Thoughts on ‘I, Racist’
One member addresses other white people after reading I, Racist by John Metta.
So much to think about.
All my most intense understandings of my own white privilege came through shitty experiences happening to PoC who are my friends – I guess because the differences in how we were treated was most stark as we were in exact same places. I hadn’t even noticed the walls because the doors were always open to me and so I passed through them ignorant of their existence, until I saw friends smash into them; a forcefield suddenly becoming visible as it reverberates.
But that racism
is there is present here in 2015 in UK.
And we as white people are not making it easy for POC to let us know about how their lives are effected by racism because we get defensive, we make it about us, we make it about how we personally are not racist.
Its easier for us to ignore the subtle and not so subtle racisms in our communities, workplaces, educational establishments, families etc than to stick our heads over the parapet but we get that choice, PoC do not. Its even easier for us to protest that #blacklivesmatter because of how much safer we are purely because of our whiteness when faced with the criminal justice system, from police to judges.
And yet we still ridiculously claim #alllivesmatter as ever both defensive and seemingly willingly ignorant, because what, our self important “what about me” feelings are now more valid than trampling over an oppressed community in mourning and fear?
Its time to not just unconsciously navigate the doors that are open to us, but to become conscious of the walls that PoC are smashed into. And that might mean going out of our ways to listen to, to read, to research the lived experiences of PoC in our communities, cities, countries and whole damned planet, because otherwise we really aren’t going to even notice how fucked up and racist this place is, because the whole point of the system is that we aren’t going to share the same experience as while we can be oppressed along some shared axis (say, for being poor or female or whatever), we may still be offered a privileged experience when it comes to the axis of being white.