"We're all Immigrants" And Other Anti-Black Myths
"We're all immigrants." And Other Anti-Black Myths.
By Sadiyah Bashir
45’s first week in office has been a very exhausting for a lot of marginalized groups and people with a conscience. As I have seen activists and protesters jump to collecting resources and showing up to airports I am filled with hope but, I am also saddened as I hear the same group of people saying things like, “we’re all immigrants” and, “America is becoming a country of brutality.” It really makes me wonder, where have you all been living all these years? Statements like these completely eradicate the neo-indigenous Black struggle in America. Now, I’m sure these people don't intend to be anti-Black in their statements but, these statements really show how invisible the Black struggle is even to the most “woke” of people. So here's a somewhat in depth analysis of each statement that I’ve seen or heard and why it's an anti-Black myth.
“America is becoming a nation of brutality!”
Uh, hi, hello! Do you remember Trayvon Martin? Or maybe we should take you back further, Amadou Diallo? Further? Emmitt Till? Rosewood? Black Wall Street? Lynching? Slavery? The genocide of Native Americans? America isn't “becoming” a nation of injustice and brutality, it already is! It has been and was created as such. For people, especially non-Black people of color, to utter statements such as this means you're completely ignoring not only the Black struggle in America, you're also ignoring the Native struggle in America.
“Donald Trump is #NotMyPresident!/Donald Trump shouldn't be fit to be called a president.”
I have heard so many people say 45 is not even fit to be called president, oh boy, wait till I tell you about the other ones! If we’re gonna talk about picking and choosing presidents here, I got laundry list for you which includes the presidents who owned/raped/killed enslaved Africans and Natives to the one who sprinkled crack in the American ghetto like the meat guy sprinkles salt on steak, to the one who sent more Black men to prison then there were Black men in slavery. To say he's “not your president” asserts privilege and choice: It also says that all the other ones were cool enough for you to rock with, as if the history of the men who held that title in America were ever so great. If we’re talking about equality here, be equal on who you choose to call “president” because for a lot of people all of them were just as bad as 45 is.
“We’re all immigrants”
A native is someone who has always been in one place. An immigrant is someone who willingly comes to another place. A refugee is someone who leaves by force or circumstance beyond their control. And then there are stolen people. When you say “we’re all immigrants” not only are you negating that enslaved Africans had no choice in coming here, you're negating Native Americans who were already here, and refugees who also did not have much of a choice in coming here. So yes, your sign that you brought to the rally that said “we are all immigrants” negates a lot of people's lives, history and struggles and may also negate your argument. I’m sorry but you're gonna have to be more clever about what you fit on your sign. It matters that all marginalized groups voices and experiences are included. Your fight means nothing if you're just into freeing some people and not all people.
Unless of course us deliberately are leaving some people out.