“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices...to be found only in the minds of men.” -The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street (Twilight Zone, S. 1, Ep. 22)
We had an ant problem last Saturday. I woke up feeling so comfortable and calm, I decided to truly sleep in (which for me is like 9 am #metal). I laid there in bed, peacefully drifting in the delicious in-between of sleep and consciousness when Barry politely let me know we had a problem.
I awoke to find a…colony, I found a colony of ants in our apartment. And to make the situation even more scrumptious, these little ant colonizers were not coming in via the floor, rather these ants were making their way downtown, walking fast, literally. These ants were coming in from the top of our balcony via a small gap in our ceiling (which happens to be quite high for a new york apartment, soft flex).
My Saturday morning, which was supposed to be spent relaxing and preparing to help my friend with her birthday party, was now spent in an annoying battle involving insecticide (sorry vegans), bait and poison traps, vacuuming of ant colonizer carcasses, and finger squishing. Just call me The Bride because I was going through those crazy 88 ants like I had vengeance on my mind.
That day began more frustrating than I wanted, but it ended up pretty wonderful, mostly due to the aforementioned friend’s birthday. So I thought my annoying Saturday morning was going to be the worst part of my weekend.
And then Sunday happened. Sunday.
I’m not going to say much about the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. And I’m not going to explain why, I don’t owe you anything. I’m exhausted in a way that feels like poison.
But I WILL say there seems to be some odd, hm what’s the word, assumptions or an ethos among white people that these incidents exist in a micro-community rather than a microcosm. A community where poor training and implicit bias, of course, are to blame for these horrific incidents that “truly must stop.”
There’s something so unique about watching white people talk about the murders of Black men and women at the hands of police. Things like “this has got to stop" or “we need police reform now” or “justice must be served!” are often exclaimed. It’s as if you don’t understand that saying those things is like walking up to a burning house with people trapped inside and yelling “we have got to come together and put this fire out” while posting a selfie to Instagram with a sad crying emoji.
Like how about you start offering some solutions, Cheryl!
But that’s the thing, Cheryl doesn’t want actual solutions, because actual solutions would change everything about how Cheryl exists in her own world. Cheryl comes from a long line of red-blooded Americans who claim to have had relatives on Plymouth Rock, cute. And those relatives who descended on stolen soil and brought their diseases and capitalism, they descended from a long line of Anglo-Saxons who dominated and ruled by way of terror and carnage in the name of “religion” and “purity.” And those relatives come from a long line of colonizers and settlers who ousted and displaced anyone deemed “barbaric” or “savage,” you know anyone who wasn’t white white.
Cheryl thinks there’s just something weird going on with cops and racism but she doesn’t understand that the very tactics used by police officers on Black bodies are the same tactics her ancestors used to attain their supremacy. To be an oppressor, there must always be someone to oppress by means of fear, prejudice, starvation, captivity, slavery, murder, etc. Cheryl’s ancestors used racism to create the world and borders we know today. Cheryl’s ancestors fought to steal trade routes, resources, money, and power by pillaging entire regions and empires. They volunteered to serve on slave patrols, which evolved into the modern-day police force. They inflicted pain through racism because their daddy and their daddy’s daddy told them they were superior to others.
But Cheryl's not thinking about any of that because Cheryl doesn’t ACTUALLY care to make life less lethal for Black people. And the monsters of white supremacy look on as you destroy us, not just with action, but with inaction.