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Louisa 🌈👭 @LouisatheLast
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Okay, well, setting aside the ridiculousness of putting “being called a racist” above “being the victim of racism” in terms of trauma, I want to address this for my fellow white people for a minute.
The fear of being called a racist is real. If you’re the least bit socially conscious, being called that would be bad! It would make you feel terrible. I understand that. However, you need to learn to put your emotions about it to the side.
First of all, if you find yourself about to say or tweet something starting with “I’m not racist, but...” or thinking “this could be taken in a racist way, better surround it with a lot of qualifiers”...well, chances are it’s racist and you shouldn’t say it. Listen to your gut.
Secondly, if someone says you’ve just done or said something racist, you will feel bad. But do not center that feeling. The big deal at the moment is not your embarrassment and shame. It’s the harm you just did.
So stop, put your feelings on hold, and address it. Apologize and try your hardest to understand, even if you think it’s overblown or a misunderstanding. Even if it is genuinely a misunderstanding, apologize and explain why you can see how they’d get that from what you said.
Do not make comforting you part of the experience for the marginalized person who took the risk of calling you out. Apologize, but don’t grovel to the point where they feel the need to go easy on you, or apologize to *you* for pointing out how you failed.
This is something I have struggled with, as someone who is 1) a very easy cryer and 2) a carrier of the kind of emotional baggage that makes it very hard to walk away with someone mad at me without doing *everything* to feel like they’re okay with me again
But they’ve already taken a huge risk in pointing out your behavior, which is a chance for you to better yourself. Don’t add to the burden by expecting them to then comfort you for your own fuckup. Save that shit for your therapist. Explain it to the dog. Scream in your car.
If it’s a legit criticism, chances are it’s going to hurt to confront it in yourself. Don’t turn that hurt outward on the person who brought it up, even if they’re really harsh about it. If you’ve done or said something racist, you *should feel bad about it.* Sit with that.
Don’t beat yourself up forever, either, of course. Chasten yourself, examine the behavior, dig it out by the roots. Then resolve to do better. Don’t make excuses for yourself that would allow you to continue the behavior
Sometimes, an apology isn’t going to be enough for the person you harmed, and they are not going to want to hear from you again. Learn to be okay with that. I know that’s hard. But people have the right to set boundaries for themselves
Now, what to do if you’ve been totally misunderstood and they don’t want to hear about it, and you’re feeling hard done by?

Apologize for the misunderstanding, explain your actual intent, and then? Walk away. Watch your words in future to avoid misunderstanding. Don’t persist.
When POC assume the worst of white people, and white actions, it’s not because they’re irrational. It’s because they have had a lifetime of bad experiences. Sometimes, you’re going to get the brunt of an emotional reaction to that, which you didn’t necessarily earn. Accept it.
For POC who’ve had a lot of terrible experiences with white people, it is *sensible* to be suspicious of our motives. Accept that. Learn to sit with people you don’t really know online making an incorrect judgment about your character, and don’t harass them into accepting you
Most importantly: you know how it feels when someone believes, on bad evidence, that you’re bad? That’s what people of color deal with every single day from white people. You will survive five minutes of that feeling. Cultivate your patience and acceptance.
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