Hi Bro. Jed, thanks so much for reading and for the kind words — much appreciated! And, nice to (virtually) meet you.
I’m not proud to admit it, but it took me until my 40’s to finally care enough to learn more about this subject.
The first time I tackled writing about systemic racism was in 2017, with this piece: The Kind of Racism You Don’t Even Know You Have. Before that, an anti-racism educator persuaded me to actively learn more. So I started seeking out/reading/absorbing/listening to the voices of POC. Without having to knee-jerk react. Without having to argue/counter-argue; or ask “but what about…?” or to even respond at all.
When I wrote that piece, I was was eager to share what I’d learned with my readers, an audience of (predominantly) white, cishet folks at the time. Suffice it to say, talking about systemic racism with other white folks doesn’t tend to go over very well. Lol. (Which is telling in and of itself.)
As a woman I get tone-policed all the time, as I’m sure you can imagine. And most often, it comes from cishet, white men who seem filled with rage and contempt. They’re so predictable. They always say the same things: that I’m “condescending,” “obsessed,” “just seeking attention/followers,” “virtue-signalling,” “holier-than-thou,” and other similar drive-by insults and accusations.
God forbid they explore the notion that someone might be writing about this for the sake of genuine interest, or for teaching, or for doing their own part to try to make our society better — or anything else “wholesome,” as you say.
And, the thing is, I’ve already tried explaining it “nicely.” Plenty of times. I’ve come at it from a more humble point of view. From a place of empathy and friendliness. Even from a place of “me too” —as in, I didn’t understand this either, I said & did all the same things as you, and like you, I’m really a good person who doesn’t mean anything bad by perpetuating racist tropes, but… You know, that argument.
But here’s the rub: for these people, nothing works. Not tone of voice, not meekness, not comedy or satire, not a friendly, familiar face… nothing. They continue refusing to hear the message, and they continue being pissed off and thinking they “don’t owe anything to anybody.”
Thanks again for the solidarity. Wishing you well, brother. ❤