“People Of Color Are Allowed To Be Angry” Says Huff Po
In the article “11 Things White People Need To Realize About Race”, writers Emma Gray and Jessica Samakow tell white people how to think, “The same way men need to be forced to confront, interrogate and reckon with masculinity in order to address sexism, white people need to face their whiteness. And it is not the responsibility of people of color to educate white people about race.”
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Because whiteness is viewed as the “default,” white people have the privilege of distancing themselves from the concept of race or denying it altogether. The first step towards combating structural racism is acknowledging its existence — and the ways in which cultural ideas about whiteness prop up those structures.
2. Confronting privileges and structures far larger than yourself — ones which you may feel you have little-to-no control over or no idea how to change — will always be uncomfortable. But… tough shit. “The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings,” wrote Metta. (See: “white fragility.”)
3. Pretending that you don’t see race simply means that you haven’t had to. Guess what? That’s the epitome of privilege.
4. You need to recognize that you benefit from white privilege in order to move the conversation forward.
You don’t get to choose whether you benefit from white privilege or not — it’s the structures in place that automatically grants it to you. Denying that only makes you complicit in continuing that cycle.
5. #BlackLivesMatter doesn’t suggest that other lives don’t — it’s about making sure that black lives do.
6. People of color are allowed to be angry about racism. Don’t dismiss that anger, take it in.
As white people, we have to accept that anger is a natural response to being systematically oppressed. And it can be an effective tool.