YOU CAN KILL A MAN
BUT NOT A IDEA
THE TEN CRACKA COMMANDMENTS
What’s a white person to do?
Recently, I had the pleasure to participate in the Interplay Hip Hop
Symposium at Lehigh University. The event was hosted by the inimitable
hip hop theatre pioneer Kashi Johnson and keynoted by brilliant lyricist
and hip hop educator Asheru. I gave a lecture about white appropriation
of rap. My lecture led to a discussion about how white people fit into
the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black Lives Matter movement
Together, we came up with these, the ten cracka commandments for 2015:
1. All Lives Matter won’t matter until Black Lives Matter.
This commandment is a litmus test and the greatest commandment.
All Lives Matter
2. Always remember that white privilege is real, even if you do not
understand it. Use it to convince other people that black lives,
black women's lives, matter. Show up for protests, write letters to
representatives, and start discussions with other white people about
black lives mattering.
3. Always remember that ignorance is real, and is a product of privilege.
Treat the ignorant with compassion, but hold them accountable.
4. Never think that the critique does not apply to you. Just because you
were at Barack’s inauguration and your dad was a freedom rider, or because
you are the head of your local chapter of GLADD, that does not mean you do
not have more work to do on yourself, your family, and your community.
5. Always remember that it is never a question of if violence, but whose
violence are you going to defend. Unjust state-sanctioned and racist
violence, or justified resistance; the choice is yours, the choice is ours.
6. Never tolerate racism from your friends or family. Whether it is coming
from your eighteen-year-old friend, your thirty-one-year-old cousin, or your
eighty-year-old grandmother, confront it always. Confronting racism does not
mean you will lose your friend or family. It means you will help to make them
act and think in less racist ways.
7. You cannot love cultural products without also loving the people who make
those products. If you like black art or athletics, that appreciation is an
entryway into recognizing that black lives matter.
8. Never quote black leaders like Dr. King in order to criticize protesters
9. Always embrace uncertainty. Life is uncertain; death is certain.
Uncertainty promotes life; certainty produces death and destruction.
10. Never put white fragility ahead of justice. If you are more concerned to
argue that you “aren’t racist” than you are with racism or with people dying,
your priorities are skewed. Do you want justice or comfort?
The Ten Cracka Commandments
THE BLACK TEN COMMANDMENTS
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