Louisville-based Black Lives Matter leader Chanelle Helm has some pretty radical suggestions as to what white people can do to improve race relations in the United States. Writing in LEO Weekly Helm addresses “white people” directly, and rattles off “things I’m thinking about that should change.” Several of these changes involve white people giving away property and homes to people of color.
Without further ado, here are the 10 requests:
1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.
2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.
3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.
4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.
7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.
8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.
9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.
10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.
The post has received nearly 1,800 comments, including one from Liz. Z., who writes,
This is a hard piece for white people to absorb, myself included, but if we can put aside our defensiveness for a few minutes, the author makes important points. And anyone who says now they feel sympathetic to nazis needs to seriously unpack how deep their “ultra liberal” bona fides ever were.
This sentiment was far from the consensus, however. Several wondered if the post is satire. (It is not.) Others responded quite hatefully. Perhaps the most thoughtful reply came from a man named Al W.:
“Please EVERYONE, don’t take this to speak for all people who look like me. I don’t even know who this person is. Those are her personal beliefs, and not a decree that has been passed around and signed by all African-Americans. Please don’t use a broad brush… there are quite a number of people who look like me that don’t think like that. We can not divide us as a people and expect to be whole. We need to come together on equal ground and be equally respected to live in a better place than we did yesterday.”