by Jamilah Lemieux, The Root
Jamilah Lemieux writes a compelling piece at Ebony that condemns and challenges the broad reach of white privilege. It was written in response to a white blogger who questioned the veracity of hip-hop artist Questlove’s moving Facebook post after George Zimmerman’s acquittal. “The funny thing about white privilege is that it knows no bounds,” Lemieux writes.
Almost two weeks ago, Questlove penned a haunting, soul-bearing Facebook post in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin (I don‘t care if six women in the Hate State of Florida don‘t call it “murder,” I will call it “murder” so long as I have teeth, lips, tongue, fingers to do so) and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. It was adapted for New York. It is fantastic and if you have not read it yet, you should. In “Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Sh*t,” the musician/arbiter of cool discusses the trials of occupying a large, Black male body in a world that sees even the smaller, dead Black male body of the Florida teenager as a threat…
The piece was widely circulated and lauded. Brothers and even sisters of varying sizes and backgrounds said ‘=Amen!” and Tell it.” There’s a very special feeling that accompanies 1) reading great writing and 2) hearing someone speak to your experiences in a very real way, even when the experience and the narrative are painful.
But the funny thing about White privilege is that it knows no bounds. It will infiltrate and occupy every space on the planet because who’s gonna stop it? White privilege sees your bodega, your church, your school, your plate, your experiences and inserts/asserts itself as it sees fit, with little or no regard for, well, you.
Such is the case with the written response to Questo’s piece by Kim Foster, mother, writer and Harlem resident. Foster rode in on her waaaaaambulance (I could feel the White Girl Tears through my computer screen) and Whitesplained away much of the funky drummer’s experiences, frustrations, reality. And spent over 2,000 words doing it.