Isaiah Galloway, a white male, thought he was standing up for Black Lives when commenting in his drunken-Facebook-rant-video saying, “What is this sh** about ‘Make America White Again’? Since when the f**** has America ever been White? … I don’t wanna go to f******* Super Cuts to get a hair job. I don’t wanna live in a world without Black women — I love Black Women. I don’t wanna live in a world without NFL, NBA…”
And Galloway’s video went viral, especially shared within the Black community, and even praising Galloway’s drunken bravery and honesty (sarcasm) and how “we need more people like him.” On the forefront, it could possibly seem like Galloway is an ally to and for the Black community, however, let us delve into why what he stated is problematic and how it actually perpetuates racist stereotypes of the Black community:
Black folks ARE MORE than just entertainment. We ARE NOT just for your American sports teams, providing you hooked up hair styles, and our women ARE NOT for your indulgence. Black people are JUST that — PEOPLE, human beings with dreams, aspirations, college degrees, families; and our community has been under genocidal attack since the very development of America; which, by the way, has ALWAYS been White and ONLY has benefited the Euro-White population.
When ALL you have to say about what you love about the Black community is for sports, haircuts and our women, this does NOTHING to actually address the fact that we are getting killed DAILY and denied access to resources (i.e. jobs, healthy and nutritious food, financial support, etc.); which, again, these resources are more readily accessible for the Euro-White population, hence, “White America.” Further, Galloway’s commentary perpetuates the already limiting stereotypes that exist of Black community (i.e. we are only useful for sports, entertainment and bodies). Basically, these racist stereotypes are limiting and not full and authentic representations of who we are as a PEOPLES! Again: we ARE MORE than just entertainment, and it is disappointing and draining to even have to mention this in the first place!
Black lives have been, and continue to be, slaughtered and murdered, we continue to face overt and subliminal racism, denied access to resources, etc., and we have White people (like Galloway) thinking they are doing the Black community a favor by using their privileges and platforms to voice on how connected they feel they are to and how much they love the Black community because of superficial traits like our athleticism and [the oversexualization of] our women. Rarely do we hear White folks comment on how they feel connected to and love our community because of the simple fact that we are a PEOPLES with such an intricate and diverse culture. It is even more rare that we see White folk actually FIGHTING for Black lives WITH US, actually out there on the battle field.
What makes this even more appalling is how my brothers and sisters are giving thanks and praise to this man, as if his drunken shenanigans truly saved our community and provided us “hope.” Further, we, as the Black community, DO NOT need to give ANY thanks to ANY White individual who actually does fight alongside with us. Why do we need to thank the oppressive system for FINALLY beginning to recognize that we are HUMAN BEINGS?! Does that even make ANY sense? “Thank you so much, White America and my White friends, for seeing me as human and as a conscious contributor to this society. Thank you for my rights and thank you for deciding not to kill us today.” We should not have to thank you, or anyone, for something we should have been rightfully granted in the first place.
Black folks ARE HUMAN BEINGS: We live, we breathe, we eat, we laugh, we cry, and we especially make more noteworthy contributions, to a system that keeps us oppressed, than just sports and hair cuts. If you stand up for Black lives, and this goes for not just White folk but Black folk, too, then let us see you fight with us by giving back to our community financially; let us see you fight with us by stepping aside for us to rightfully have our space to share our own stories through our own perspectives and that authentically represents us as a peoples. Black Lives Matter because we are human beings, not commodities.