Full Stop: Casually Anti-Black Behaviors I’ve Observed This Month
I need this to not become a series but is anyone getting what they want right now?
I got fed up with all the casually anti-Black behaviors on social media last month and wrote a piece called Full Stop: Casually Anti-Black Behaviors You Need to Quit NOW about it. The piece went semi-viral and encouraged a lot of proudly racist folks to pop up in public spaces to give me newer examples of the behaviors I wrote about. They also ironically enough highlighted items that didn’t make the original list so I wanted to honor that with another list. Thanks, Bekki! (That’s really her name and hopefully she knows what she did by now).
1. Don’t care about us only when it’s trendy. If your organization thrives off systematic racism, and you’re comfortable with that, then you don’t get to post an empty statement to make yourself or your company look good. You need actionable items and you need to start them this second. You also need to care forever because the work doesn’t stop when you start getting fewer likes and shares. If you’re not going to start doing the work then don’t waste my time and clog up my inbox/newsfeed/etc.
2. Don’t turn to a Black acquaintance(s) for sympathy when you do something problematic. If other Black people have called you out for it then that’s all you need to know. Your searching through Black people you’ve interacted with this year trying to find one of us that will agree with you just makes you more problematic. It also tells us a lot about you.
3. Learn how to apologize when you’re in the wrong. This is a lesson for EVERYONE but especially for people who claim they want to do the work. Your apology isn’t sincere if it centers you, you get defensive, or you try to subtly blame the person you’ve injured. Practice saying, “I’m sorry for [insert what you did].”
4. Don’t show up to a conversation about racism just to derail the conversation. Some prize comments on my last article included people who disagreed because I didn’t include animals so they wanted to take my platform to talk about speciesism, people who needed the rest of us to know that only GOD can judge them, people who felt they should be allowed to commit these problematic behaviors because they’ve lived hard lives, and a whole bunch of other problematic nonsense that has nothing to do with the actual topic. If you don’t want to talk about racism today then you can just say nothing. However, shifting…