How activists of color lose battles against Facebook’s moderator army

Here’s a piece that went live today, which I hope shines a bright light on the inherent disparities in Facebook’s community standards.

https://www.revealnews.org/article/how-activists-of-color-lose-battles-against-facebooks-moderator-army/

The Problem with Colorblindness

I don’t see color when I look at you.

There’s only one race, and that’s the human race.

We’re all the same.

At one point or another, we have all heard these and other similar declarations from non-melanated people who want to be perceived as bias-free.

Colorblindness is a social norm that white people use in an attempt to “prove” to themselves and others that they are not racist. The problem with colorblindness is that it minimizes differences and devalues people of color by essentially saying, I refuse to acknowledge and value your unique qualities. Consequently, colorblindness has the opposite effect, because it avoids critical consciousness, dims individual perceptions, perpetuates delusions, diminishes empathy, and strains interpersonal relations.

Why is it so difficult for non-melanated people to acknowledge racism and talk about race? I’d love to hear from you.

Dear White People: Stay In Your Lane

I posted this gem a year ago, and periodically re-post it as a little reminder and handy travel guide to avoid head-on collisions:

If you’re a white person, and the Black Lives Matter movement has become all about YOU, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person and become defensive when a person of color checks you on your viewpoint about Black issues, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person who professes to know all about racism, rather than white privilege, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person who only speaks up about Black lives whenever it’s convenient for you, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person who talks a good talk, but doesn’t walk the walk, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person who claims to know more about being Black than Black people themselves, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person who discounts the feelings of people of color whenever they express concerns about your behavior and actions, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person and seeking validation and a trophy from people of color because you’re willing to speak out against social injustice, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person and think that you know everything there is to know about racism and discrimination against people of color, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person and are so focused on advancing your own agenda that you discount or forget what the BLM movement even stands for, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person who thinks that having a Black person in your inner circle qualifies you to fully understand and speak on the depth of the Black experience, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person and you’re now feeling pissed after reading this post, you’re in the wrong lane.

If you’re a white person and choose to unfriend or block me after stewing in your own juices, you’re in the wrong lane.

Before you ever profess to be an ally for Black lives or any person of color, know your lane… and stay in it.

 

[excerpted from Why Black Lives Matter (Too): A Revolutionary Call to Action]

#RacebookSoWhite

I’ve just launched my Twitter campaign against Facebook’s systematic attempts to shut down the voices of black activists. Hope you’ll join me using this hashtag: #RacebookSoWhite.

Yet Another (R)acebook Ban

It’s a sad country that we live in where freedom of speech has so rapidly diminished — especially when it relates to racial justice and equality. Yesterday, I caught a 7-day Facebook ban for posting the following:

Dear White People:

The terminology that we use to define a problem determines how we attempt to solve it. You are so accustomed to defining racism as people of color being the problem that you want to fix us, patronize us, save us and heal us. You rarely perceive yourselves as the problem (which is where the root of the problem lies). Thus, your interventions are most often ill-informed, misdirected and yield no meaningful or sustainable results.

At some point, you must come to terms with your ancestral role in creating the very concept of racism. You must also examine the many ways in which you wield power and unearned privilege to perpetuate it. If you’re brutally honest with yourselves, you will take ownership (just as you have taken and continue to take everything else) and devise intelligent ways to solve this messy social problem once and for all. HINT: You will achieve this feat ONLY by looking within.

*********************************

The question that I ask white people each time I receive a Facebook ban (this is my third) is this: WHERE IS THE LIE? If you would pause long enough to face the butt-naked truth, you would cease reacting, get still, acknowledge and confront that fragile demon that has you psychologically bound and generationally cursed.

The first thing that most white people tend to do when you see my Dear White People salutation is immediately draw on your responsibility-deflecting defense mechanism known as white fragility.  Yet, if you were intelligent at all, you would understand that my salutation speaks to white supremacy as a system, and every white person is born and socialized into this system… not to mention that exercising your fragility merely perpetuates white supremacist ideologies.

It frustrates, but doesn’t surprise me that most white people are so hell-bent on suppressing the truth about your role in racial injustice and inequality. Rather than self-examine, you cowardly take the path of least resistance by getting all wrapped up in your feelings and lashing out in passive-aggressive ways in attempts to destroy the messenger. However, what you do not know is that being a black woman, I have survived much worse. Each time you engage all manner of deception to try and reduce me to ashes for speaking truth that you would prefer not to hear and address, know this: like the Phoenix, I WILL RISE AGAIN.

We Are Still Here

WE ARE STILL HERE
by Mary A. Canty Merrill, PhD

(excerpted from my anthology: Why Black Lives Matter (Too): A Revolutionary Call to Action)

Black people have been through many traumatic experiences. Our hearts have been cut deeply. Our minds have been twisted. Our bodies have been abused. Yet, despite all that we have been through, and though we may be weary at times, we are still here.

We were kidnapped from our native land—Mother Africa, yet we are still here.

We were shackled in chains, and crammed into the bowels of ships headed for the New World, yet we are still here.

We were forced to sail for weeks, months—and sometimes a year—amid inhumane and diseased conditions, yet we are still here.

We were torn from our families and loved ones, yet we are still here.

We were sold into slavery as property, yet we are still here.

We were raped and sexually abused by slaveholders, yet we are still here.

We were hung and brutally whipped, yet we are still here.

We were branded and mutilated, yet we are still here.

We were hunted down like wild animals, yet we are still here.

We were imprisoned for minor infractions—or no infractions at all—without legal defense or recourse, yet we are still here.

We were spat on, tormented and insulted, yet we are still here.

We were forced into hard labor from sunup to sundown, yet we are still here.

We were devalued as human beings, yet we are still here.

We were used as prizes in lotteries, yet we are still here.

We were used as wagers in card games and horse races, yet we are still here.

We were allotted the bare minimum of food, yet we are still here.

We were given the cast-off clothing of whites, yet we are still here.

We were abused and exploited through medical experimentation, yet we are still here.

We were provided no care for our health, yet we are still here.

We were placed in situations that jeopardized our well-being, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to buy or sell goods without a permit, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to own livestock, yet we are still here.

We were subject to nightly curfews, yet we are still here.

We were forced to live in meager shelter with leaky roofs, thin walls and dirt floors, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to read and write, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to marry outside of our race, and sometimes forbidden to marry at all, yet we are still here.

We were coerced into nursing white babies, yet we are still here.

We were treated harshly by cruel overseers and made an example to others, yet we are still here.

We were stripped of our freedom, yet we are still here.

We were in physical bondage for 300 years, yet we are still here.

We were subjected to a hard, miserable life that is now difficult to imagine, yet we are still here.

We possessed nothing except our dignity, yet we are still here.

We were forced into segregation, yet we are still here.

We were bitten by vicious dogs, attacked with tear gas and sprayed with fire hoses, yet we are still here.

We were searched at any time and for any reason, yet we are still here.

We were sharecroppers who were cheated and denied land ownership, yet we are still here.

We were robbed of our heritage, history and resources, yet we are still here.

We were denied our constitutional rights, yet we are still here.

We are subject to racial profiling, yet we are still here.

We have been forced into mass incarceration, yet we are still here.

We are still considered an inferior race, yet we are still here.

We have endured modern day genocide, yet we are still here.

We built this country called America with our blood, sweat, and tears, yet we are still here.

We have endured hundreds of years of racism, discrimination and oppression, yet despite everything that we have been through, we are still here.

WE ARE A STRONG, RESILIENT AND NOBLE PEOPLE… AND WE ARE STILL HERE!

Facebook Censorship

Within the past four (4) days, I have been banned TWICE for posting the truth about white supremacy on Facebook. My first ban was for a 24 hour period for posting the following:

“Dear White Women: When I posted about white people statistically being the biggest terror threat to this country, it includes you, too. As mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and lovers (and not to mention your majority vote in our most recent Presidential election), you don’t get a pass, because you are just as dangerous.”

After my 24 hour ban, I caught an immediate 72 hour ban (still in effect) for re-posting the reason for the initial ban. Since then, Facebook has systematically deleted every one of my posts speaking out against white supremacy.

My question to Facebook and anyone who would dare to argue with the factual statement that got me banned in the first place is this: WHERE’S THE LIE?

The shameful part is that numerous people have contacted Facebook to report hate speech against Blacks, Muslims, Jews, and other demographics who have historically faced — and in most cases, continue to face — racism and oppression. Facebook’s response is most often the reported post “does not violate our community standards.” There’s a reason why no one can gain access to a live person within the company and why Facebook continues to allow the spread of hatred and threats against disenfranchised groups, as well as attempt to censor voices who speak out against white supremacy, particularly women of color. Facebook has their own agenda, and it’s certainly not to support racial justice and equality. My new moniker for them is (R)acebook.

Meanwhile, a shout-out and deep appreciation to all of you who have spoken out in solidarity with me.  There is much work to be done in the fight against white supremacy, and I WILL NOT BE SILENCED. Onward!