are poor, working folks, who need the pitiful little help with getting a decent meal that food stamps represent?" And I answered myself, "Of course they do, they are poor and working white people, and they don't vote."
And these white people live with the illusion that black people are the problem, the enemy, the cause of their misery. And, of course, we all know that none of this is true. So my white activist friends, whatever the analysis you bring to your work -- whether it is based on class, anti-racist analysis, feminist post-structural theory, whatever -- you must recognize that black people cannot solve the problems like economic inequity, broken criminal justice system, and the multi-dimensional travesty that is the state of Florida. Poor white people have to recognized their interest in these problems.
I love all of you, believe many of you do great work, but I live in a bifurcated world -- on one side I teach in a school that is overwhelmingly white and privileged, on the other side I live, volunteer in and consult with organizations that are overwhelmingly populated by my people, black and brown people. I appreciate your good intentions, the excellent work you do with immigrants, domestic workers, low-income communities of color, and many other efforts that seek to address the grievous injustices that people of color experience every day. But the changes we want -- immigration reform, food justice, health care for all, end to the school-to-prison pipeline, a livable minimum wage, I can go on -- will only become real when marginalized white people can see their interests are our interests:
We who believe in freedom cannot rest We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons Is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons
We who believe in freedom cannot rest, We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.
"Ella's Song", Bernice Johnson Reagon
I don't know what it will take for you to begin to engage your own people, but I suggest you figure it out, and soon. While we may not be able to rest, some of us are getting mighty tired.