Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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The greatest gift of white privilege is the line “Ignore it and it will go away.”
This is something you not only say to other people, it’s something you believe to be true even though the system proves otherwise. When dealing with racism, for you, it’s an instant. For YOU it DOES go away when the conversation ends. You get to hear someone be racist and say nothing, then move on as if it never happened because…it didn’t happen to YOU.
This is hard for both sides to understand. For the white person, you think you are “Helping.” What you don’t realize is how horrible saying that proves you to be. By saying that in the above scenario, you are letting the racist off the hook. When letting the racist “Off the hook” you are proving your own racism. You didn’t say TO THE RACIST, “That is not okay.” You said TO THE VICTIM OF RACISM “Ignore it.” For the PoC, it is hard to understand why it is THEY who are being asked to ignore it while the RACIST is being allowed to continue unencumbered by any idea that YOU think what they said is wrong.
Well, we’d love to be able to ignore it and have it go away. The only problem is that for us, it’s never ending. For you, once this uncomfortable conversation is over, it’s over. You only have to think about it if you CHOSE to. For us, it’s our ACTUAL life. You made what just happened “Not that important” and you did it under the guise of “Helping.” Even though you were telling US to ignore “The bad guy” you were proving that what you wanted was to ignore OUR pain. You wanted US to not speak up or get angry. You wanted US to stay silent. That is what it’s about after all. It’s about YOUR comfort, not OUR pain. If it wasn’t, you would have directed your “Helpfulness” to the criminal not the victim. Yes I DO see racism as a crime. I would not be surprised if you feel differently.
The act of “Ignore it and it’ll go away” isn’t just in this instance. There are other examples that you never think about. The following came from an actual conversation I heard…
Racist: I would never fuck a black girl. I hate dark skin. It’s so gross. Those big asses are disgusting.
Black Person: What the fuck is wrong with you?
Racist: Just because I don’t like black women doesn’t mean I am racist. I can’t help what I like.
I am going to stop there because this conversation got REAL ugly.
Now, let’s get a couple of things clear…NO ONE CARES WHAT RACE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO. The very fact that you believe the reason someone would be upset about the above statement is because “You aren’t attracted to black women” your privilege is so far gone you should be put into a cage. First, what makes you think black women want you? Now that I got that off my chest, let’s address the problem with the above statement….
It is NOT wrong to be attracted to a certain race. It IS racist to start to explain WHY you don’t like a certain race. There is NO POSSIBLE WAY to have that conversation and it NOT be racist. None, not ever…NEVER! If you are dumb enough to say that you aren’t attracted to a certain race, you deserve to get shunned. Why do you need to say it? What context will this conversation be okay? Actually being attracted to a particular race is NOT racist. Talking about your “Reason” IS. Don’t agree? Okay…tell me WHY you aren’t attracted to a certain race. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
What words will you use? What justification? How will you phrase it? The fact that race is coming up in this conversation anyway will likely be problematic but feeling justified to EXPLAIN why you DON’T like them…WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK is wrong with you?
Finally, I want to tell you about one of the comments the racist made. He spent a LOT of time saying “He couldn’t help that he didn’t like black girls” and “He didn’t want to date a black girl” and so on. Meanwhile, the problem is NOT that he isn’t interested in them, it’s his reasons WHY. His justifications. None the less, he continued to miss the entire point by saying that “The black person was mad because the racist didn’t like black women.” As if it could POSSIBLY matter in ANY way that this racist didn’t like black women. As if THAT was the reason for the anger. The word “Envy” was used. This messed with my head for days. How much privilege could you have to not only NOT see why your statements were problematic but also believe that YOU are such a “Catch” that the anger was coming from the idea that black women “ Weren’t going to have you as an option? You see, the privilege allowed him to IGNORE the reason the black person CONTINUALLY tried to explain, all the while making the greatness of HIMSELF the issue at hand.