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Ive been vacillating between listening and screaming, crying and feeling warm at what I’m seeing, exploding then hating myself for not trying to change minds with gloves but instead with blows to the head, while doing so eloquently for sure, but what does eloquence matter when your words cut with a knife.

I will never land in a place where I know the right way. I will explode if I will, I will blog as an effort to pause, I will embrace my rage and impulsivity and probably hate and love that that is who I am.

A woman on a thread where I called a former neighbor a kkk style trump racist (spoiler alert: truth) said she knows this to be true about this woman but she is responding to her because there may be people who cannot speak up, or feel burdened to, or just need to see that everyone in our community doesn’t feel the same way. It hit me then that surely expressing myself with equanimity and white person myth-propagated “neutrality” has its benefits and will have the same purpose—if not to change the mind of an intentional or ignorantly “unintentional” racist, then to show anyone listening that this will not be tolerated.

I don’t purport to know how any and all black people feel when they read a racist post, but if there is a remote chance that there is one black person who a post or email will strike is watching, then my comments are my version of “better safe than sorry.” My version of being a white woman crossing the street when I see a black man. My version of privileging myself over dehumanizing the declaring. Because it is people like the posters, and mostly the “unintentional” racists, that threaten the lives of black folks most. People who pretend to be anti racist but who want to shine the light away from the work necessary to dismantle racism and instead put those perpetuating racism on a pedestal while appealing to racist tropes while pretending not to know or, even worse, not even knowing.

I’m here to scream. I’m here to cry after I scream and to hate my decibel level. But mostly I’m here to try. Just try. Try to be diplomatic like my brother, even tempermented like my husband, forgiving like my mother, but, most of all, passionate like my father. Try to change minds but not give up when I dont, and to allow myself to get a place of self loathing for not having control that I hate myself so much that I love myself.

Hear to listen [sic intended]. Here to rage. Here to speak and to scream while channeling soto devoci, to teach my kids the lessons i’ve learned but make them better prepared to win over minds. And, finally, here to accept that I am who I am and I can change if only I just try.

Published by Jenny Brandt

About Me: sociology, african american studies, chicano/a studies, critical race studies, and criminal law scholar. public school kid from kindergarten-J.D. Former public defender. I am a post-conviction guru. Appeals. Sentencing. Withdraw Pleas. Habeas. Published author in the Criminal Law Bulletin and California Defender. "I do it for the joy it brings, because I'm a joyful girl, because the world owes me nothing, and we owe each other the world." Why I started JJC: My PD buddy suggested it. What and who JJC is inspired by: public defenders I have worked for, with, and next to. my clients who have battled things no one should and are still here. innocence and guilt and everything in between. My coworkers, who fight just as hard as the PDs I love, for many of the same reasons. My husband who was once voted "most Christ like" (every Jewish girl's dream). My Corgi who loves everyone. The constitution. Tabloids. My mom, for giving me a voice. My dad, for teaching me what to say. My brother, for teaching me how to say it.

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