Don’t expect me to explain them or defend them or excuse them or represent them. Those people in Virginia, the ones with the torches and the hatred, they aren’t my people.
You might assume they’re my people because I look like them. I could be the mother of any one or dozens of those young white men holding torches and screaming at people. But I’m not, they aren’t my people.
I don’t get what they are saying, I don’t understand it, condone it, or tolerate it. No one I know, no one I grew up with, would hold a torch and walk through a city’s streets yelling invective at other people. Hear me, they aren’t my people.
Don’t ‘dear white people’ me. Your words are lost on me. I haven’t been unconscious, unaware, disbelieving. Maybe you are thinking of someone else you met once in the hallway of a cheap hotel who swore out loud at bad service and blamed it on those people. It wasn’t me you met in the hallway. I was staying somewhere else.
I am accountable for my own self. I am accountable for living a life of honesty and integrity. I am also my brother’s keeper. But I am not his regulator. I am not in charge of my brother. I cannot tell my brother what to do. I can only control myself. I can only live an ethical life, be a person of principle, turn away from racism, heap scorn on people who traffic in hatred. Those are things I can do.
So when you are searching and blaming , blame them. Blame the torch holders and their compatriots. Blame the people who were there and the people who paid their way. Blame the news people who found them interesting and gave them voice. Blame the President who decided they were one side of a two-sided difference of opinion. Blame history, blame emblems, blame talk radio. But don’t blame me. They aren’t my people.
I disowned them a long time ago.