The time is now

There are more of us. We are stronger---we will wait no longer. The time is now.

The time is now.

The immediate impulse of a lot of well-meaning white people—an impulse I share, regrettably—is to feel guilt and smother it with enough donations and hashtags to let the world know we’re not like Those White People, we’re One Of The Good Ones.

There’s nothing wrong with being generous, of course—but one thing I’ve really grown to understand over the years is that white guilt is still a form of white supremacy. It places you above and apart from black and brown people. You can be a generous benefactor seeking moral validation or, like me, a shameful fool seeking moral redemption—but the consistent, dissonant note is that you are apart.

And being apart is not solidarity.

Being an “ally,” even a good one, is not solidarity.

You know what IS solidarity? As Killer Mike says...

“You asked my father to wait. My brother to wait. My uncle to wait. How long must I wait on freedom? How long must I wait on rights, and equality, and liberty?

And as a black child, that resonated with me, because I knew I’d been denied, and I personalized that. But as I grew, I started to understand….

Poor white people have been denied.

Women have been denied.

Gays and lesbians, transgender people, been denied.

Immigrant children been denied.

Everybody---outside that 1% has been denied.”

My struggle is not the same as that of a woman, or an LGBT person, or a black person---my white male body shields me from so much unfairness in this world. But while for many, the privileges of whiteness are enough to bargain away the right to a decent life, I reject this deal. I have tried so long to justify my progressiveness as a form of nobless oblige, to argue that I fight for others as a way of giving back---but it never felt true, it always felt hollow.

This is the truth---while my oppression and struggle is not the same as the oppression and struggle of others, it is still part of it.

We will not bring black and brown equality as an act of charity; we will win it together, putting our bodies on the line with theirs, because our bodies are their bodies and their bodies are our bodies—we are all in this together.

The struggle for economic justice is not in tension with the struggle for social justice; they are inextricably woven together, and one cannot succeed without the other.

As Mike says, “So I want you to take a few seconds to look to your left and look to your right. Look to your neighbor and say, neighbor, the time is now..

There are more of us. We are stronger---we will wait no longer. The time is now.

Black.

White.

Straight.

Gay.

Male.

Female.

We are together---we are united.

The time is not in the future. The time is not some abstract time.

The time is not something that might be; the time ain’t something that could be; the time ain’t nothing that should be, that would be; it ain’t tomorrow, it ain’t the day after, it ain’t coming next week, the time is now.

The time is now.
The time is now.
The time is now.”

I love you so much; I love me so much; but more than anything, more than anything in the world, I love WE so, so, so fucking much.

The time is NOW—let’s do this.

Share Armand’s Newsletter