Excerpts from the Diary of a Mad Black Woman

I see Heather MacDonald in my nightmares

Another white woman using her white privilege

And white womanhood

To discount the experiences of black people

This trauma is courtesy of Generals Redoubt

And the Spectator

And Will Tanner

I wish white kids knew

What it’s like to be told your existence doesn't matter

Your fears are irrelevant

Your suffering is justified

Your sorrow meaningless

The diversity delusion, they say

That we seek to erase Lee because weʼre bitter

Maybe I am bitter

Bitter that we care more about dusty old white men long dead

Than the very much breathing black kids

Who spend every morning

Mourning another black body put in the ground

Maybe I am bitter

Bitter that your freedom of speech

Often translates to freedom from consequence

When mine has often meant freedom or death

Maybe I am bitter

Bitter that money means merit here

Legacy doesn't make you deserving

Maybe I am bitter

Bitter that we pay more respect to a traitor's dead horse

Than to the enslaved PEOPLE

With hair and skin

Like mine and my eventual childrens’

I have every right to be bitter

Sometimes I think that white kids

Just like to hear themselves talk

Talk about issues they've never experienced

Cannot Understand

Why do I wanna sit here and listen to you

Spout your philosophies about civility

When I’m thinking about what I’d wear

To my brother’s funeral

Because his black skin is too beautiful

His black body too inviting to white bullets

Why do I need to sit here

And listen to your pontifications about revisionist history

As I worry that another white man is gonna try to defile me

Because heʼs never had a black girl before

Because my hips sway without my permission

So he must not need it either

I considered carrying a gun

My little 5ʼ2 frame

Can’t do much

When Iʼm toe to toe

With a white man looking a little too long

I canʼt run faster

Than a pickup truck with a flag

That apparently means southern heritage

And shouts of nigger out the window

I wonder if they would be so bold

If they knew I kept a Glock strapped to the hip

Or if that would just be a convenient excuse

For them to treat me the way they would have anyway

I am bitter

Because no matter

How much I study

How professionally I carry myself

How soft I make my words

How kind I make my pleas for justice

For equity

For equality

For human dignity

They will always fall on deaf ears

The ears of people who speak before they listen

Who deny before they question

Who hurt before they feel

That is the pedestal of white privilege

You are free to have your intellectual discussions

About how free I am or am not

You can stand behind the lectern

And question my right to this space

You can sit in classrooms critiquing

How people try to fight their oppression

You can even question whether that oppression exists

But that is your privilege

Donʼt expect me to sit and entertain it

I donʼt have time to stroke your ego

Or satisfy your intellectual curiosity

Not when I’m too busy bandaging the emotional wounds

Of my skinfolk

Instead I have to spend my time

Trying to convince my little sister her 4c hair is beautiful

I have to hope pepper spray will be enough protection

When Iʼm walking home at night

I have to think about how to make my dollars stretch

So I can send money home for bills

I have to take the long way to avoid the police

I have to move out of the way of white kids

Who wonʼt say excuse me

I have to grieve the latest black body

Used as fertilizer before my 8am

I have to think of new ways to defend my culture

In a country my ancestors’ labor created

I have to spend every day working to compensate for my blackness

While white media sells it for profit

So pardon me if I want none of your intellectual discussions

And youʼll just have to forgive me

If I come off as bitter or angry-

I’m a black woman


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