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Dear Racist White People, Your Time is Up

May 22, 2019

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, May 16, 2019 (originally published in the Afro)

I stood there and realized that no matter how far we have come, this country still has a long way to go before it can both recognize and practice equity and social justice. We are in the midst of some very dark days. These are the days that my grandmother warned me about when she said that the real battle in this country is the work to change the hearts and minds of racist white people. I used to believe that America, as a whole, had a race problem because we were unwilling to do the hard work to bring about the changes that needed to happen. I have since come to a different conclusion. America does not have a race problem; it has a problem with racists because you refuse to recognize or accept how much this country has changed and how much you need to change. You do not realize that your time is up.

Here is what you need to understand, racism is an Ouroboros (a beast) and all of the tenets that come with it and help to maintain it—from white complicity to white privilege, white nationalism to white supremacy—must be destroyed. If not, then it will regenerate. It will be reborn, and it will help to shape the next generation. This is why it feels like we are fighting the same battles and no matter how much things have changed; things have remained the same. I believe that no amount of marching or praying, crying or mourning, teaching or talking will bring about the change we need to see. The system itself must be dismantled. We must drag this beast of racism and everything that comes with it, to the altar of whiteness and sacrifice it there.

I thought about all of this as I looked at my sons, realizing that this is a battle that they now have to fight and where my generation has failed, I hope and believe that they will succeed. Khalil Gibran once said that “Our children are not our children. They are the sons and the daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through us but not from us, And though they are with us yet, they belong not to us.” I have taught my sons how to fight. They are sober-minded and self-aware. They have the tools, where their pens are their swords, and their words are their weapons. They are well-trained, and they are brilliant. They know that they are the hope and the dream of the slaves and because of this, I know that they will win.

Karsonya Wise Whitehead (; Twitter: @kayewhitehead) is the #blackmommyactivist and an associate professor of communication and African and African American studies at Loyola University Maryland. She is the host of “Today With Dr. Kaye” on WEAA 88.9 FM and the author of the forthcoming “Dispatches from Baltimore: The Birth of the Black Mommy Activist.” She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and their two sons.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 23, 2019 10:47 am

    #AfricanMeditation 7
    We focused on only the things that truly mattered. We learnt to know what did not matter, by their false impressions. For on many of our days, our minds, suffered by wondering in circle around troubled thoughts, leaked from our memory storage. The great idea we had is that if we close our minds with our own chosen thoughts, then the brain memory leakages stop. Then we realised we could stop the leakages with a single repeated word. The brain stores all our memory files in a hierarchical system based on emotion. The more emotion attached to event, the higher it is stored and thus the more chance of leaking from the brain into the mind.
    Okay at this point, you are wondering why we appear to have changed the story. So what happens when you wonder your thoughts just as we have done to you. The brain automatically starts running calculations; each calculation result is stored in memory based on emotional outcome.

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