Friday, February 26, 2010

How Can White People Enter Discussions About Racism?

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

I think this goes for anyone of privilege in any discussion, and the response was very thoughtful. I especially liked that it pointed out that anger isn't only directed at white people, but everyone, because this is a sensitive topic. I think this can be applied everywhere. The full post can be found here:
They don’t want you to talk about racism as a white woman. They don’t want me to talk about racism as a black woman. They just don’t want to talk about it. The mainstream prefers to think of racism as a thing of the past. The topic stirs up too much guilt and anger and demands. And admittedly some people of color can’t get past anger at white people to be able to trust them as allies. I hope that you will continue to write about racism, but to answer your question: No, white people cannot enter the race discussion without angering people. But then, No one can enter the race discussion without angering people.
No matter how long you are a part of the anti-racist movement, don’t think that your involvement trumps the real life experience of people of color.

But, it could simply be that you are a victim of racial prejudice–of people who think that a white woman can’t possibly care or think about racism. That sucks. The best thing you can do about this type of racial prejudice is call it what it is and move on. You should not let it stop you from doing something you think is worthwhile. Racial prejudice too often limits the lives of its victims.

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