“‘You’re acting all the time when you’re black’.” And it’s true. Black people are acting out roles every day in this country just to keep on getting by. If white people really knew what was on most black people’s minds it would scare them to death.” – Miles Davis, from “Miles – The Autobiography”
I offer this as an exhibit for anyone concerned about impediments to free speech as I believe the Times Editorial Board characterized it. I use it to remind myself once again that the concept of “cancel culture” is another tool of white supremacy. For black citizens it could mean your life. I’m thinking of Fred Hampton, MLK, & Malcolm X. They were “canceled” for just speaking the truth. For having the nerve to suggest that that full citizenship for black Americans, for the poor and marginalized, was long overdue. For just suggesting that America needed to change.
“If white people really knew what was on most black people’s minds it would scare them to death.” And when white people get scared, black people die. That’s why “lying to white folks” comes as natural to black people as breathing.
To be able to speak your mind without the threat of criticism, or even shame, is a privilege enjoyed at the expense of others. If the only threat to your ability to speak freely is criticism and shame, you’re still privileged.