Race: How to deal with a challenge.

If you are white you are afforded certain privileges that people of colour are not; I’m not having that conversation with you.

When challenged about race, the last thing on your mind should be,

I’m being called a terrible person,

I’m not a racist…

The reality is that neither are relevant,

1. The racist good bad binary serves no one well. We are better served in seeing ourselves on a spectrum of racist to anti racist. This dynamic spectrum is a result of an epistemological process that has been indoctrinated through an educational system and society’s day to day.

2. Hence the ‘I’m not a racist…’, is a lazy, pompous statement. You have been challenged and invited to look at your actions through the lens of a PoC or more accurately to remove your own lens of whiteness. The statement reneges that invitation and shuts the door.

3. At this point, some people would place the blame for the apparent shutdown (white fragility) / offence at the door of the victim. It is not the responsibility of people of colour to provide pillows for those who seek to oppress willingly or unwittingly.

4. Here is what a better response would look like.

P1: That was racist/your actions make you a racist

p2: As a white person it is not my place to deny or refute that. I will reflect on my actions and get back to you.
Go away, Interrogate your actions through looking at the situation through the goggles of power.

Example.

Reference to a group of people that you dislike/disagree with you as a Dothraki Horde.

It was a …

A throwaway comment.

I meant it as ‘lots of people’.

Etc.

Let’s look at this critically.

You are using the term in a negative context. Accept this. Even if you aren’t it may be perceived this way, yes this is your responsibility.

Let’s look at the context. The Dothraki are portrayed as a savage uncivilised horde and importantly they are some of the only people of colour in the Game of Thrones TV show. They are also subjected to the white saviour trope (another blog on that will be coming).

Evoking their name in an attempt to describe anybody negatively is on the scale of racism.

People may think it just a show and the descriptive comments you are thinking too much into this. Without thinking, we escalate across the scale towards murder. This is a cumulative process which leads to physical violence and genocide (an example below).

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