White People Want Something From Black People They’ve Never Given to Us: Mercy
The issue of ending racism is much more complex than simply hugging a police officer or “hugging the hate away.” The issue is not a ‘lack of love’ from this Black person to a police officer. The issue is a lack of justice. How can I hug someone (ultimately an institution) who is withholding justice from me?
We have been hugging white people since Trayvon was murdered in 2012.
We have been hugging police since Michael Brown was murdered in 2014.
Yet to this day, the same racist system remains in place. I do understand the sentiment of communicating an ethic of love that embodies the best of humanity. The picture of this Black person hugging this officer is powerful. But the only redeeming quality of this photo is that time and time again, Black people are inviting our perpetrators to a better way of living and being.
Black people are CONSTANTLY and incessantly asking white people to take their knee off of our throats. Year after year, we meet white violence with Black grace. Year after year, white people must be convinced that racism is a problem and reassured that, “Not all white people are racist.” Do you know how tiring it is to ask your oppressor to love you when they keep killing your family in the street?
The problem is not a lack of love from Black people. The problem is white people’s refusal to share power at the cost of their own comfort. The problem is that many white people expect to receive a level of mercy they have never holistically shown to Black folks.
You will get no hug from me if:
- You refuse to undo this racist power structure
- You refuse to address racism in your own life
- You refuse to address racism in your church
- You refuse to address racism in your school
- You refuse to share political power
- You refuse to share economic power
- You refuse to stop suffocating Black people with your white negligence
- You refuse to arrest police officers who kill Black people in cold blood.
I have no need to hug my oppressor.
I have no need to hug those who hate me.
Give me justice. Give me justice. Give me justice.
Or keep your hugs.