Why I Think You're a Good White Racist
I know you’re tired of hearing it. But I’m not here to make you feel all comfy cozy. I’m here to invite you to enter into the discomfort. I’m here to invite you to experience the fullness of your whiteness, because dude: the time is urgent. People are dying.
For the record, I’m white. I’m also not an expert on race. Everything I’ve learned about my own whiteness and about racial injustice, I’ve learned from people of color. That’s because white people don’t need to know about these things as a matter of survival. People of Color need to know it to stay alive.
So white people, we get aaaaaallllllll freaked out when we talk about racism. Like, we really freak out. Which is probably a really good indicator that we’re racist.
And when I talk about how you and I are racists, I’m not talking about the card carrying KKK or the heil hitler Neo Nazis. I’m talking about good white folk who are very nice people, who do nice things, who don’t even know that they belong to this huge monolith called whiteness that sucks the air out of every room we move in and suffocates the people of color we’re with.
Whiteness is a dynamic of power that exists in every interpersonal experience we have with people of color. We can not remove it, so we have to name it. But in the naming of it, we freak the fuck out. We get all kerfuddled. We deny and distract, we refuse to acknowledge, and we practice a radical form of inhospitality when we refuse to listen to the voices of color who are desperately trying to tell us about our own inherent sickness.
Listen — this is a complex matter. I’m not saying you’re going to get it today or that it will be easy or that it’s not layered and nuanced. I’m in the process of writing a book about it tentatively called, surprise, surprise, Good White Racist. I’m just getting started, but if you want to know when it’s available, pop your email in the box below and I’ll give you a shout out when it’s done. :)