10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People
3) I Don’t SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Race!!!!!
Oh yes, this one is a classic. The discussion of racism comes about, those of the Caucasian persuasion have to profess how colorblind they are and how race doesn’t matter to them at all.
Now to be fair, I can see how this trips up otherwise well-meaning and good-hearted white folks. They recognize that racism is wrong (and this puts them ahead of many) and genuinely believe that they are treating people equally and not allowing race to be a factor in their dealings with others. And God bless them for that. They’re at least on the right track.
However, we’re don’t live in a colorblind, post-racial society. I wish to God we did. The institutional oppression that is racism is immensely prevalent and ignoring the problems and the issues will not make them go away.
A lot of people believe that if you ignore racism or don’t talk about it, it’ll vanish. But when Racefail pops off again, we’re all scratching our heads wondering why we’re still dealing with this nonsense.
4) Being Expected To Take It
Stop me if this sounds familiar.
“Ho hum Neo, that’s just the way So&So is. And they’re not going to change, so you’re just going to have to accept how they treat you, even if it is demeaning. And you know, do it with a smile.”
“Well Neo, that’s just the way things are, yes we live in the land of freedom and democracy and equality but you’re going to be discriminated against. You just have to accept it. And you know, do it with a smile.”
Ummm…….fuck you? *smiles*
Anyone who thinks I’m obligated to simply take racism or being denigrated clearly doesn’t respect me as a human being and clearly not someone who is worth my time. And anyone who even suggests that I should put up with that crap, isn’t someone worth my time either. If you don’t tolerate being treated like a subhuman by others, you don’t get to qualify that for me and others.
5) Conflating Racism For Classism
One of the most common tactics racist white folks will use to avoid getting checked on their privilege is conflating racism for classism as witnessed in this episode of bitchassness here. If they had it their way, they would have you believe that blacks were enslaved and endured Jim Crowe solely because they were poor and if they had enough money then they wouldn’t have to worry about bigotry or oppression.
Yes, these two often intersect, yes they often overlap. But racism and classism are two distinct issues. If it was simply about wealth and class, then Henry Louis Gates, a world renowned Harvard professor wouldn’t have been racially profiled and arrested by the police for entering his own home nor would there have been a coverup over the police report.
Barack Obama, another Ivy League educated black man and oh yeah president of the United States (and arguably the most powerful man in the world) has been on the receiving end of nonstop racist attacks. Now, if he’s enduring this level of racism (people still don’t believe he’s an American) from society, what chance does the rest of us have? Those of us who don’t have his resources, who don’t have the media watching our every move?
Yes, poor white immigrants and poor white people have suffered and do suffer and it is a legitimate issue that deserves to be addressed. No one’s disputing that. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. realized this and often reached out to poor white people. Because classism is an injustice, I don’t care what race you are. But it is not the same as racism. They have completely different dynamics at play. Both are legitimate but you can’t use the former to erase/dismiss/negate the latter.
To those of you who genuinely don’t understand why racism still exists or why people have such attitudes, or didn’t realize that racism was still a problem, the only thing I can simply ask is where the fuck have you been for the last 400 years.
Do you think it’s random happenstance that it took until the 21st century before we even entertained the notion of having a black president? Ask yourself how many POC dramas are on television? Hell ask yourself how many television series are on television where the POC is the lead protagonist and it’s NOT a sitcom and/or minstrel show? If we’re in such a post-racial society, explain to me how many commercials have you seen on television that features interracial couples? Probably for the same reason there was such a public outcry over NFL star Terrell Owens doing the Desperate Housewives spoof with Nicolette Sheridan.
For more on the subject, see Whiteness Defines Others as Outsiders and White "Norm" Is Planned and Enforced.