I wasn’t too sure how to even start this post; I’ve had quite a few minor run ins with ignorant racist people the past few weeks and although they were all slightly different in their intentions, language and generally how they played out – I felt like I needed to vent and write down how my perceptions on not only the bullshit I witnessed, but also comment on the rise in this sort of behaviour on social media. I have a lot of people Black, brown and white who appreciate my commentary I make on social media regarding racism. Sometimes I’m just lightheartedly calling out usual nonsense like white people in locs, make up brands excluding dark-skinned Black women (again) or laughing at Supreme clad members of The Basement barely 16 years old and thinks lil whoever is the best rap artist boys saying the n-word in a song because they think it’s cool. Sometimes, however – I may bring up white supremacy, environmental racism, and the mis-treatment of Black women – complex issues that I cannot delve into easily on a format like instagram stories.
Queen Baby Girl Kelechi Okafor has a podcast “Say Your Mind” – in case you didn’t know. I am obsessed with Kelechi and her podcast and just generally everything that comes out of her mouth. She is the epitome of being a carefree, no-nonsense, does-not-mince her words-bundle-of-perfection. Kelechi discusses many racist incidents throughout her podcast, and also how she navigates through this world and in particular, this pussyclart country as an unapologetic, outspoken Black woman. Kelechi had been discussing treatment she had received by a teacher at a martial arts class on Instagram TV. She had noted that the teacher was moving a bit mad and acting very differently towards her compared to her fellow white class goers. (I think the little busy body who sent the DM She received a direct message from reported the video and got it removed so I’m being vague about the specifics intentionally because I can’t watch it again). I’m going to post the screenshot for you all to see the nonsense but let’s just unpack why this DM was unnecessary and generally an epic fail.
- I’d really like to know why white people think they have an entitlement to ask Black people to explain racist situations they’ve been involved in? Some of you are coming to Black people who have been on this earth for as long as you if not longer, and asking them if they understand how to recognise racism?
- Do you think it’s fair or right to ask Black people to explain their humanity and feelings regarding racism to you, when we all know you don’t actually care for the answer, and you just want to relieve yourself of the weight of your need to question everything and put your white views to us.
- I see so many white people absolutely silent when it comes to anything to do with racism, on a small or grand scale. However, you open your long throats to question it as soon as you feel like your white comrades are under attack of being called racist.
- Conclusion; you care more about being called racist than racism itself.
So here are some tips; next time you see a Black person discussing a racist incident/racism in general – don’t question it. It happened, we know it did, we were there, and we know what racism is, thank you for listening to my TED talk. “did she at any point say because you are Black you are being treated differently?“. Chile…what world do you live in where you do not understand that there are various forms of racism, both subtle and overt? Oh yes, a white world. A world where you never have to be on your guard watching out for these sneaky actions, facial expressions and insults. The whole point of subtle racism is that often we aren’t able to prove it so easily and yet if you ask any Black person, we will have very similar stories to tell of these subtly racist incidents. The friendly face with the white family turning into a scowl when its your turn at the counter, the serving of the white man before you when you’ve been waiting for longer in the queue, the checking if you’re in the right place on the first class carriage but not checking any white people’s tickets. If you don’t see it, quite frankly I don’t give a shit enough to explain it to you and secondly, no one can help you so just get off my blog and g’weh. So! Instead of bothering Black people with your disingenuous questions, take your time to work out how you can help tackle and participate white supremacy and racist society we live in. If you’re close to this particular Black person and they welcome questions from you, you need to realise you’re asking them to go through potential emotional trauma again, and labour to break it down for you. Can you donate to them or a charity of their choice for their work? Remember; you are not entitled to their time and if they say they don’t want to discuss it – get over it and go and do some research.
Black people talking about racism is not what *keeps racism alive*; commenting on racist acts is not the reason why racism is still a thing, it’s probably baffling to a lot of you that these words would ever even be uttered but search for it on Twitter and cringe with me. Pointing out racism is not a very british thing to do, it’s better to sweep it under the carpet or explain it away and say it’s “just British culture” (Golliwogs, I’m looking at you). I think it actually makes a lot of white people uncomfortable when we bring attention to subtle racism, most likely because you realise you have or are racist yourself and you now have to look at yourselves in the mirror. We shouldn’t not talk about racism or feel that we have to talk about it in a way that’s palatable to white people. Black people need to discuss it for many reasons, to share our stories, to vent plainly like I’m doing here, and to bring awareness. However, white fragility is such a ting that it seems you can’t actually handle the term “white people” without coming in to my DM’s telling me that it is in fact racist to call white people…white people. Some of you are so determined to avoid discussing racism that you will bend yourself in ways that the Russian Gymnastic Olympic Team would be jealous of to justify it, when instead you could be doing your research whilst simultaneously purchasing maggi cubes in bulk on Amazon. Imagine that.
This feels like a weird blog post because I feel like I’m just pouring out thoughts that have been in my head for a few weeks. There was no clear purpose to this post other than to maybe enlighten some of you as to how you come across when you’re badgering for answers when the topic of racism arises. Take a step back and ask if your questions are genuine or are you just doubting this Black persons experience? If you’re offended by the fact that they said “White People”, look into how common the incident is that the need to generalise is relevant here. Racism may not be about white people, but it definitely requires your assistance in dismantling the structure of whiteness and how it impacts black people on a daily basis. I have recommended this book to everyone I know but I’m not sure if I’ve ever put in my blog post – Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race is such an important introductory read into the complex and fucked system of racism. Read it, digest it and use it.
Until next time,
Demi – Colleen x