on walking away
we all know (or are familiar with) Jane Elliott and her blue/brown eye thing. We’ve seen the gifs where she tells a student:
When these people of color get tired of racism, they can’t just walk out because there’s no place in this country where they aren’t going to be exposed to racism. They can’t even stay in their own homes and not be exposed to racism if they turn on their television. source
i recently saw a white guy essentially pull this. after some challenging conversations about gender and race… he basically got to the ‘omg, i’ll always be a bad guy and i suck’ phase. he then took a break for social media1.
when he came back, he basically said to me “sorry for unfollowing, i’m limiting what comes into my feed and only talking about topic”
as far as cis white hetero men go, he is alright.
it makes me realize that whenever our oppressors are confronted with the ways that they, well, oppress and the ensuing emotional pain they experience from having their world so incredibly shaken…
it takes a certain level of extreme willful ignorance to simply just not have noticed all the necks you are standing on.
and after someone points out all the screaming that, idk, you thought was the sound of the ocean?
it takes a serious commitment to fully and completely devote yourself to ignorance. to covering your ears and going ‘la la la laaaaaaaa’.
this is srsly white supremacy / patriarchy / etc / oppression in action.
in this ability to walk away, to turn your back on a reality you don’t like, that defines, in a deep and abiding way, why/how shit always stays the same.
it reminds me why i never bother trying to prove anything to anyone about oppression. because. the studies have been done. the information, the data, the knowledge is all out there.
and even if you manage to actually get a person sincerely educated about all of this…
they may yet still walk away. because they can.
because all of this is so fucking hard. all of the fucking time
- I always support ppl doing self care. it is important. ↩