I am a white woman. I just now deleted several paragraphs of rambling bullshit because I realize that I was digging myself into a hole. Who am I, having never experienced racism, to talk about racism?
I am a white woman, and I know racism exists in America. I am not so foolish to think or believe that it ever went away. There have been times, a lot of times, in my life where racism wasn’t on the forefront of my mind because I am typically surrounded by people who are also white.
I am a white woman, and racism has never affected my life. I have had many friends of other ethnicities flow throughout my life. But while I was with them, we did not encounter any sort of overt racism. At least not from my white point of view, which obviously could be wrong.
When I was in 5th grade, I lived in Kansas City, KS and was a minority in a primarily black school. There were a few times where I was mildly bullied, and maybe race played a part of it, but I never thought anyone making fun of me was doing so because I was white. It wasn’t even a thought in my mind. I figured they were making fun of me because I was new, and new is an easy target. Being 9-10 years old and never experiencing racism, I don’t think I would know what it looked or felt like even if it was happening. But I digress…
I am a white woman, but I am not shocked or surprised by what happened today. I look and hear and read the news of the bullshit that POC experience. I know it happens, and I know there is a lot more happening that isn’t being reported on. It happens every day to a lot of people.
I’m an overly empathetic white woman. I can imagine myself in other people’s shoes and feel their sorrows. I cry very easily and at everything. And while I know my imagination couldn’t possibly match the realism of those situations, it is not lost on me that I don’t know how it feels and I will probably never know how it feels.
When I see these messages, I know they are 100% correct.
It saddens me to the core to think about all the people out there who are not being treated as people. It completely baffles me that there are assholes out there who can look at a POC and think of them as subhuman. It blows my fucking mind.
I follow sociologist Dr. Tressie Mc, and I saw she wrote this, and I wanted to cry too…
Can you imagine having to defend yourself, every fucking day, that you’re worthy of being treated as an intelligent human being? I am a woman, so I kind of get it. But I know it is much, much worse for POC, especially WOC.
I replied to the first of the above tweets that I am actively teaching my children about race. Having rejoined twitter recently, I have found so many POC expressing how white people have a responsibility to stop avoiding racism as a topic of discussion. By never talking about race and race issues, we are being complicit and compounding the problem. I don’t want to be that person. I will admit that I am not at all an expert on racism. But I’m learning. I want to learn, and I want to be better, and I want to raise children who will stand up for anyone and everyone who is being bullied. My girls will speak up and stand up. And I’ll start teaching them by showing them how.