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What Happens When People Write About Race or Gender or the Intersextionality of Those Things?

July 23, 2014

If you thought, “It leads to a reasoned discussion of those subjects and everyone learns and grows,” can I please have some of whatever it is you are having? Pretty please? Because it is obviously some extremely good shit.

When #NotAllMen blew up and women replied with #YesAllWomen, one of the main issues the women talking about what pervasive misogyny does to us had to deal with was the vitriolic backlash by men. In order to get tot the factual issue, that being a female in the world is dangerous and that we must be constantly aware of that danger, we had to wade through a river of whining about how much pointing out those simple facts hurt men.

When a Woman of Color pointed out that watching white, gay, males use a stereotypically black voice to entertain themselves and their friends was hurtful and, you know, blatant cultural appropriation, she had to wade through another river of claims that her pointing out simple facts was somehow divisive. I wrote about it yesterday.

And today, a Person of Color wrote a pretty simple list of things PoC have to deal with as a result of being in the Western world. The first thing on the list?

1) #YesAllBlackPeople contend with whites dictating to us how we should talk about racism, instead of taking our lead in the conversation. (Yes, that includes Tim Wise.)

And what are the comments full of? Guess. Or if you’re really brave go read the comments. I dare you.

If you don’t read them, I don’t’ blame you.

If you didn’t read them and you guessed “white people dictating how a PoC should talk about racism and complaints about how the article made them feel bad and accusations that pointing out simple facts like code switching and the inherent danger of blackness, was somehow an act of racism, give yourself a gold star.

You know what?

I’m done with this shit. I’m done. I cannot with these people anymore.

So here is a message to them.

1. Racism? It’s a systemic thing that harms the minority while benefiting the majority. Members of the minority cannot, be definition, be racist. That’s how words work.

2. Pointing out that racism is a thing and that it negatively impacts People of Color? Is simply stating facts. You don’t have to like it, but saying true things isn’t racist. It’s just true. Also, see point one.

3.Members of the majority NEVER get to tell members of the harmed minority what is or is not harmful. Nope. Not ever. Never Ever. If a member of a minority says what you did or said was harmful, however unintentionally, then what you did was probably harmful. Why? Because part of majority privilege is the ability to ignore the harm you cause.

4. If you are commenting on an article wherein the author points out numerous times that one of the primary examples of racism is the vitriolic and irrational response that white people have when People of Color talk about racism and your comment is irrational and full of vitriol? You’re really just proving him right.

The bottom line is this, anyone who can’t listen to someone who is trying to express their pain then you should have your keyboard privileges revoked.


It’s not about you. It’s not about how basic facts of life and other people’s hardships make you feel. If the most you can muster, when someone is talking about the life long systemic trauma to which they have been subjected, is concern about your own emotional reaction you are a horrible person.

Care about other people’s pain enough to shut up, listen and learn or you fail basic humanity forever.

End of file.




3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2014 12:04 AM

    Reblogged this on naomikko.

  2. July 25, 2014 11:27 AM


  3. Ellen Murphey permalink
    July 25, 2014 11:31 AM

    Thanks for this.

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