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I’ve noticed that with every killing of an unarmed black person, there are white folks who decide that they want to “fight racism.”

I’m not here tryna kill your vibe, I’m happy you’re here, but it’s also time for some honesty. So let’s sit down and have a chat.
*gestures toward my kitchen table, where there’s a pot of hot water and tea bags waiting*

First of all, just because you’re new to the fight don’t mean that the fight is new. There are people who have been in this struggle a long time.
I encourage you, for the next three months to sit back and be quiet (and it should be much longer than that but I know that three months is about the maximum that whiteness can handle...but I’ll talk about that some other time).
“But...but...I thought that I was supposed to speak out about racism as a white person. Now you’re telling me to be quiet. I don’t know which one it is. I’m frustrated now.”

*Rubs temples and gives a heavy Negro spiritual sigh*
Yes, when you see racist stuff happening, please do speak out. But you don’t know everything about race and racism just because you decided to “join the fight” four days ago. Deciding that you want to be antiracist doesn’t make you qualified to speak on the subject.
You need to listen to and learn from the folks who are living this every day.

The key is to speak out, not to speak over. Speak up when you see your skinfolk doing wrong but don’t speak over people of color who are saying the same thing.
“But how will I know when I’m speaking over people?”

If you’re placing yourself as an expert on race and not listening to and learning from black, brown, and indigenous people you’re talking over us.
If you take over or monopolize conversations that people of color are supposed to be part of or even leading, you’re speaking over us. If you try to tell us what we have lived, you’re speaking over us.
“That sounds like a lot to do. I’m just going to go back to being quiet so I don’t do the wrong thing. I didn’t realize that there were rules. I thought that anything that I do helps. It’s not fair that you’re telling me not to talk or telling me when to talk...”
“...I thought we were in this fight together? I thought things were equal? It doesn’t sound like things are equal if I don’t get to talk about this just as much as you. I have freedom of speech to say what I want....”
Ok, first of all sit your behind down. And while you’re sitting down, I want you to take some time to learn about white fragility.

“White fragility. I’m not fragile. I just think...”

Chyle hush. You said that you were wanting to be part of the fight, is that correct?

Then you need to first learn to fight your impulse to get defensive and throw a tantrum when you’re corrected by black people.
That impulse that you feel to show me that you’re a good white person and to defend yourself because you feel accused of something or to assert your “rights” as if being loud and wrong is a virtue that is to be protected...that’s white fragility.
There’s a whole lot more to it, but there’s a book called “White Fragility” about it that some white lady wrote for y’all. That’s your first learning assignment.

“Where can I get the book?”
And here we have our second lesson. Educate yourself. I’m assuming that since you’re reading this, you have access to a Google Machine?

“Yes, but...”

Ok cool. Use it. Google is free. I’m sure some of the nice white folks in the comments will also help you out on resources.
“But how will I know if something is a good resource, I mean google isn’t a good place to do research, and...”

Chyle, when you want to know about anything else on this earth, what do you do? You ask The Googles about it.
Yes there’s trash out there. But at least make an attempt instead of acting so dang helpless all the time. Take the time to learn from things that challenge you rather than those that reinforce your views.
Listen to POC voices who are widely respected in their communities. You will start to learn what is quality and what is crap...because there are some people of color who are fine with promoting white supremacy. You’re looking for folks who are into anti-racism.
“Who are some...”

*side eye from hell*

“Oh, right. Google it...”

Yes. Google is free.

“But what if I make a mistake?”

Yes. And?

“But what if I mess up? What if somebody calls me a racist when I’m trying so hard? What if...”

*Toni Morrison sigh*
Yes. Your internalized white supremacy is going to come out. It’s been coming out. It’s just that now you’re going to be aware of it and know to be embarrassed about it. You are going to start seeing in yourself what people like me have BEEN seeing in you. And no, it ain’t cute.
“[white tears] I just want to be a good person. I’m so sorry. I can’t believe that I didn’t know...I need to do better...I just [blows nose loudly]...I just hate racism, ya know and...”

*blank stares into the camera*

Chyle, why you crying?

“I feel bad...”

*Barack Obama sigh*
Look, I know that you mean well, but you’re kinda doing a thing.

“I am?”

*Fake smile nod* Yeah...the unspoken expectation here is that I comfort you because you’re crying about how your whiteness has affected me and because you’ve had some grand revelation about racism.
Otherwise known as shedding white tears. You get to feel your feelings, but I am going to draw a boundary and allow you to sit in your feelings or to find another white person to cry about this with...
Because it’s not healthy for me to try to make you feel good for doing the bare minimum to combat your racism. It’s called emotional labor, and I’m not here for it.

“Emotional labor?”

*Harriet Tubman side eye*

“Oh right. Google is free.”
And so am I. Finish your lil tea. Wipe your tears. I’ll be here when you’re ready to listen and learn some more. Feel free to hit my paypal, Venmo, Ca$h, or Patreon. Thanks in advance. *sips tea*

PayPal: allyhenny
Venmo: allyhenny
Cash: $allyhenny
Patreon: allyhenny
“Hold on...I thought you were going to teach me how to fight racism?”

I just did. You have to do the work inside of you first so don’t say that you’re “against” racism but keep doing some of the same oppressive crap all the time.
Also, did you really think you were going to learn everything you needed to know in one conversation?


So yeah. You’ve got a whole lot more living and learning to do. Peace.
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