In reaction to today’s events, there is a March Against Xenophobia that was organised rapidly. One would think that this is a good thing, that it is a sign of people rallying together.
But here’s the thing: It does diddly-shit about the situation.
People attend the march, they march, and then they feel satisfied. As if they did something powerful. “This is it” they’ll think, “we’ve finally defeated racism”. Then they’ll go home contended that they did something, and racism is over and the cops are nice.
I don’t want a march against xenophobia. I want a protest against xenophobia. I want a riot against xenophobia. I want to throw fire at xenophobia. I want people to hold their governments accountable. And not just by marching or denouncing a heinous act. I want their governments to step down. I want them to be shamed. “You allowed this to happen” should be the thing they hear in their sleep. I want hate speech to be taken seriously. Hell, I want all threats to be taken seriously. White supremacy doesn’t just affect people of colour. It also affects women, people who fit within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. It affects other shades of white for not being pure enough.
I don’t want your thoughts and prayers. I want action. A full-on three-day march to your municipal, provincial, state, or federal government, and harrass them into stepping away from their positions of power.
I don’t want your “this is unprecedented”. It very much has a precedent. Muhammad being demonised by Europeans is nothing new (have you read Dante’s Inferno? Do you know in which circle he put Muhammad?). Islam being presented as a satanist belief is nothing new. Anti-Muslim sentiment is so spread that flat-earthers form another aspect of Islamophobia. “How?” you ask? They say that “everyone” believed the earth was flat until 1440 years ago.
Guess what year it currently is on the Hijri calendar? 1440.
Wake your asses up. Stop being complacent. Stop being “I’m not racist” and actively be anti-racist. Call out your racist family member, your racist best friend, your racist boss and co-worker. Your silence has enabled this.
Stop being shocked and start being angry. Yes, anger sucks. Yes we’d much rather have peace. But a false peace isn’t peace, it’s a self-congratulatory lie. Peace is harmony. Peace is acceptance (fuck your tolerance, by the way). Peace is unity through diversity. And right now we can’t have peace because there are people suffering, and there are people dying, and there are people asking to be heard.
So be angry. Because angry gets shit done.