Note: Written 7/2015 in response to my participation in the Fremont Solstice after 6/2015
MIDDLE MELANIN WOMAN
MIDDLE MELANIN WOMAN
In sheer frustration over the Hillary Clinton (and others) phenomenon of "All lives matter" which may as well be translated as "MY life matters, bitch, stop complaining about black lives cuz I don't give a flying white fuck," and inspired by my friend who is female, black with beautiful, so-dark-it's-prismatic-melanin skin, I decided to naked-protest. It was foolhardy and asinine at best, had possibly devastating consequences for multiple close relationships, and, though I am glad I carried it through to the end ("it" being my naked yellow ass), I'm going to be marinating on, mourning, and healing from this for a good, long, time.
My aforementioned melanin-rich friend had a GENIUS idea that was right up my alley: to bring some real shit to the white middle class clutches of this pagan hippie parade (or so I thought)--i.e. call attention to THEIR inattention of the maltreatment of Black folks in our system--the school-to-prison pipeline, incarceration rates, death via vigilante, police-brutality, and racism as institutionalized thusly.
Because at heart I love body, bawdy and naked, and I thought--hey, I should do it once WHILE folding in my "radical," non-conformist vision that Black people shouldn’t be shot in the streets or otherwise fucked over with impunity, to support my friend's struggle. Taking as cues the multiracial Oakland PD shut down, naked women's war protesting, and some art protesting my husband (who is Black) did the day before my daughter decided she wanted to join us in the struggle by exiting the womb in her birth, as well as pics I'd seen on the internet of "#Asians4BlackLives," I finally decided I'd do the naked adventure at midnight, the day of the summer solstice, at Fremont’s Summer Solstice Parade/Naked Bike Ride.
TWO CHINKS IN THE IMPENETRABLE ARMOR OF WHITE PRIVILEGE DON'T DO SHIT (AT LEAST THEY'RE NAKED) FOR BLACK PEOPLE...OR ANYONE OTHER THAN WHITE MEN AND MEN LOOKING FOR TITTIES.
To my chagrin, the message was lost. If my intent was, "Remember, two days ago, a white imbred fuck took nine Black lives from this earth forever," or "Remember, your honky asses swim in a sea of privilege and you don’t even care to notice all the bodies piled up underneath you," or even: "have a heart, all the white privilegeds," it was most certainly lost in a horde of creepos, assholes, exhibitionists, hos, and thugs, all of them (nearly), a skinny white boy twerking his bare ass repeatedly on his bicycle.
Circling back on it, it was like being in one of Dante's layers of white hell. So in retrospect, I'm glad my art-message-protest (a somber declaration via abstract symbols, signs, and colors, that we SEE, HEAR, and SPEAK of the evil done to Black folks, a message of unity despite our Raced-bodies as yellow and white) wasn't given as pablum to be consumed like a bag of chips while watching the boob tube--in this case, my boobs.
The Solstice was
B) SELF INDULGENT WHITE BULLSHIT
D) VOID OF MEANING
E) WHITE ISOLATIONISM
H) ALL OF THE ABOVE
SOMETIMES YOU'VE GOT TO CUT YOUR TIES (WITH WHITENESS) AND GO...
Wherever I go, the normative white gaze follows like one of those scary portrait pictures with the moving eyes. I left my job to escape it. It perniciously sticks to and follows the ones I love, chipping at their dignity as they weather the storm of working in and for a white world.
WHITE NAKED HIPPIES ARE NOT THE ANSWER.
I suppose it was my own naivete and upbringing as an asian american in this society that I thought a free-lovin' body-positive celebration of humanness thru its naked form would "save" me from the anger of continual trauma and injustice of racism (to the nation, to the world, to Black people, to my frail Asian lady body), or that I could somehow change by opening their eyes,ears, and mouths, to that favored white technique of maintaining the status quo. But I was dead. wrong. as each "WHOO HAPPY SOLSTICE" rang out by from bikers and passers by, I grew angrier by the minute. Coupled with the obliviousness of my asian sisters and brothers in the audience and my white man friend's obliviousness to not only racism but also feminism and the purpose of our being there as a message, it dawned on me that no one, no how, can these white people be saved. It’s written all over their pervy faces and naked bodies. If empathy, love, and peace are the goal, vanity, lust, and sheer callousness reign supreme here.
WERE THE NINE ALIVE
Had not the shootings in SC occurred, this would have been a different experience. I would be angry, but not so angry.
BODIES OF COLOR ON DISPLAY IN ISOLATED CASES/ISOLATION
When a culture dissects our parts and constituencies and puts us on display, we are violated, disjointed, sad, and alone. Discounted, abused.
That's how it went down.