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Fast Food in a Parking Lot
holy fuck, y’all. we are STILL super racist, still.
Things you’ll need: a car, a parking lot, lots of napkins, and a reasonable dose of shame.
primarily for/to white people
Remember when you said “it’s not over” and then Georgia flipped blue by electing their first Black and Jewish senators and then we couldn’t even give all the Black women (in particular) credit and their proper news cycle of praise for the decades (centuries) of labor that brought this into reality because white people were allowed to “force” (kinda) their way into the capitol building to “do revolution” before being scared back to AirBnBs and tailgate parties without being arrested or brutalized by a show of police force?
Remember when white people were like “we live in a post-racial society” and then a parade of confederate flags marched their way into the houses of government and put their feet up because you can’t be afraid to break into a place that you already own?
Remember how hard they had to work to use language like “mob” and “riot” instead of “protestor” when it was a sea of angry white people who didn’t get their way? Remember how easily “thug” and “looter” tumbled out instead of “protestor” when it was a whole ocean of black folks asking for justice and human rights?
Remember all those books you bought back in June and really meant to read?
Remember all those names you were supposed to say and how few of their murderers have been prosecuted or held accountable?
Remember all the times you just clenched your fists and decided to wait for the election when all of this would just go away once Trump was gone?
Remember the first time you “woke” to the state of America and finally saw the complicity, privilege, and comfort that you have been occupying this whole time and you connected, for the first time, with that outrage and injustice but it took a lot of effort to continue feeling that angry all of the time when you don’t really have to because, if you squint a little, you can just kind of narrow your vision all you have to think about are funny amazon reviews and what you should make for dinner?
Nothing about this should be any kind of shock or surprise. Nothing about this is unexpected (telegraphed in previous speeches explicitly stating that January 6 would be “wild”), unprecedented (a Coup d’Etat overthrew a biracial government in 1898), or unpredictable (and yet happened easily and with little to no resistance).
Sure, you’re outraged, but for how long? Sure, you think it’s deplorable, but so was everything that happened before. Sure, this seems like a major turning point, but this record has been playing for centuries and this is actually just another track, a remix of the same song that has always been playing.
Take a drive just to move a little and mean to listen to a different song, but this one is stuck in your head. You’re still monitoring whatever news channel and waiting to find out which politicians are JUST NOW realizing how dangerous white supremacy has always been and found some principles in their pocket while they were cowering in fear.
Pick a drive-through. Drive through it. With your windows up, mask tucked around your chin, and your hands freshly sanitized, shovel food into your mouth, three to ten fries at a time while they are still hot. Swaddle your sandwich in its paper and chew slowly, staring into the light of the moment and feel all that discomfort, remember all that outrage, truly understand that you are never woke enough and were raised to be racist by all of everything that has ever surrounded you. Think of all the lessons that you have had to unlearn and have yet to identify enough to begin unlearning.
Read a group text from a friend in Indiana about the guy on her street who has always had a big Trump flag flying in front of his house, until this morning when he’d taken it down to fly an American flag in its place. Let it make you feel better and then worse because it took this much to convince him that something was (is, remains) desperately wrong.
Please stay engaged.
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