Fighting on social media brings nothing but bullshit, stress and upset.
I posted a few days ago about a new bag I just got and completely love. It says in block letters:
And I love it. I love how bold, unapologetic and firm it is. I was excited to share it because it so strongly espouses my beliefs.
As happens on Instagram, comments and likes started popping up on my screen. Most were supportive, but then two comments showed up, both likely from guys I knew back when I was bartending next to the WTC and getting all the construction workers hammered on their lunch break (not a bright moment for me). The first comment said, “I guess the bag makers forgot pro white.” I saw red. I responded as directly as I could and shut it down. Then the second commenter came in. Hoo boy did we get into it. Suffice it to say nothing was learned, nothing was gained and my nerves felt like dry, crispy cornflakes throughout the whole exchange. You can see the whole exchange on my Instagram, but it boiled down to him vehemently denying the brutal history of white supremacy and the USA and calling me crazy and self hating for acknowledging that history.
When I first learned about white privilege, it was an immensely painful experience. It was in a one to one conversation that would have otherwise been private were it not for the microphone recording us for my podcast. I left the conversation feeling ashamed, humiliated, angry and really confused and I didn’t know what to do about it. It took a week of licking my wounds and countless conversations to get to the point of realization that waking up sucks but it’s necessary if i want to be part of the change I so badly want to see. Despite my shattered ego, I saw the situation for what it was, and am grateful to the woman who was the catalyst for my painful awakening.
White privilege, white fragility and white supremacy are all real and tangible. They are a burden to all ofur hearts, lives and health. If you are a white person who wants to dive deeper into reading, exploring and learning about these corrosive and pervasive forces, I recommend starting with The White Noise Collective resource list. If you want to follow specific authors, I heartily recommend Ijeoma Oluo, Francesca Ramsey and Sonya Renee Taylor for starters. Black and brown folks have been writing about all of this for centuries, and it’s not a black or brown person’s job to educate us on what they’ve faced and what the POC experience has been in our country since it’s inception.
Here’s to education, investigation, and revelation for ourselves and everyone on this earth. It all starts with respectful communication if the discussion is to be of value and impact. Don’t be like the douche who invaded my feed. It’s just not worth it.