In this time of division, fear, and anger, I understand that emotions run high, and I fully support people expressing their emotions, except Black women who aren’t being very nice to me about racism.
I am a woman, so I get it. White women like me live in the patriarchy too! Why do Black women insist on dwelling on stuff like systemic racism and generations upon generations of op-pression and violence based on skin color, when we could be united as feminists? I asked a Black woman this recently, and she called me a “white feminist,” and I was like, I don’t know what that is because feminism doesn’t see color. Which it doesn’t! She didn’t even thank me for educating her about this, and not only did she not thank me, she got angry at me and told me I needed to “check my privilege,” and that something called “intersectionality” mattered, and that I should “shove my white feminism right up my own ass.” She even told me I was “erasing her identity” and that’s when I knew she was making things up because I don’t even know how to do that. I just don’t understand why it was so hard for her to use a calm and gentle tone with me when all I did was completely discount her experience.
I touched a Black woman’s hair the other day while in line for the bathroom, and no I didn’t ask for permission because sisterhood, and she totally freaked out on me. She started yell-ing at me about “oppression” and “white violence” and I was like, girl calm down! Take some deep breaths! (She did not even bother to try this.) Then I proceeded to explain to her that I was not her oppressor because SISTERHOOD and that I touched her hair because I liked her hair and she should take that as a compliment. And for some reason this seemed to make her even angrier! She went on and on about how I need to “read a book,” and that maybe I should stop being “a sentient garbage pile.” Why do Black women get so angry when I tell them I like their hair and that’s why I go around touching it? I just want to celebrate our diversity! Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like every time I blatantly ignore Black women’s requests about their own bodies, they’re super mean to me about it.
I also support Black Lives Matter sometimes! I even thought about wearing a shirt that said that on it once, but I was going to my yoga class and I didn’t want to bring any weird energy into that space or make anyone uncomfortable. I totally think Black lives matter, it’s just that sometimes saying that can be so divisive, you know? It’s really confrontational, and confronta-tion is bad for my mental health.
One time I was loudly talking about this in the break room at work and one of the Black women in my office asked me if I would come talk to her in her office after my break. I figured she wanted to thank me for my efforts, but when I got there all she did was explain to me that the Black community really needs white people like me to confront racism, and to be careful not to “weaponize my white tears.” And I was like, LOL what? Can someone explain to me how tears can be weapons? What a hilarious concept. I clearly thought she was joking, but when I laughed she didn’t have a sense of humor about it at all. She just told me that “my feelings aren’t as im-portant as the people who actually experience racism.” So my feelings don’t matter now? She kept her voice calm but I could tell she was angry at me, so I started crying because she really hurt my feelings by talking to me about racism and my role as a white person when I didn’t want her to. I think I heard her mutter something about “white fragility” and how maybe I should “tell my sob story to her asshole” as I ran out of the room. Luckily a bunch of people were there to comfort me and tell her how mean she was being. I hope she heard them because I really think Black women need to be more understanding and loving with me when I’m calling myself an ally but not actually being one.
It was called The Civil Rights Movement for a reason. If we can’t be civil to each other when one of us is perpetuating racial oppression, what hope do we have? I am a big fan of Mar-tin Luther King, Jr. and he said we should fight hate with love and that only love and light can drive out darkness or something like that, which means Black women should be nicer to me about racism.