Credit: Timothy Aguero
Nikkita Oliver is a Seattle-based Black Lives Matter organizer, poet, and lawyer. She worked with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their new single, White Privilege II—a sequel to 2005's White Privilege. She can be heard at the 6:50 mark on the song saying, "My generation is taking on the torch of a very age old fight for black liberation, but also, liberation for everyone. Injustice anywhere is still injustice everywhere." Other hometown collaborators on the song include Hollis Wong-Wear, Dustin Washington, Ahamefule J. Oluo, and Martin Freidman. Listen and learn more here.

This song is a product of the System; which means it is neither a solution nor comprehensive. It is undeniably emblematic of the problem it purports to articulate.

That said, I can tell most white people about white supremacy till I am blue in the face and they won't hear me. Conversation is not enough. Yet every white person I know who is now a part of undoing white supremacy was first moved to do so by dialogue and study.

This song is inherently flawed. It exists only because the system of oppression, patriarchy and white supremacy exist.

The need to undo white supremacy is dire. White people need to be in conversation with one another about how to be a part of undoing it with theirselves and need to be willing to be in accountable genuine relationships with black and brown people/communities. Undoing internalized white supremacy is not work I can do for white people nor is it work I intend to to do for white people. It is work white people must do with and amongst each other as act of solidarity with black and brown peoples to dismantle the system of oppression (including capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy) both locally and globally.

Dialogue is not enough. Dialogue is not the beginning nor the end. Dialogue is a necessary and imperative part of entry into the actual work of undoing systemic oppression, undoing racism and and ending internalized and institutionalized white supremacy.

Take a minute to read the collaborators' statements. They each tell a different angle of how the song came about and/or discuss important points of analysis around undoing racism, white supremacy and solidarity.

I do not defend this project. It is not supposed to go down easy because it cannot. It is a harsh and incomplete attempt at dialogue with a mostly white fan base from a high-level white and privileged platform. So critique it and talk about it while holding in tandem the humanity and honest attempt at participating in an accountable process and dialogue with multiple communities, the collaborators, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and now, more importantly, you.