“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
It’s a tiring endeavor. Some people of color who have the patience, strength, and resolve to do this work make a career out of it. Major kudos to them. For the common person, not expecting to be in these situations, it can be unfuriating and supremely draining. Swallowing annoyance and rage is hard in order to deliver in the calm, intelligible, data supported way the whites are receptible to and demand.
Here’s an article titled Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. It is definitely worth a read. In fact, it's required reading. Go do it, now! The author has since turned it into a book.
Then there's this post titled I'm Quitting Online Mommy Groups. Also required reading.
Both articles go over the strain of trying to speak up against expressions of racism. The costs of self-advocacy without reward. Some might even call it, the fees and Fare of The Free Child. That's a corny joke to shout out Akilah Richards, author and podcaster, who collects narratives of people of color practicing liberation in whatever form they feel drawn to. Her particular brand is unschooling. Go read and listen.
What would be preferable is people would become invested in doing their own work and education and stop relying on people of color to push past discomfort, speak up in already tense and likely oppressive environments, and put in the mental and emotional labor of offering diversity training for free. it’s putting your entire life experience, vulnerable thoughts and reflections out there with no guarantee of positive return and at risk of being invalidated. But they, the whites, don’t have to do the work. It doesn't affect them. It’s a lot of labor on the brain, possibly some feelings of complicit guilt, the realization that they should discard some of their privilege and seemingly for no benefit but for being a better(?) person. If it does happen it can often be because of some deep emotional experience they’ve had of race relations or new found personal involvement in Blackness (marriage, adoption, roommate...) Buy maybe I ought not complain about how an advocate or ally is gained. A win is a win, no? Or maybe they’re a zealot progressive who embraces and champions any and all anti oppression movements but do a disservice to those they aim to help by not truly doing the work to fully understand those people and their experience. In some sense, they value the thrill of the fight against the hierarchical forces much more than the lives of those they champion. That's if you asked me.
Accepting that I was complicit in and an agent of sexism was not hard. (Tangent here) If I can realize and do that for Womanism, WHY THE FUCK CAN'T WHITE PEOPLE DO IT FOR RACISM?
Hell, why can't all people do it for all -isms?
But no. It's all very - I’ve inherited the benefits of centuries of racial oppression. I will then require the parties traumatized and the inheritance of such trauma to push through that pain and do all the work to awaken me to their plight in a way I deem valid. -