I came across this interesting post by PortlyDyke:
Trying to Get White People to Talk About Racism is Like . . . .
. . . . . well, like trying to get white people to talk about Racism.
I mention this because I read a wide variety of blogs, and I notice that while a number of my favorite bloggers do write posts on race and racism, there is this interesting thing that happens in comment threads to these posts — if the blog is not frequented mostly by people of color, the comment threads very often stray from anything remotely touching on race or racism, and quickly become about “oppression in general”, or a particular commenter’s “Me Too!” pointing toward their own particular oppression.
I like to talk about racism. I teach classes on the subject, run training sessions for teachers, write about it, and everything. Portly gives a few reasons that people, especially white people, seem to not like to talk about this subject.
First: Many (if not most) white people, have very little awareness of their privilege as white people.
I think this is true. Everyone has a spectrum of perceived privilege and pain (economic pain, comforts of life, etc.) and while people are quite capable of understanding what is beyond their own experience to some degree, it is hard to really understand … and maintain that level of understanding on a day to day basis … experiences that you have not had.
Second: I think white people are often afraid to talk about race.
This is one reason that, when talking about racism in a training or classroom setting, I like to spend some time delving into the more uncomfortable side of the discussion. This brings people to a place where they can be comfortable in the conversation. But it is hard to get to that place.
Third: I think that there is a subliminal message (in our country, at least) that racism is no longer a problem
Hey, no kidding. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say “Hey, it’s been decades since Martin Luther King. Why are we talking about racism?” I’d have at least enough for a Vende Grande Latte and some coffee shop.
Anyway, go have a look at this post, it is … worth talking about.