Some of you may know that I work for EverydayFeminism.com. I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus, but they cross post my stuff all the time. I have a series on my YouTube page called “True Tea” where I casually answer viewer questions. It’s actually been a fairly successful series of mine and I’m glad i started it! Some people, however, aren’t so glad that I started it and don’t understand that the series is about me casually answering questions and not giving you endless citations and references like I do in pretty much every other video I do.
Chris Stone of StickyDrama, a website that apparently criticizes feminism quite a bit, sent me this email to my business account today in response to my video “Can Black People Be Racist” that was cross posted by EverydayFeminism.
To be honest, I rolled my eyes at it. I just find these sort of comments/questions to be a waste of time and energy. But, the thing is, I’ve had these conversations so many times that I almost can respond to them with my eyes closed. So like I always do, I responded with the following:
“All I will say is that if racism were as simple as someone not liking me or calling me a nigger then that would be pretty easy for me to dismiss. Some people don’t like people. That’s life. It’s really not worth discussing in my opinion. Worth discussion, however is how racial biases have limited the ability for people of color to upwardly mobilize. One black president will not erase the fact that 53 years ago segregation was legalized and that to this day redlining reinforces those same lines and black and brown children in these areas have little chance of being equipped with an education that could help them out of poverty that their parents have been unable to help themselves out of. When you are white it is very easy for you to argue that everything is classism, but what you don’t realize, as a white person is that racism and classism go hand in hand for people of color. Sure there are rich rappers and athletes who have money, but money only gives you tools to navigate around racism, it does not eradicate it from your life. When someone like Oprah is still followed in stores, that should tell you that racial biases exist whether or not you have money. Look at how America has treated its first black president. Look at how often the criticisms focus on race and not oppressive policy.
Black people do not have the socio political power to oppress white people. No amount of stories about childhood bullying or or that one time a black girl was mean to you can counteract that. So many groups in this country face prejudice and black people can be prejudiced, but the only way they can benefit from racism is through assimilation towards white supremacy. Without being disrespectful; most people who hear this conversation and do not like it do not understand it simply do not understand how “white” is a legal classification that is associated with property rights. Many groups have fought to assimilate into it- most notably the Irish and the Italians. There is benefit to being seen white in society and that is legal. Legislation changing 53 years ago does not change the hundreds of years where certain groups benefited from it. Racial biases exist in this county and if you don’t see them, you most likely benefit from them.
Saying that this is “circular reasoning” doesn’t really have any truth to it. Racism is so much more than people just not liking each other. When you dive into American history beyond your primary education, you’ll find that since the English landed on this land, they fought to maintain the comfort of white men. They slaughtered Native Americans, imported the Africans and abused the Chinese all for the common goal of establishing white supremacy. Consider the fact that the United States is a young country and that we are not far removed from legalized racism and oppression. It still exists today and people still benefit from it. No one is asking you to feel guilty about that, but if your focus in this conversation is your desperate need to state that black people can hare white people, then you’re missing the point. My father’s grand father was killed by a white man and nothing was done about it. Racism is the fact that my father was abused by Boston Police for sport and were never punished for doing so. And it’s that today we genuinely sit around and discuss whether or not a 12 year old child deserved to die because, at 12, he apparently looked like an adult. It’s the historic stripping of autonomy from black and bodies that the government consigns and celebrates. These conversations become so much more understandable when you research and educate yourself. I find white men are seeking to win this “argument” while im simply parroting history. And isn’t that a great example of how little these things impact white people. That they describe me discussion racism in game terms like “race card” and want to win the “debate” and not just recognize that racial inequality exists and has a history.
I will never be able to not have a conversation about racism as its part of my daily life. If you have to go online to find a blogger that annoys you to experience it, consider yourself very fortunate.
Now, I’m mostly posting this here because I have a sneaky suspicion they aren’t going to post my full response, and frankly, I don’t really care. I’ve been telling myself to walk away from my videos and let the comments and viewers be what they must be. People are always going to disagree with me. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, it’s something I’m getting more and more used to the fact that some people will never hear what you’re saying, but what they think you’ve said. Having a larger audience also makes it a lot harder for me to see everything that’s posted and I’m kinda ok with that.