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Open Letter from the Black Deaf Village regarding Charlottesville, Racism, and White Terrorism


To Whom It Affects, Hi, all. This letter is presented by the Black Deaf Village (BDV) community, a social media forum consisting of over 2,000 members. We discussed and voiced our concerns. We are writing to express our constant dismay, collective disgust, and communal grief regarding the event that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Last week, we witnessed a terrible incident in Charlottesville, VA. Seeing people, marching at Charlottesville, VA and seeing Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists spewing hatred all around. With the incident, we were shocked to witness and we still see it, to this today. It constantly appear at different locations, and witnessing the hatred. The repercussions and ripple effects of this event are still echoing almost a week later We can still feel the hatred with fear. We will no longer be silenced. We hope you will read this letter with open hearts and minds. We hope our message will create various dialogues and accounting on the impact of white supremacy domestic (white) terrorism, and racism. We hope this letter welcomes people to unpack their white privileges. Terrorism has been ongoing for centuries. It began with the colonization of various lands and and the bodies of black and brown people The colonization was never designed to make room for black and brown people to call “home. The history of colonized bodies are forever eradicated and lost. However, not only has white terrorism not been annihilated, it is very much alive and well. We saw true form of white terrorism in Charlottesville–resulting in the deaths Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates as well as the injuries of black people that were attacked. However, these people were not the first ones to be murdered in the shadows of racism. Let’s bring light to the fact that for over 400 years black lives have been destroyed because these white terrorists did not regard our lives of having any value or merit. If you are grieving the three deaths mentioned above, you have conveniently ignored and forgotten about the many black and brown lives that were violently taken due to white terrorism in recent years. We are seeing many instances of loud outcries from many organizations regarding these specific events in Charlottesville event. The recent incident, we were angered and upset by Charlottesville, VA. and yet not a vicarious peep was made to challenge racism and address the issue of so many black lives taken and tortured at the hands of the very people we supposedly trust in the system (i.e. police officers). “NO” was all it needs to be said when the protest was planned. You said no! “NO” would have prevented this event from happening. “NO” would have told the racists their hatred is not welcomed in the first place. Why is “NO” being mentioned AFTER our people have gotten wounded or killed? Why now? You remained silent during this incident. Why are you allowing this? The events that transpired in Charlottesville are nothing new for those of us who experience racism to this day, as we have for centuries. We experience racism from different facets, from bullying to police brutality. We have been fighting for our pain and humanity to be acknowledged and recognized. Our cries of anguish is ignored every time. The darker our skins are, our testimonies become constantly invalid. If you’re gasping in horror and making your “I can’t believe it” nonsense statements please save it because you haven’t been paying attention. Every time you tell us, preach us: WE AS HUMANS ARE ALL SAME. Please spare us your “we are all human beings” speeches because those would be attempts at systematically erasing people’s racial identities—refusing to acknowledge different races and colors. FINISH! If we all are truly human beings, we will never have this type of event or anything like it happening now. You turn your heads in the opposite direction as if nothing ever happens when events like what happened in Charlottesville takes place. You remained silent and ignored the crucial issue. How dare you do that? You avoid discussions about racism by “let’s love each other” statements. You click “like” on white people’s statuses about racism and still do not unpack your own privileges. You harshly criticize when we voice our anger in public without checking yourself first. You tell us to stop filling ourselves with hate and love others. You encourage us to forgive when we are not emotionally ready. You may be shocked by the violent acts of racism, but we are not. We live through these acts of racism If you turn your head sideways without speaking up, you are no better than the person who actually behaves maliciously towards us Therefore, you are complicit and consenting to the violence towards us. White people know the differences between right and wrong. White silence is white consent. We are exhausted. We are fed up. We are mad. If you feel the same way we do, then we would love to see white allies having difficult and painful conversations with their families, friends, employers, colleagues, social workers, and so on. Be frank in discussing the luxuries and advantages of having white privilege. Talk about how white privilege helps you and your families while harming us and our families. DO SOMETHING about the facets of racism instead of using to alleviate your feelings white-guilt” for your benefit. Your apologies won’t cut mustard anymore. Actions of no tolerance towards hate are needed now for the sake of future generations of black and brown people. Hate should have never had the chance to thrive at this level. It should never happen like this. Surprisingly, it increased more than ever. You have to be ready and responsible to unpack your white privilege if you are willing to do the hard work as our allies. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable because we have been uncomfortable for as long as we can remember. We want to see your resistance toward racism is in alignment with ours. United, we truly have a chance to dismantle white supremacy and create a better world than what we saw in Charlottesville. We all come together to dismantle the system. Silence is considered complicity to violence. Break the silence and use your voice to stand up against racism. Forever in Solidarity, BDV

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