Monday, March 9, 2015

Whack a Mole...

When you are a person of color and you speak about race, you are playing a game of Whac a Mole and you are the mole.

Whac a mole player
Ready for the next one!
Something I have seen recently jarred me into consciousness about how peer pressure bullying works in combination with Race in the US.

Often, when a person of color brings up Race, they are most often told to shut up in one way or another.  If they don't or happen to bring up Race again, then they are most often attacked.

Once the initial attack happens, other bullies join in and reinforce the idea that non-White viewpoints on Race don't count and don't matter.

This has happened to me countless times and most often it happens with the bullies hiding behind the guise of paternal/maternal patronizing comments about the person of color being a racist.

This type of bullying has happened to me in forums, on Facebook, in person and in various other scenarios when speaking about Race.

Recently I was a witness to this on this kind of attack on FB.  A person of color had said something to a White Group that they didn't like.  That person was then ridiculed and chastised in such a powerful manner, one of my lifelong White friends tagged me into the conversation.  She thought I should see an example of a person of color being 'oversensitive.'  As she believes I am often oversensitive and could use some help seeing this in myself.   The insidious thing about this thread was that White people were chastising this person and telling them they should be peaceful and that they should NEVER talk about violence.  This thread was patronizing to the extreme and very mean.

Mike Brown murdered and displayed as an example for other POC

Obviously, the people in the thread live in a world where they feel safe from violence.  As a person of color who holds a higher education degrees and who is a professional, I don't feel safe from violence.  I feel I could be pulled over by the police at any time and shot.  I feel I could even be killed in my own home by the police or some other form of 'law enforcement' -- as has happened often to POC in the US.

The main bully on this thread had the audacity to state that they were dedicated to peacefully helping people of color, but would not allow POC to speak out of line.  Out of line in this case--being an alternative viewpoint that condoned self-defense and seemed angry.

While I do acknowledge the viewpoint was flawed, I won't stand by any longer and watch this kind of bully beatdown.  I did my best to defend them and myself and then left the thread very bothered.

Oxen encircles around baby oxen--protecting them
Protection From Dangerous Forces

We must not let these kinds of attacks happen to our people when we are witnesses.

I love my White friend, but she is so wrong.  In a sense by bringing me into this bullying scenario she was bullying me (albeit unconsciously).  You see--these scenarios serve to reinforce the idea that POC need to keep their mouths shut--that they are too angry and too ignorant to express themselves in a 'civil' manner.  All the while ignoring the uncivil violence and bullying that is going on by the dominant culture.   POC often jump on board and become 'overseers' during these scenarios.  We cannot let this happen!

I won't be bullied and I won't stand by and let other people bully people of color when we speak about race any longer.

I ask you to join me in this effort.

1 comment:

ramontrane said...

Completely agree with you. It's common to experience this attacks in a direct way from conservatives, but the subtle, hypocritical racism in the liberal camp is much worse. It's patronizing, like they are the leaders that have to teach us how to behave in an "objective" and "calm" way and to be content with the racist, undemocratic society where we live. We have to change this and keep the struggle. No excuses. I can't stand patronizers that even being "liberals" (whatever this word means), when talking about this country (the white one, of course), they think that it's a model for the whole world (including the so called "minorities" within our borders). I experience this almost everyday. Speak up, stand up for your rights!


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