Photos I just took from the Decolonize the Hood, MKE / Descolonizar el Barrio, MKE march this afternoon. Two protests happened simultaneously one at a bank on Milwaukee’s predominantly Latino south side and another on the predominantly Black north side and then marched converging together on the 27th St bridge and holding a rally at Mitchell Park on the south side. As a white person I felt humbled and blessed to be apart of something so amazing. I grew up on the north side and had the experience of being one of the white kids in my classes and after school activities growing up. For me the north side is my home, Milwaukee is my city and Milwaukee’s problems are my problems. That also means that despite my privilege as a white male, the problems that disproportionately effect people of color in my city are mine as well. White people, especially suburban white people need to get off their asses, deal with their internalized personal racism, stop being a bunch of selfish leaches and take ownership of the fact that their lifestyle has enabled and compelled the degradation of the lives and communities of people’s of color. Poor white people need to stop pitting themselves against poor people of color and spewing racist language, if they think for one second that racial minorities in this country have special privileges they need to sit down and talk to someone with a different skin tone. A lot of white people in Wisconsin view my city as a shit hole, a place of degeneration and violence. I’m fed up with that. Our culture in Milwaukee is so much deeper and real than any suburban landscape or white picket fence. I’d rather have drug dealers on my corner than live in a community with no kids on the corner and kids in their parents basement snorting oxycontin. I’d rather live in a place where despite the violence people have vibrancy and life. But most importantly I am proud to live in this city because of what is happening now with the Occupy and Decolonize the hood movement. I can’t think of anything more inspiring than the black and brown unity and love I saw today. That is something white people can learn from. People young and old of every skin tone you can imagine saying FUCK THAT SHIT to this culture, saying fuck that shit to the internalized racism that pits poor blacks against poor latinos, saying fuck that shit a capitalist system that has never included them, saying fuck that shit to white activists to say they are anti-racist but then never support a movement when it gets real, saying fuck that shit I’m gonna do something but the violence in their community. And this movement isn’t exclusive to people of color, I do not in any way feel unwelcome, in fact I feel more welcome at all the occupy the hood meetings than at any Occupy MIlwaukee or other predominantly white activist group i have been apart of. White activists don’t understand brotherly love, they don’t understand real community, real solidarity. I know that is a massive generalization but is also my experience. I’m not saying white people can’t do because I can and I know many others who do, but it’s time to really practice what you preach and get down the cause because this shit is as real as it might ever get in our lifetimes
I’m gonna get off my soapbox now but really fuck that shit. I have never been prouder to be from Milwaukee.