Do we really need to keep explaining racism to wypipo, or are they just racist by choice?
June 7, 2018
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins had an interesting tactic on Tuesday, when he conducted a silent interview following the announcement that Trump uninvited the team from the White House. He held up signs with statistics and facts about social issues, voting rights, prisons.
These are important facts that support claims that racism and institutional racism are very real in the United States.
However, after so many years of explaining and laying out the statistics, do we really need to keep explaining racism and trying to convince those who seem not to “understand” it? If wypipo still don’t “believe” us, could it be because it’s not convenient for them? Asking for a friend…
For marginalized people, explaining over and over again the same thing is emotional labor that many are not willing to do anymore. Not just because they’re tired, but because it doesn’t seem to work.
In any relationship, if you have to keep begging for basic decency and someone doesn’t respect your boundaries and your humanity, when do you stop explaining?
Many anti-racism activists are choosing to focus on building community with people who are intellectually and emotionally honest, instead of wasting time explaining to people who clearly don’t really want to understand (not even to those, like “white liberals”, who pretend that they want to understand, but consistently fail to address their own racism and privilege in meaningful ways).
More and more of us believe that all that energy and labor is better used taking care of, informing, building, inspiring, supporting our communities.
We cannot be responsible for “talking someone out of their racism”, facts are everywhere, and those who cling to their denial do so for emotional reasons that are beyond our control, including guilt, greed, white fragility and much more.
– Words by Nounouche