“There’s No Changing Them” and the “That’s No Way To Treat An ‘Ally’!” Lecture That Always Follows When The Privilege of Opting Out is Called Out
White people love to say cowardly shit like:
“Sometimes you have to walk away. You cannot change people’s biases”
This is the white privilege approach to addressing racism, the option to just walk away, because when you’re white, your humanity is not being called into question. Your ability to recognize that this fight does not apply to you allows you to think it’s OK to just give up. You get to walk away with your humanity intact. You lose nothing. At the end of the day, you still get to benefit from white supremacy, so what possible motivation have you got to keep at it? Privilege and entitlement, you haz it!
My point when I engage with a racist is not to defend my humanity either. I know that no matter how smart or strong I am, I will always be attacked by bigots for refusing to be shoved into a “demure little Lotus blossom” box. When white supremacy gives you the rewards of this structure, walking away is in your best interest. I understand that, and it is clearly your prerogative if you want to chicken out because you are too fragile to rise up to racism and spit it in its face. But for the love of all that is true on earth DO NOT AT ANY POINT THINK YOU ARE ANY KIND OF ALLY. Take off the safety pin and drop “I’m an ally” from your activist CV because an “ally” you most decidedly are not.
My favorite approach when I am faced with a vocal bigot is to reprimand them verbally, loudly enough to embarrass and shame them in front of everybody else within earshot. I want everyone in the room to see what an ignorant shit the racist is. I will not quietly protect them from understanding the consequences of verbalizing white supremacist bullshit in front of other people. I am very obvious and vocal about letting them know how UNACCEPTABLE their behavior is.
~Simply walking away only ever gives bigots silent permission to keep speaking like an ignorant asshole out loud where other people can be affected by their words.~
“There is no changing their minds.” White people love to point out, as if they were saying something our lifetimes of brown experience has not amply made clear to us already. Thanks for the clue Sherlock! I’ll just put it away with all the other useful things white people like to announce like they just discovered it.
Bragging to anybody about you walk away because you know how futile it is to try to win over a racist is ridiculous! Nobody that is not a direct beneficiary of white privilege is ever going hear how proud you are of your cleverness at saving so much effort for yourself is going to think, “Now there’s an ally I can count on!” That “ally” sure is resourceful! There is literally NOTHING there for us to hang your “allyship” or even a drop of our gratitude on.
Changing the putrid shriveled minds of white supremacists is not the point anymore. Now we just need to make them as uncomfortable and as afraid as they are trying to make us brown folx feel with their ignorant hate speech.
White people frequently point to their own family members, mamas, grammas, grampas, uncles, in laws…etc. as “untouchables” when it comes to discussions about how horrific white supremacy is for everyone else that does benefit directly from it. People treat uncomfortable family dinners where old white racist felt bad enough to cry in shame like that is a bad thing. No, my “ally” THAT IS PROGRESS!!! Bigotry should feel crappy, uncomfortable and embarrassing, because it it is rooted in ignorance and is NOTHING BUT SHAMEFUL. There is no legitimate reason ever to protect, defend, or be proud about seeing eye to eye with even one oppressive aspect of it.
No more excuses! Bigotry deserves resistance EVERY SINGLE TIME AND PLACE IT REARS IT ITS UGLY HEAD, both in public and behind picket fences and picture windows. There is no bigoted mouth spouting ignorant white supremacy that does not DESERVE TO BRUTALLY AND REPEATEDLY PUNCHED. White people making space for racism in their own circles, with their own families is the MAIN reason that white supremacy flourishes in the homes of white people everywhere. Visualize holding space for us brownies to be fully realized humans instead of protecting the feelings of the bigots in your life. Your soul will be cleaner for it. Complicity in the face of bigotry makes you equally culpable of the same violence the bigot is speaking.
If their loved ones don’t tell them how fucked up they are before they go spouting that racist nonsense in public, they might just ACTUALLY get punched in the face by the angry brown person they just verbally assaulted with their ignorant words. When that happens, it will be SELF DEFENSE and that idiot oldster you have been avoiding clapping back at will have had no idea what was so offensive because the kids and grandkids just giggled and shrugged it off when he spouted that ignorance at home. Someone who mirrors back at them the same callous disregard and disrespect as they are showing would be 100% in their rights to break a pasty nose. When you do not let that old fucker know his hate speech is unacceptable, you are endangering him from getting knocked the fuck out by someone who is literally sick top death of exactly that intolerant bullshit. It would be 100% DESERVED SELF-DEFENSE.
BIGOTS NEED TO FEEL THE FEAR OF SPOUTING THEIR WHITE NONSENSE OUT LOUD AS MUCH AS WE ARE AFFECTED BY ENCOUNTERING THEIR BIGOTRY, NOT CONVINCED TO SEE US AS HUMANS. THAT APPROACH HAS FAILED CONSISTENTLY!
If you truly cared about them not getting punched in the face, like every bigot fully deserves, you will correct them in your “loving” way before one of us does it for them with the same degree of violence that they dole out on us. Your silence is not protecting them it is endangering them. You need to make them understand that we are sick as shit of assholes like them ruining our day and a lot of us are OVER smiling and being nice about being othered and disparaged for our race. Some of us have nothing left to lose by defending ourselves. Every bigot that gets shanked after saying something ignorant and hurtful EARNED IT.
If your family member rejects you because you keep insisting that brown people are equally human to white people, then they are shitty fucking people and you are better off without their poison in your head. People who can write off the humanity of the majority of people in this earth because they are lighter than us are not “good” people. They are disgusting wastes of the oxygen they metabolize and if they all dropped dead at once next week the world would ONLY be improved by their absence. White supremacists are THAT pointless and worthless to the rest of us. Defending them only ever adds you their ranks of shittiness.
As far as thinking you are any kind “ally” when you’re too lazy and chickenshit to even call in your own people around you to school them, take off the damn safety pin, you’re not fooling anyone. Who gets to decide you are “ally” and on what grounds? By any standards you are a shit “ally!” if you don’t engage with the racist in your own bloodline. You are a SILENT “ally,” the kind that wears the safety pin on their collar but will just stand by and say or do nothing when they have an opportunity because it’s too haaaaaard.
What kind of ally defends walking away from discussions with anyone they might actually be able to reach? That’s some pretty shit ally-ship! You’re not any kind of ally worth considered if walking away is your biggest strategy and the one you boast about the loudest. here is not one single element of refusing to engage with any racist that makes anyone an ally. It’s not a thing.Try again.
Being “nice” in your occasional encounters with brown skinned people does not make you an “ally” and neither is seeing us as equals. That’s not allyship, it is the BASELINE for being a BASIC DECENT human being. You’re not in the first grade and there is not one single Participation Trophy for not using a persons’s skin color as an excuse to treat them like shit are being engraved for you. Treating brown people exactly the same as you treat white people is not going to earn you any more ally head pats than taking a poop earns you an Adulting Badge.
The concept of allyship being a mere “tolerance” of diversity reminds me of the new “Consent is sexy”: slogan. No! No! And a million times more Nos on top of those! Consent is a BASELINE, not a bonus. Treating everyone like we are all humans is not any more some kind of special behavior deserving of recognition and rewards than having a heartbeat is. It’s just what normal, living, unbroken people do. People who find it to be any effort at all to not look down on people for their skin color need to examine the racist assumptions that are making it difficult for them to be decent human beings, but that effort is the barest minimum of self-examination that should be expected of anybody with two sparking synapses left to spark in the darkness of their skull.
~Allies are not the people who do the barest minimum possible, the easiest and least effort thing of all, like being “nice” to people even when we are brown.~
Your refusal to engage with ANY AND EVERY RACIST you encounter is a function of your white privilege. Your boasting about getting to walk away from the discussion is offensive, hurtful, and steeped n your own ability to disconnect from the assault. Us brown people are not afforded the privilege of opting out of defending our own humanity. We can stay and fight, possibly get beat up or killed, or we can give up yet another piece of our own dignity, and walk away like a white dude. Every single time you exercise that white privilege of being totally unaffected by the violence of hate speech, you are NOT doing allyship , you are doing somehting much more insidious and awful, You are one who CONDONES AND VALIDATES BIGOTRY WITH YOUR SILENCE.
“I’d rather not have every interaction with my (mom/dad//uncle-Bobo) be an argument.”
Cry me a fucking river! Let’s talk about ALL the other people your mom goes out into the world to spew her racist shit all over. Yes, YOUR feelings are the only ones that matter. This is part of the white women’s tears phenomenon, where your white lady’s pain is always more significant than the suffering of ALL THE REST OF THE HUMANS that are affected by the thing you can’t be assed to bother with. Tell me again, what part of this makes you an “ally” because I am pretty sure you don’t know the meaning of the word. You don’t hesitate to check me, a brown person that is talking about being marginalized, but you’d “rather not” say anything to one of the individuals that contributes to the oppression of all the brown people she hates on. Take off the damn safety pin, you’re only making it worse.
“Ally” indeed! Google the word so you can stop pretending it applies to you. When you have even ONE excuse to not verbally clap back at every single racist assault in your awareness, stop telling anyone you’re an ally.
If you truly believe that it’s EVER not worth the effort, fine, step back and bow out, but for fuck’s sake, stop regarding yourself as an ally, because “ally” is a VERB you PERFORM not a label you get to apply to yourself for some imagined help you think you’re giving us. You have already blown your cover as a casual racist as soon as you explain ANY excuse to not slap a racist back into their place under a rock.
I have all the silent “allies” I need sitting around and allowing the other white people in their lives oppress me. I don’t understand why any white person thinks there is any part of chickening out deserves my gratitude or respect
“You’re not trying to change minds or opinions, we are not on the same page.” (…because I am a ‘good’ and ‘liberal’ whitey and I am only in this until there is any real confrontation, then I am going to just take my ball of privilege and go home. Being snide, condescending, and verbally abusive is only ever an option when I am beating some brown person over the head with my privilege and entitlement, but must not EVER under any circumstances be applied to any of the white people in my life that actually DESERVE to be treated like shit).
“Liberal” wipipo think treating a brown person like shit by disclosing to us the EXCUSES they have queued up for why they can’t be bothered to be more vocal on our behalf to whatever racist relative they are protecting and validating STILL expect our graciousness, gratitude, and headpats for being our “allies” even after they just gave a big, obvious reason for being a really shitty excuse for an “ally.”. They don’t have any problems at all with trying to “change *our hearts and minds* about the treatment we are allowed to expect even if it is a simple baseline like equality. This is backwards as Hell, but it is the subtext every single time a white person ‘splains why they don’t talk to their mommy, nana, uncle or great grand-Bobo about how fucked up and shitty their bigotry is.
As soon as anyone points out how there is ZERO allyship involved with opting-out of the uncomfortable conversations, there comes the inevitable lecture about how pointing out any mistakes white people make around racism ever is NO WAY to “win over” allies. Apparently, as white people love to point out to me, we need all need to just to settle for shitty effete “allies” that brag about how they do and say nothing instead of suggesting actual actions that would actually make the world a better place for anyone besides the room full of uncomfortable white people confronting the racist in their midst.
I sincerely don’t give a crap, nor should I be expected to expend any energy at all caring what some raggedy old racist asshole keeps in their putrid brain. I just don’t want them to get it all over me, because that shit is RANCID! You white people can go ahead trying to make it smell more like roses because it runs in your family, but don’t fucking act like you are owed a drop of respect or gratitude for showing off how long you can hold your breath around it.
Her white tears of whatever the fuck she cries about (as if she were the oppressed one and not the bigot) will never amount to the oceans of blood and tears caused by every other person throughout history that has thought like she does. She should be fucking ashamed. Every racist asshole should be fucking ashamed for being such a neanderthal.
Age is not an excuse. Every single human alive can decide at any moment to recognize the humanity of other humans. The DELIBERATE refusal to do so makes them shitty people and they deserve to be shamed for it. They deserve to feel embarrassed and like treated like the crap they are every time they open their bigoted yap. There are NO EXCUSES for being a racist. In this day and age, it is a deliberate, conscious choice to be hateful and ignorant. Those hateful and ignorant people are the last ones on earth deserving of respect or kind treatment. They deserve to be punched in the face every time they have a racist thought.
Related Equality Piazza Topics:
Punching up vs. Punching Down
Clapping Back Is Not Assault
Recentering on White Feelings