My inbox right now. All of that whiteness. Lord, save me.
Here’s a sincere tip: When a person of color is discussing their history - which most often and most unfortunately involves genocide, ethnic cleansing, colonialism, imperialism, wars, the basic hijacking of their culture and identity - do not interrupt with your white opinions. Do not assume that when a POC discusses how white privilege has hurt them in various ways, they’re trying to say, “Y’ALL DON’T KNOW HOW EVIL THEM WHITE PEOPLE IS! KILL WHITE PEOPLE!” No. They’re not saying it, believe me. They’re talking about their experience and you may not even be part of their experience. Stop deeming yourself so important to have your say in it. When I talk about how my parents suffered intense racism when they were in America or when Juthika talks about how the war waged on Bangladesh by Pakistan involved raping the women of Bangladesh as part of systematic ethnic cleansing (a tool used generously by the American army as well in dozens of wars), she is not talking about white people, she is not talking about your white friends, she is talking about how pro-war people legitimize the use of rape during invasions. When a white person makes this about their feelings or about “NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE LIKE THAT, OKAY?” they derail an extremely grave issue and render it specifically about their hurt feelings.
If you really want to be part of a discussion on something so significant and painful, yet it does not belong to you and it never will, and if you do want your social justice credentials validated, try this: Be quiet and listen.