Whaddya Mean, About Race?

This is a response I see a lot… all the time, in fact.

I saw it in response to the Ferguson shooting, but honestly I’ve been seeing it for years… decades, perhaps. It’s  a common response from white people who don’t understand why everything is always about race with you people.

So I thought I’d write about it.

My first post on Medium, a popular website for writers and thinkers, is entitled “What We Mean When We Say It’s About Race.”

Here’s an excerpt:

It didn’t surprise me at all to find that many of the white citizens and public servants in Ferguson had no idea there was any kind of racial division in the city, because that’s one of the chief aspects of white privilege – the benefit of not having to deal with it if you don’t want to.
So when we say that this or any other issue is about race, part of what we’re asking is for you to go beyond the scope of your own experiences when choosing whether or not to validate another person’s perspective, because your experiences may not shed enough light on the problem. Just as fish don’t understand the concept of water until they’re out of it, white people don’t usually understand white privilege until they’re forced to confront its effects, usually by people of color who are sick of getting the short end of the privilege equation.

You can read the rest here.

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