Go read this, NOW.
10 Conversations on racism I’m sick of having with white people
#4 has a particular impact for me, given my recent experience in a part-time employment context in which I was forced/compelled to leave. This is an employer who is known as a lefty organization. Grrrr.
4) Being Expected To Take It
Stop me if this sounds familiar.
“Ho hum Neo, that’s just the way So&So is. And they’re not going to change, so you’re just going to have to accept how they treat you, even if it is demeaning. And you know, do it with a smile.”
“Well Neo, that’s just the way things are, yes we live in the land of freedom and democracy and equality but you’re going to be discriminated against. You just have to accept it. And you know, do it with a smile.”
Ummm…….fuck you? *smiles*
Anyone who thinks I’m obligated to simply take racism or being denigrated clearly doesn’t respect me as a human being and clearly not someone who is worth my time. And anyone who even suggests that I should put up with that crap, isn’t someone worth my time either. If you don’t tolerate being treated like a subhuman by others, you don’t get to qualify that for me and others.
Rather than demanding POCs to simply take it or “rise above”, why don’t white folks start shutting down bigots and demand them to stop acting like entitled demented sociopaths. Because if you harbor hatred towards someone because of their ethnicity, you’re a fucking sociopath. How about that for a change? And the fact that I’m having to take the time to explain why as a human being I shouldn’t have to put up with being insulted and demeaned and should be treated on equal footing as white people…..um….again….fuck you?
And #5 is, of course, standard white lefty dogma. Argh.
5) Conflating Racism For Classism
One of the most common tactics racist white folks will use to avoid getting checked on their privilege is conflating racism for classism as witnessed in this episode of bitchassness here. If they had it their way, they would have you believe that blacks were enslaved and endured Jim Crowe solely because they were poor and if they had enough money then they wouldn’t have to worry about bigotry or oppression.
Yes, these two often intersect, yes they often overlap. But racism and classism are two distinct issues. If it was simply about wealth and class, then Henry Louis Gates, a world renowned Harvard professor wouldn’t have been racially profiled and arrested by the police for entering his own home nor would there have been a coverup over the police report.
Note from Maysie: I blogged about Henry Louis Gates here.
Barack Obama, another Ivy League educated black man and oh yeah president of the United States (and arguably the most powerful man in the world) has been on the receiving end of nonstop racist attacks. Now, if he’s enduring this level of racism (people still don’t believe he’s an American) from society, what chance does the rest of us have? Those of us who don’t have his resources, who don’t have the media watching our every move?
Yes, poor white immigrants and poor white people have suffered and do suffer and it is a legitimate issue that deserves to be addressed. No one’s disputing that. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. realized this and often reached out to poor white people. Because classism is an injustice, I don’t care what race you are. But it is not the same as racism. They have completely different dynamics at play. Both are legitimate but you can’t use the former to erase/dismiss/negate the latter.
So this whole mindset of I’m poor ergo I know alllllll about racism or have it just as bad or even worse than POCs is dead on arrival.