I would like to share this with you as a token of regard for your slice of life pieces. One of my favorite intellectuals is Tressie McMillan Cottom, who just happened to have been on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah tonight. As I read your piece it harkened me back to an essay Dr. Cottom wrote for theAtlantic. I thought of this excerpt in response to your piece. It was befitting as it articulated what we have come to know about whiteness.
I am black. I come from black people who are southerners even when they were New Yorkers for a spell. We are the black American story of enslavement, rural migration, urban displacement, resistance, boostrapping, mobility, and class fragility. In this milieu we, as a friend once described it, know our whites. To know our whites is to understand the psychology of white people and the elasticity of whiteness. It is to be intimate with some white persons but to critically withhold faith in white people categorically. It is to anticipate white people’s emotions and fears and grievances because their issues are singularly our problem. To know our whites is to survive without letting bitterness rot your soul.
In a sense you, Ms. Lecia, as well as Marley K., Sam McKenzie Jr., and others have put to good use our freedom of expression to inspire and inform. More importantly, based on the knowledge documented in our pieces and shared, we do know our whites.🧐 I hope that it is also recognized that this courage to resist the trappings of motivated ignorance uniquely found in American life is not based on what the vanity and insanity of whiteness want to believe as just never-ending gripes, but serves as a remarkable self-awareness of simply being.