannot wear a hoodie or travel to certain parts of your own country for fear you will be raped, beaten or murdered, you do not know what is like to be me.
Until you know that you cannot travel to another country because you are afraid something might happen to you, because of the color of your skin, you do not know what is like to be me.
Until you have to pretend to like and be nice to every single fucking person you meet, smile and pretend to be happy to every fucking white person who walks by you on the street, so that they know they do not have to be afraid of you or attack you, then you have no fucking idea what it is like to be me.
Yes I am light-skinned, and I will never in a billion years ever understand what it is like to be a dark skinned woman in America, but neither will you, my white friends, ever know what it is like to be me.
Until you know what it is like to have white people look at you strangely because you have tattoos and like heavy metal music until you have to worry about the feeling of “needing to ask permission” to like heavy metal music, you don’t know what it is like to be me.
Until you, my white sisters come together, in one room and listen to women of color share our stories, and you, our white skinned sisters decide that YOU will stand in front of us and protect us from those that want us dead because of the color of our skin, you will never, know what it is like, to be me.
May God Grant Charlottesville some peace this week, may those who live in this tiny college town in rural America, find the strength to come together and clean up the mess left by Nazi’s who invaded – because yes, this was no less than an invasion – their town, may you find some solace in knowing you do not stand alone.
You are our heroes this week. You are our defenders, and until every person who has white skin demands that the powers of the Governments around the globe decry this violence until every human being on this earth stands up against this hatred, I cannot in good consciousness call for peace.
I cannot ask you to defend your homes, your families and your livelihood against the tyranny of racists, clearly interested in your death and your bloodshed, with peace. I will instead ask that you follow your hearts, you use your voices to fight back and you demand justice for the life lost and lives forever changed in Charlottesville Virginia this week.
For those injured and for those who for the rest of their lives, will remember standing face to face with a Nazi, screaming Blood and Soil.
I stand with Charlottesville for now, forever.
All my love,
Devon J Hall
PS I would just like to offer a shout out to these ladies, who gave me strength today when I was broken – by sharing their pain with me, and by letting me share mine with them, my soul sisters. I love you, I am blessed for knowing you. For being able to call upon you in times of sorrow…I thank you.