“Oh for goodness sake have a day off!! Sick to death of minorities constantly whingeing about so-called discrimination when it isn’t there”
What is your first thoughts when you read the above?
Mine was shock and disbelief followed by anger and outrage followed by confusion and sadness.
So many emotions came into play!
I read the above post on a friend’s Facebook thread last night. It was in response to my friend sharing an article about white privilege and how the NHS (National Health Service in England) should do more to tackle it.
I haven’t included the name of the author – that isn’t relevant. From here on in they shall be known as ‘Anonymous Author‘. I’m not about shaming the person in question or bashing my keyboard in anger trying to force my point across. I almost did that last night and I don’t blame those that do – *re-read my above emotions.
No, I’m writing this post as shit like this affects me and I’m constantly trying to work out the best way to tackle it.
It is not going away
IT IS NOT GOING AWAY!
Following my last post Tales from a dark skinned girl… a friend came back to me to tell me how much it made him he think. My response:
“I don’t want to be a writer that solely writes about being black but the more I look into shit the more I have to say”.
My own words cut like a knife. I’m gagging myself to be silent. To appease people like Anonymous Author.
Paper over the craters that are still present. To pretend that facts and real life accounts are not true. To disregard previous blog posts because it makes me look like a ‘minority’ constantly whingeing.
- Love may be colour blind but dating is not!
- I’m back. Still black. And think we need to keep talking about racism!
- Back to Black 🙋🏿
Not that I needed to but I took a look at my friend’s Facebook (the one who shared the article) and it wasn’t even close to every one of their posts being about discrimination. Which even if it was – they would be in their rights to share it on their own page!
Just like not every post I write about is about me being black – 6 posts out of 67! But I questioned myself! I believed that all I write about is being black and discrimination when these posts equate to 9% of my blog?
People like Anonymous Author that sneer and moan – not realising that the emotions they are feeling when they read an occasional post is what some of us feel every god damn day!
Getting sucked into self-help books in the past, I used to solely believe in quotes, such as: ‘whatever you think about, you bring about’ and ‘look and you will find it‘.
So I don’t blame Anonymous Author as I too believed that the people that shouted about these things were looking for them. But I took my blinkers off and discovered:
- Discrimination is alive
- Racism is alive
- White privilege is alive
And since discovering this I have cried buckets. I have drained myself and refuelled to drain myself some more.
This next section is an open letter:
“Dear ‘Anonymous Author’ and others that feel the same,
When a minority shares something that means something to them. I get it, you feel like fingers are personally pointing at you so you feel the need to comment to protect yourself. How about you simply be present and let that person speak. Believe me when I say you can’t understand but you can show up with an empathetic ear and let that person be heard.
Being defensive doesn’t help the situation especially when you are looking at the situation solely from your perspective. Just because you yourself
are not say you are not racist and you can walk past a person of colour and smile it doesn’t mean that you are not benefiting from a system that was built on racism.
I was going to start picking apart other sections of your posts and replying to them but that is not the route I want to go down. So all I will say is in your own time, when your hurt has subsided re-read through your posts and see if you can see where you triggered the anger in so many.
From dating, to health care, to climbing up the career ladder, to being sentenced in court, to the way we are portrayed in the media. Facts, figures and statistics have shown that people are intrinsically racist and/or biased towards people of colour. It hurts when you try to disregard this. It’s disrespectful and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
If I, a black woman, can stand up – put my hand up and admit that at times I’ve benefited from white privilege. Because I was brought up in a white family in a white neighbourhood then I’m sure as hell certain that you can.
And I am not telling you that you should ‘turn what you get away’ because other people are suffering. Just like we benefit from living in a first world country and don’t have to think about where my next meal is coming from or how to get clean water. You may not intend to benefit – but you do.
Tell me, when was the last time you started off your sentence to describe a white person as ‘White’? Now compare it to the last time you stated that the person was Black, Indian, Chinese…etc……If you don’t do it, the newspapers certainly do.
Take a look at your social media accounts, how many people from different walks of life are you friends with/do you follow? Does everyone you’re connected with have the same opinions as you? If the answer is yes, how do you expect to learn and understand and see things from the other side of the circle?
Honestly when is the last time you allowed yourself to take your armour off and read a book or an article from another perspective? If you can’t answer that – your opinion, which indeed you are entitled to have, is skewed and comes from a place of privilege.
I could go on for longer but I shall sign off by saying……….
This is not going away.
Signed, Emma Louise (see…I benefited from having a ‘white name’ when it came to job applications) Halliday. Someone who shall continue to write for the cause until there is nothing less to say”
Silence keeps us isolated.
It makes the craters deeper, the tensions more uncomfortable and in the long run causes more disturbance than speaking out about the issues when they are seen and felt.
That is why I decided to put aside the blog post I was going to publish which I started writing over a week ago to get my voice heard now.
As I said, I am still trying to find out the best way I can tackle the issue and make a difference. Will my post make the Anonymous Author change their mind? I am very much doubtful but maybe, just maybe someone else who has the same colour skin as the Anonymous Author may stumble across my post, agree with some of the things I have said and then help to get the point across.
Talking about race is uncomfortable. As is talking about other sensitive issues: rape, debt, mental illness but keeping silent and turning the other way doesn’t eliminate them and until we shine a light on the darkness these issues will not go away.
p.s. If you’ve liked this or any of my other posts, I would be grateful if you could give them a share. Plus – if you agree with the post – do something good today and have a conversation with that friend that doesn’t agree.