A Black Lives Matter activist speaking at a conference for progressives that draws more than 3,000 attendees from across the country told a room full of white people that “All white people are racist” while at the same time seeking money in the form of donations.
In the video, posted to YouTube, the BLM activist who goes by “Hunter Ashleigh” and “Ashleigh Shackleford” stands next to two hand-written posters.
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One poster was a list of topics including diversity, intersectionality, equality, capitalism and white privilege.
The other poster, in much larger letters, reads: “All white people are racist.”
Beneath that is Shackleford’s PayPal account information. It receives equal billing on the page.
But, if that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, turn up the volume.
Here’s what you will hear her say:
“All white people are racists. So, I put this up because I really want any white person in the room to know up front that this is what we’re dealing with.
“That it’s not going to be this coddling of white tears.
“And we’re not going to discuss, ‘oh, maybe some of us are going to work it out.’
“No, you’re always going to be racist, actually.
“So even when you’re on your path to trying to figure out how to be a better human being, I believe that white people are born into not being human.”
What happens next may be more surprising than the above statement: No one objected.
No one raised a question.
No one left the room.
The video has made a recent resurgence during the nationwide protests that have followed the death of Minnesota man George Floyd while in police custody in late May.
It follows the trend of civil unrest and the powder keg of racial tensions building in large cities across the U.S. as rioter and looters clash with police and counter protesters.
The clip in question actually dates back to 2017 and was recorded at Netroots Nation.
The annual conference for progressives draws more than 3,000 attendees from across the country. The website describes the group as “online organizers, grassroots activists and independent media makers.”
The woman spotlighted as leading the training session in the now re-booted video describes herself as a “Black fat cultural producer, multidisciplinary artist, nonbinary shapeshifter, hood feminist, and data futurist.”
In the “about” section on her website she claims to illustrate “the relationship between Blackness, fatness, desire, queerness, afrotechnology and popular culture.”
She apparently draws the relationship line at white people.
For a more in depth look at the woman hired to lecture at the convention, here are some samples of tweets she’s recently “liked” on the social media platform:
“Happy International Whores Day. I am proud to be a sex worker, and I am proud to be Black.”
“No, Black people cannot be racist against white people. I don’t care what your favorite online commentator says.”
“the fact that we are seeing an uptick in kneeling and hugging cops should suggest that this was, in fact, never (merely) about the destruction of property; it should illustrate how this was moreso about the perfection of coercive force on the improper—Blackness.”
Now that you have an idea of her interests, conversely, here is a look at how others have reacted to Shackleford’s presentation, with mixed reviews.
In the comment section of a YouTube page showing the video the top comment out of more than 70 reads:
“Substitute the word black every time she says white and you’d be in jail and vilified on all social media, yet this is somehow ok?”
Another user, Heather Rodrigues, writes:
“How can you even say that??? I love all colors and my family is of all colors.”
Wednesday, a man named Zachary Southern posted:
“All [any group] people are [blunt statement]… That is a fundamentally terrible way to form an idea. Ironically, that mentality is the essence of racist beliefs.”
Finally, in a simple turn of phrase, Arthur Morton said:
“The new America.”
It appears Shackleford made a point, but perhaps not the one she intended.
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