Briana L. Urena-Ravelo
7 min readJul 7, 2016


Doing the most and yet nothing at all.

I am a good anti-racist, leftist writer and thinker, or at least decent enough at least. I am intelligent, sharp, insightful, empathetic and wry, albeit cutthroat and mocking at times. But I don’t apologize for that: Like a court jester or a turn-of-the-century muckraker, I take no issues with taking a mirror to authority, deriding supremacy and taking power to task. If you can’t handle that, well, tough fuckin’ shit. Regardless of my tone or my intent, to my credit, I take my time with this and I’ve done the work. I’ve educated myself an unpacked my bigotries. I grew up in the Reformed Baptist church in the Dutch Midwest, so I was very thoroughly “exposed” (often aggressively and traumatically) and even indoctrinated to the “other side” of my politics and ideology. I put my heart, mind, energy and a whole lot of consideration into my words. Perspective and lived experiences are necessary and integral to this work of course but it isn’t everything. I am not talented and capable because I merely want to be, but because I put in the hours, weeks, months, years to be.

So when I get frustrated at the arrogant ass white responses I get to my writing, it isn’t that I have a problem with dissent and discussion, that I’ve never thought of it from their perspective, or that I can’t handle people challenging or disagreeing with me. Being born into a white man’s world means being told everything I am, know and believe in is wrong or less than, it means being constantly belittled, disagreed with, disenfranchised, dismissed, and gas-lighted-that I have made it this far means I’ve got a pretty thick skin and my wits about me.

The issue is that, first off, so often what I’m talking about is regarding the basic rights and humanities of my people and other marginalized folks and my creative ideas about a better, more just and fair future for all, so I have to ask what about that you think is up for argument or discussion other than the particulars or theories of how we can get free? What is the “other side” of ideas like Black lives mattering or “no human is illegal” or “housing and food is a human right” or, in the instance of one of my more recent pieces, an Island girl asking for people to stop co-opting and misrepresenting Island folk?

And to my main point: What are you saying that hasn’t already been said a billion times before? What fresh, new, real energy or valid perspective are you even putting into this response?

The thing is, I feel like even if you disagree with the fact that I and other marginalized deserve respect and justice, you should at least bring your argument and discourse to the level that I’ve got mine. “Check your lipstick before you come and talk to me,” if you will. And yet, here you come, white person. You are uninformed, biased, un-researched, under-educated, bigoted, yet totally sure of yourself, confident in your cluelessness, self-possessed and proud in your self-important, ill-informed bravado and by gum, you have to tell me some piss poor misspelled horribly worded logical fallacies my poor little Dominican girl brain has never even thought about before such as:

1. If I have an issue with a dangerous or misleading mainstream depiction of myself or other marginalized groups, shouldn’t I drum up millions to make my own? And if I cannot, the logic follows then that depiction is OK, because if you have money and you make the thing you’re right no matter what, and if you don’t have money to challenge that narrative then you’re wrong no matter what.

2. If I exercise my freedom of speech as a non-government entity by voicing criticisms and calling for an end of a certain type of hate speech or bigotry, then I suddenly transform into a government entity who is SUPPRESSING FREEDOM OF SPEECH. My criticisms are not protected by freedom of speech and instead of being the victim voicing hurt, I BECOME THE AGGRESSOR

3. Not ALL white people! Well, not white people who are in power like presidents or police either. And not white people in white collar America because that’s just the name of the capitalist game, what are you gonna do, it’s business, they’re not the government or social activists? And not poor white people because they’re being controlled and hurt by rich people (of ALL races!). And not young white people because they don’t know any better! And not old white people because that was what they were taught! And not white people from the past because they didn’t know that was wrong back then! And not-”

4. You’re just playing the victim and no one even did anything to you?? Now I am going to play the victim to your blog piece. Because as per point #2, the moment you, as a WOC, exercise your freedom of speech and name the violence you experience on a daily basis, you become an aggressor! Isn’t that convenient, it makes it so that you’re always wrong, you’re always the monster, and I am always the logical, calm, innocent fey victim. But you’re playing the victim here, not me.

5. I’m going to ignore the fundamental difference in operation and outcomes and work and energy and say the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter is a hate group exactly like the KKK because they both focus on race and clearly what was bad about the KKK was that and not that they are a violent, antagonistic and murderous white supremacist terrorist group made up of the racial group with historical and current social power. ANY MENTION OF RACE OR RACISM IS A HATE CRIME! COLORBLIDNESS IS THE ONLY ANSWER!

These are just a few examples, I could literally go on for hours. But I won’t go there. The point is this: You don’t get it, dude, and you’re not even trying to. You haven’t even truly read the entirety of what I said, dear white person, and you don’t care to, because you’re not commenting or engaging or discussing or rebutting, you’re merely imposing and reacting (which is something, funny enough, that a lot of you accuse marginalized people of doing). You don’t understand my words, their contexts, their histories-you’ve never had to learn or understand them and you think yourself and the way you understand and see the world and central, innate and all-encompassing and don’t take to anyone challenging that childish supremacist “ME ME ME ME” way of viewing things. You don’t recognize or know the things I am referencing nor would you bother to look them up, who I am or care to learn, or what I am attempting to say and try to understand, in no small part because you are not doing more than skimming my words and those of other marginalized folks. But you are still going to give me your macaroni art counterargument and expect me to be just as excited about it as your mother was for your bullshit in the kindergarten. You expect me to lower and demean myself to engage you and inadvertently validate your impressive lack of effort, insight, tact, empathy, perspective or respect. Never mind that you didn’t grant me that respect of engaging with consideration: now that you’ve shat on a plate and handed it to me, I am beholden to answer you!

Beyond just being privileged or invested in your power, you’re unable to see how mindbogglingly arrogant, tedious and childish this behavior is. You truly think you’re the shit and I’ve got to gift whatever opinion you shove in my face and if I don’t, I’m some oppressor who doesn’t value your freedom of speech. That’s how warped your reason is, how little you respect others, the reality of how low the standards have always been for people like you regarding your power and social standing and the experiences of people of color and other intersecting marginalized groups. No thought or consideration into your words or your opinions, you can just say and think whatever you want and not necessarily have too much to back it up. Because you don’t need to. You’re white, and by default much more right than I will ever be.

But you know what? I’m done. On an individual level, your toxic, vile, reaching and projecting bullshit doesn’t have to be my problem. I believe firmly that it is the job of white people standing in solidarity to stop taking up space in circles and communities of color and instead take care of you. As far as I’m concerned, I do believe I’m literally too good for that bullshit. I don’t deserve bigotry and I don’t have to answer or be mammy to paternalism, childishness, and poorly thought out, easily dismantled arguments. I’ve wasted so much time engaging you assholes already, and I can’t continue doing it. This is my own self-referential master post for whenever you decide to come at me sideways again with basic ass arguments that have already been hard on the internet. Try harder, be better, then maybe, just maybe you will deserve some of my precious energy and time. Until then, there are thousands upon thousands of blogs, vlogs, social justice conversation bingo cards, 101 articles, listicles naming your common tactics and reasons and derails, memes that succinctly break down your whole politic in a quickly made paint shop picture, articles and books to educate yourself with, and nickels you can pick up off the ground to buy yourself a goddamn clue.

Please use all of these resources or even just this if I’ve decided to link this to you and leave me out of your entitled nonsense.



Briana L. Urena-Ravelo

Writer. Community organizer. Errant punk. Ne’er do well. Fire starter. Email: