An open letter to racist, not racists.
Yes you. I know you are an awesome open minded person. You love everyone no matter what (unless of course they are really icky), you know things! You read the news. You do protests. You talk about social justice. You are a crusader for all the right things. You are awesome. Everyone says so.
Sometimes in all your fervor and earnest do gooding you can behave in racist ways. I know. I know maybe I’m just a big ole meanyhead brown person but you can.
The problem is that people who are not inherently racist can sometimes say things or believe things that come from an inherently racist place.
Am I calling you a racist dickbag?
Just letting you know so it can be dealt with and we can continue crusading for things together.
You may want to freak out. Maybe you’ll cry. Maybe it will hurt your feelings that I think you said something fucked up. That’s really kinda too bad.
As does showing your ass in public and having someone point it out to you.
How do you avoid this?
Let’s pretend that I know many things about planting cabbages. Let us further pretend that we are talking and you mention that you poop on your cabbages to help them grow. After that you ponder why your cabbages not only die but kind of seem to glare at you when you go by.
I say don’t poop on them they don’t like that.
The improper reaction is to come out swinging and hollering at me that I don’t know anything about cabbages even though if you look across the street I have a yard full of gigantic purple and green cabbages. Do not tell me that I am being aggressive when I say, doing that is a bad idea.
Don’t get mad if after that reaction I look at you shake my head and go back to my own fucking cabbages.
If you take a second and reign in your butt hurt, look at my yard and say well Shannon doesn’t poop on her cabbages and they are pretty awesome. Maybe I will think about not doing that and see if my cabbages improve. BUT holy fuck I am embarrassed…shit. That hurts but you’ll get over it.
Feminists, oh yeah I am talking to you.
If someone told you straight up that something you know damn well is sexist you would lose your shit. You would be angry.
Don’t act like it’s terrible when the angry brown people tell you you’re being racist and to stop it. We are angry.
HEY you too.
You cannot tell people that of course they are welcome when they tell you explicitly and in detail why they are not welcome, don’t feel safe, feel no solidarity and in some instances feel endangered.
You are not doing it right.
The basic lesson here feminists, protestors, social justice crusaders and other assorted people talking about things is that you cannot dictate to people who are experiencing a prejudice if you are part of the people perpetrating it.
Doesn’t work that way.
Just like when someone says things like.
Hey your fly is down. You don’t not look and proceed to scream about how mean ignorant and plain old unaware they are. You would probably look at your fly and put your junk away.
You would probably not tell someone who fixes your car that they are just not trying hard enough when they tell you that your alternator is dead and you need a new one.
You would not tell your doctor to read a book, if they told you that your leg is broken and you need a cast.
Stop behaving so badly and maybe people of color would like to come to your party or want to hear what you have to say.