Amber Frost having opened the can of worms which is the crackpot element infecting the left since the time of Orwell, here are the comments of one Makayla Gilliam-Price delivered at the Left Forum Panel From Ferguson to Baltimore.
To be fair, she’s only a high school student, but not sure if that makes this more or less depressing. That and the applause (of which there was more than indicated).
Then you come to this amazingly inspiring forum called the Left Forum and immediately the same experiences and memories of never truly knowing your history are triggered. Even the name of the conference sparks something in me that is potentially problematic. One of my mentors (always mentions to me) a quote from John Hendrik Clarke: The left and the right has us wrong.
The fact is that this whole notion of what is left and what is right is derived from European intellectual traditions (applause) where much like I saw here was just a lot of white scholars fresh from the Ivory Tower arguing over white solutions to black problems. (applause) Therefore what is usually referred to as “the left” in the words of Harold Cruse in the book I am currently reading is really a white social world colored and infused with the implicit assumptions of that ethnic group. We are ignoring black history, black children, black queer lives, we are ignoring black women, we are ignoring black disabled communities, we are ignoring black poverty, to put it simply we are ignoring the hashtag black lives mattered which is plastered all over your twitter. And then you find out that because you have been ignoring all these populations that you are solving issues that do not exist or solving them in ways that are inevitably destructive.
And then if that is not problematic enough I see myself and my brothers and my sisters becoming victims of a sort of negrophilia a fetishization of our black bodies and our black struggle. We are being made into pets for those white allies who need someone to sooth their white guilt (applause). We see black people being tokenized and wrapped up into the NPOs and into the grass roots of all these white allies who are only allowed to engage in politics in the ways that those whites allow. And if you haven’t seen this, this is already becoming a cycle, and for what purpose? For whites to obscure their guilt with rootless class discussions for whites to, on a very fundamental level, to control the narrative of black progress and politics.
So all this is to say simply, if we truly want to see change from this movement we need to listen from those from the communities who are struggling, to listen to the black queer women. It is not just enough to just listen but to act. Not for, not on the behalf, but with us. Stop making careers out of my struggle. We need to stop engaging in the problematic spaces of the left as if the ends of the spectrum do not make racism and white supremacy more insidious and hard to pin down and combat. We need to let the black lives, the black babies, the black history, the black sexuality, the black rage, the black future, that we continue to say matter, speak.