My experiences on putting myself more out there during my time of recovery, has been extremely difficult. I received such a lash from white people who felt the need to counsel me on how to be better heard, as if marketing has anything to do with resistance, sheesh. They felt I needed to change my approach on the issues I was calling out in spaces I shared with other white folks. Issues that revolved around my struggles and the struggles of others around race, class, gender and ability.
This reinforcement in policing the tone and voices of people of color, is highly problematic! This reinforces historical colonial power structures of privilege and visibility. Structures which continue to privilege white folks whenever the topic of race comes up, yet dismisses the tensions and built up stress of being unheard; that of people of color. Our emotional reactionary positions in struggle is considered irrational or that we somehow self inflict our own silence by not being calm. Basically, if our needs aren’t being meant, its because we can’t control ourselves or our anger. Its our own fault we aren’t heard.
This idea that the way we articulate and tone our responses to criticism and shutdown rhetoric, in order to be heard and be granted validation, is completely ridiculous. We are told to keep our emotions in check and tht in order to help white people better digest our experiences/frustrations is by being calm, not saying fuck white people, making white people feel comfortable. That’s complete bullshit. We aren’t allowed to express anger within the context of a white power structure? Racism is a system of subordination and we only reinforce, propagate and preserve these power structures of privilege by silencing people of color.
It is a constant drainage for people of color to play this submissive role to these white capitalist power structures, especially for queer/trans folks of color, indigenous peoples, womyn of color, and all those forced out into the margins of a capitalist/gentrifucked world where our anger, comes from a place of daily struggle and labor drainage. I have decided this, I am not letting white people into my safe space of healing anymore. I work with white people, live with them, but sharing intimate struggles is something I have to start taking a more conscious action of, I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DO THIS!
I hate revisiting the same argument over and over again with white folks who claim to be anti-racist and anti-capitalist that say white privilege and the discourse of critical race theory is racist. Ugh! Really grrl?
I am not going to explain over and over again to people that you can’t be racist to white people. That requires for me to constantly open myself up to anxiety, having all my work of self education be dismissed, and have my experiences with institutional racism, racial profiling and living with a single mom of color being harrassed by police completely shutdown, the emotions behind it be completely ignored, and put me in a shitty “I’m all alone in this” mood.
This constant challenge from white people, the dominance they have in space to mob me, the visibility they have to share this “reverse racist” rhetoric as valid, really pisses me off. People of color are too scared to even acknowledge this because being mobbed by white people is a pretty real thing. “No your wrong, racism is only preserved cuz you keep talking about it”, or “oh no, here comes the race card again”. My narrations around racism and white privilege are often called negative or racist. -_-
The dominant narratives around white people’s anger around these type of situations are given as valid, while people of colors anger is seen as irrational, emotionally driven therefore holding no credibility, and automatically given the “crazy black woman trope”. Pretty similar to the “angry feminist. manhating” trope. These tropes easily spotable in tv and pop culture to help preserve that challenging racism or sexism can go “too far”.
White people can’t experience racism when racism is historically a colonial built system, privileging even lower class white people. Ignoring this, is ahistorical and promotes colorblind politics, overlooking the work of people of color where we have created solutions through literature and academic work within a social constructionist framework of study.
Our constant struggles with socioeconomic systems that grant white people access to resources and discredits the inherently racial struggles of our ancestors is never heard, never taken seriously enough, and almost always dismissed and trivialized.
When white folks claim racism applies to them, they ignore that racism was built upon a white power structure and within a western imperialist growth context. Economic capitalist systems are beneficial to this social construction of race which was built to help the colonized world develop a labor system in which they could avoid the hard labor of industrial growth. Prosperity came at a high price for us, low price for them.
By continuing to not listen, you derail from our recovery and healing. Your being the asshole, not us. Learn to be loving and compassionate, get over your feelings of defensiveness, its counter productive.
It’s apparent we can’t share spaces of healing with white folks and we must create our own spaces to properly heal and find empowerment in our voices and anger. If you aren’t able to listen, step back, allow us to heal in the way we need to heal, allow for us to take action the way we must, then you are not our allies.