“The only way to end racism is to stop talking about it.”
In case you didn’t already know, this quote is complete bullshit. Let me explain why:
Ignoring a problem is not the proper way to handle it. For example, if you find out that you have cancer, you don’t just wait for it to kill you. You start treatments and take medication to slow it down and stop it. In other word, you fight. Obviously, I’m comparing apples and oranges here but the concept is somewhat the same.
The quote above was said by Morgan Freeman and it makes a lot of people think that if a black man said it then it must be true.
Morgan Freeman was wrong.
That is not the way to deal with racism.
In my experience, the people who repeat this phrase the most are white people. This is an issue because white people don’t face racism and therefore you don’t get to tell people who do face it how to do so.
The same goes for any other marginalized groups based on including religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, etc. You’re basically telling people to stop talking about their oppression, because it makes you uncomfortable. But here’s the thing, it should make you uncomfortable. You should be so damn uncomfortable that you decide to do something about it instead of contributing to it. It should make you want to fight.
What’s especially ironic about this is that white people want POC to stop talking about racism, but the second they feel discriminated against they cry “reverse racism.”
First of all, that’s not even a thing. When you say that one way is backward, you imply that the opposite is correct. Just stop.
Second, a lot of times there actually isn’t any racism in the situation that they describe. For example, the new Star Wars movies. White people complained about “anti-whiteness” simply because a lead character was black. That’s not racism. It’s appreciating and showcasing diversity. Another example is Black Panther. For fucks sake. Wakanda is in Africa, what the fuck did you expect? Again, that’s not racism. It’s representation. If you feel excluded when marginalized groups (finally) get the representation that they deserve, it’s probably because you’ve been included from the very beginning.
Ironically, nobody gives a damn about all of the white washing that’s happening in Hollywood. You know, when there is actually something wrong. Put a white man in blackface or let him be a character that’s supposed to be a person of color and no one bats an eye.
No one ever talks about white saviors either. Matt Damon, I’m looking at you. There’s no reason that he should have starred in a movie about The Great Wall of CHINA. Then again, this is also the man who said that it’s okay for the experiences of POC to be written by white people without any research.
They even added a white savior scene to Hidden Figures. When Katherine has to run across NASA’s campus because the closest women’s restroom has a sign that reads “whites only” they have a boss (a white man) make a scene of tearing the sign down. Yeah…..that never happened.
There’s even a Netflix movie about a Black woman in the present choosing to go back in time (to fucking slavery) because she “fell in love” with a white man……….who just happens to be a fucking slave owner. Seriously? Fuck off, Netflix.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s get into the good stuff shall we? In a previous article I talk about things that you shouldn’t say during Black History Month. Here are a few more things that we don’t need to hear:
*This is no where near as long a list as it could be. I also can’t speak for other ethnicities so this is based on my personal experiences.*
Why do you have to make this about race?
Because it applies. 9 times out of 10 we don’t “make” it about race, you just fail to see the correlation because it doesn’t relate to you.
POC are just lazy and living off of Government Assistance
First of all, the majority of people on welfare are white. Not sorry to burst your bubble. For certain programs like SNAP (food stamps) the average amount of time that people are actually on it is only 9 months. And for the people that stay on it longer it’s not “laziness” that causes them to. The guidelines and requirements for assistance programs are actually pretty fucked up. Even a slight promotion could cause someone to lose their assistance, which overall results in having less money than when they were actually earning less from their job. If I made that sound confusing, put it this way (these are fake numbers, I’m just simplifying). If I make $100 from my job and that allows me $100 in food stamps, I’ve got $200 right? Say I get a raise and now make $125. Well now, I’m over qualified for food stamps and I’ve lost the additional $75 that was allowing me to put food on the table. Tell me that’s not fucked up.
Of course, you would know how the system worked and what was wrong with it if you actually took the time to look into it.
Why don’t you just go back to Africa?
You do realize that most of us didn’t have a choice in coming here right? That our ancestors were kidnapped and a lot of them didn’t even make it to America before they died. So the reason that I don’t “just go back” is because this is my country as much as it is yours. I am a citizen and you don’t have the right to tell me to leave. If that’s an issue, you have your ancestors to thank for that.
Where are you from…. no where are you really from?
You know what? That’s a good question. The problem is, I have no clue because (at least) the past four or five generations of my family have lived here. Most African Americans don’t know where their family originated because well…..again, thank your ancestors.
White privilege doesn’t exist
And the earth doesn’t revolve around the sun. Oh…my bad… I thought we were just playing a game of Fake News. Look, no one is blaming you for your privilege. We just want you to be aware of it and recognize it in situations where you have more than someone else. We’re also not saying that white people are the only ones with privilege. They’re not. Everyone has it but people that fit into groups that are seen as the “norm” or “default” have more of it. This includes people who are cisgender, heterosexual, Christian, male, able, etc.
I have privilege because I am middle class, straight, cisgender and able-bodied. See how easy that was to admit? I also deal with racism and sexism pretty much constantly. It’s not a competition. You can have privilege because of some of your identities and also be underprivileged because of others
You’re Black, how do you not like rap music?
Fuck you. My musical opinion isn’t defined by my skin color and more importantly, I don’t give a fuck how you feel about it. If you really must know, I prefer classical over rap. Surprised? I repeat: fuck you.
OMG, I didn’t know you could tan!
Shut up and get out of my face.
What are you?
That’s not how you ask someone about their ethnic background. You don’t have to treat POC like we’re a different species. Also, if someone responds to this question with a clipped one word answer, shut up, because you’ve already pissed them off.
If they choose to engage with you despite your ignorance, don’t call them exotic and do not fucking fetishize them.
I’m not racist, I have Black/Latinx/Asian/Native friends.
First of all, referring to your friends by their ethnicity already proves that you don’t really consider them a friend.
Secondly, not all POC are going to call you out on your racism. Either they don’t care, don’t feel like getting into it, and/or are struggling with internalized racism and are so used to it that they let it go. It’s also just not our damn job. None of this means that you’re not racist. In fact, you using them as tokens to claim you’re not racist…..IS racist. POC are not props, you don’t get to use us to cross off your ethnicity bingo board.
Why can’t I say the n word too?
Let me guess: you think it’s okay because your one Black “friend” let’s you or because you heard it in a song? Well too bad. Don’t fucking say it. This goes for any slur that is aimed at person of a marginalized group. If a Black person chooses to use the n word, it’s their choice. For most part it has been reclaimed but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a derogatory term created by white people to be used as an insult.
If you think you’re not racist, then why do you want to use racial slurs so badly anyway?
What about Black on Black crime?
Black on Black crime is no different from white on white crime, so why don’t we discuss that instead?
That’s all I have for now. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.