Saturday, 21 March 2015

Dear Fellow Muslims: We Have a Problem

Black activist leaders respond to state violence against innocent black youth by making the BlackLivesMatter‬ hashtag. When racist violence takes out three prominent young Muslims, you co-opt the hell out of their hard word by appropriating that hashtag and making one for muslimlivesmatter.

Black people get sick and tired of CNN's blatant racism and make the #CNNbeLike hashtag. Once again, you dive right in, appropriate a hashtag that didn't belong to you, and start using it to air your own grievances.

More below the image.

Yes, Islam has been racialised. Yes, Muslim are discriminate against.

HOWEVER. Unless we are also black, we will not know what it is like to lose our genealogies four or five generations out because of systematic violent white enslavement of our ancestors. We will not understand the impact of decades of cumulative and intentional discrimination - most of those decades of discrimination conducted on the force of law. We have a better chance of being hired for a job than a white ex-felon. We will not continue to be systematically regulated to the "wrong side" of town where the schools are crap, the commute to any real job is hours long, the parks are intentionally unkempt, and there are few community programmes. We don't have to worry about trying multiple times to get a decent ACT score only to end up with something barely worthy of community college just because of where we had to go to school. The family histories in our communities don't either become collectively silent at certain points in history, or horrifically painful to hear.

Even if you sympathise with the struggle, you don't get the struggle. Not at the level of blood, sweat, tears, soul-rending pain.

So stop. Make your own damned hashtags. Stop co-opting the work of others. Stop sitting on your goddam privilege.

This post by Ilana Alazzeh illustrates perfectly how whites and NBPOC act on privilege without even thinking about it.

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