On the night I chose not to die…
I was a woman of color. On the night I chose not to die, I fought with anger and determination, and finally fell asleep with a satisfied smile born not from my own sheltered existence, but from the momentary dissolving of the reality of privilege. That night I watched the hordes of college students exiting the bars and dispersing, walking past those of us confronting police in the streets as if it was simply none of their business. That is the privilege you describe, which has no place in this movement.
Who was left? Who made it their business? If you were there, if you dared approach the dancefloor and “battlefield” of the streets, you’d know what we “looked” like.
And yet according to your fairytale of homogeneity and privilege, on the morning after “I chose not to die,” according to you, I woke up a white man. Let me tell you… NO I DIDN’T!
It’s as though all the work I’ve done, the lifetime of daily struggle, of people acting as if I was naturally inferior and practically invisible, is a waste of my time. Because the people I also struggle for, among others, could flippantly assert that now, because I fight alongside my white brothers and sisters, I have no identity, no history, and no color of my own.
To the author of the “Open Letter to a White Student Movement,” we respond:
Read the entire statement at Occupy California.