Someday, maybe I’ll have the time to write a book about the fact that wasn’t necessarily those in power that prevented more meaningful transformation in this city, but so-called allies, the do-gooders, the good guys. The ones who say they’re all about justice. The ones who appear to be and say they’re on community’s side.
The ones who can cling to Black Lives Matter, but are repulsed by Majority Black Detroit Mattering. The ones who denounce ‘identity politics’ and don’t get centering blackness in a threatened majority Black city as a means for every one of us, my kids and your kids, to benefit, to live, to dream.
The folk that wouldn’t allow people they didn’t or couldn’t control to get a crumb, or even get a bandage to those in need. Those who want to pick and choose who gets free based on ideology. Those protected by the very structures we’re kicking against, conspiring in remodeled suburban basements and behind gated community safety nets. Those who can’t support progress because it will stifle their revolutionary pipe dreams. Those who whisper the same racist rhetoric that the right screams.
I’ve got the notes, the dates and acts going back 10+ years now. From the first time I was told to ‘stay in my lane’ by the white men trying to run the show to the most recent efforts to disparage me as misguided and misinformed. All the times they tried to get me to turn on my commitments to Black leadership ￼and the times I was told I was too negative, too harsh. I’ve got a timeline of all the campaigns they’ve tried to undermine, the coalitions they f’ed with, Black women leadership challenged, almost every time.
Don’t get me wrong, rightly so, I’m just a small cog, and we’ll still organize, fight and we’ll still win, but someday, maybe I’ll have the time to write a book. It would be a book about how it wasn’t necessarily those in power that prevented more meaningful transformation in this city but so-called allies, some so-called friends.