This cute and funny video that sparked this encounter and deserves some love is linked here:
“I’m not being racist, it’s just a joke” and other bullshit happens all day every day. But some days I encounter it, and even though I know that I won’t change any minds, I decide to start a fight anyway. I’d also like to think that people fighting racists makes POCs feel safer, but the world is a mess, and I would never expect that.
(Also to be clear, I’m not looking for any thank-yous, and I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m just calling out bullshit when I see it.)
Today was one such occasion. I was on tiktok enjoying a video making fun of white people’s flavorless food. And I notice that almost every single comment is a white person talking about how they are the exception, talking about how big their
di– spice collection is, et cetera and so forth.
Which is standard. It’s the seasoning variant of “not all white people”, but it isn’t super egregious. Just dumb.
But one of them decided to add that maybe they were black and didn’t know it…
There are many things wrong with this comment, but in the white man’s world, I figure well-meaning allies maybe didn’t know. And so I, in the gentlest way I could muster, so as to not trigger the patented white fragility, thought I’d let them know that it isn’t something that should be said.
The conversation devolved very quickly, and it went like this:
Original Commenter: I dont get it I’m white and I have 3 shelves of seasoning…. maybe… I’m black and dont know it 😳😅😅😅😅😅
Me (being overly accommodating on purpose): I know you didn’t mean it to come out badly, but saying things like “maybe I’m black & I didn’t know it” is in the not-cool category of black allyship
Random Other White Lady (I reported this comment): ok sensitive sally…😏😏😏😂😂😂 it’s not that serious
Me: 🙄 I’d rather be considered sensitive by rude people than insensitive to an entire group of people.
ROWL: it’s not being insensitive..if thats the case..then isn’t this video insensitive?? hmm double standard much? not that serious
Me (in 4 parts due to charact restrictions): because existing in a world with institutional racism as a black person is an existence that black people can’t “not know” about, saying things likes “maybe I’m black and I don’t know it” is insensitive. on account of the racism. so me saying “hey maybe don’t do that” is me being a good person. you, however, telling me that being polite is sensitive, is being rude at a minimum, and racist at a maximum. you don’t want to continue this conversation, because you’re making yourself look like a complete asshole.
ROWL (“bless your heart” frequently means fuck you): 😂😂😂😂😂ummm whattt??? not racist at all. bless your heart🥰
Me (returning the sarcastic heartsy emoji): keep proving me right. 🥰
OC: Really? uh but it’s ok to joke about white people. But I make a joke back I’m racist. grow up karen . your apart of the problem .
Me: apparently I gave you too much credit in assuming it was an accident. yes, it is ok to make fun of the oppressor and not the oppressed.
OC (I reported this comment): oh for fucks sake it’s a cute video. jeezus… there is always one. Seriously shut up and go season some food. Racism has nothing to do w video
Me: you’re right. the racism is your attitude, not anything about the video. you wouldn’t be so hostile about this if you weren’t a little racist.
OC (I reported this comment): I hate people like you. Throwin the race card. over a cute video over seasoning. you are the problem
Me: you aren’t proving me wrong, you’re just continuing to look like a bully & a racist. you really had to use the term “race card”? keep proving me right
OC: go drink some wine and play w your cats and chill out.
*I copied the conversation verbatim with the exception of combining my 4-part comment. Please excuse the typos, grammatical errors, and punctuation issues.
So, that went as well as I expected it to. Their white privilege met my unending rage at racism, and it played out the way it played out. I might go into detail on all the specifics of their racist bullshit, if you guys want me to and/or I find the spoons to lay it all out. In the meantime, please go listen to Black voices on the subject because their platforms are way more important than mine on this topic.
Please share your experiences fighting racism if you desire. I like remembering that the world isn’t 100% trash.