i am very depressed and tired about the power white people have to repeatedly make you life hell if you are a black person. they own most properties and so their decision to rent to you depends on if they have taken the giant leap of getting past their own racism and classism.
if you date them, as a black woman, you are often an object, idealized or not, and generally disposable. you’re never anyone’s ideal, not even other black people’s ideal. we have a culture that says love is for your ‘soulmate’, that glorifies finding a perfect lover and that perfect lover is never black. when you have romantic/sexual relationships with white people, no matter how radical or ‘left-leaning’ their politics, they feel like they deserve a bunch of credit for being with you. if they abuse and mistreat you emotionally and/or physically (oh, and they will abuse you emotionally. the ontological violence, the defensive process of acknowledging and unpacking their whiteness is usually too much for them to remain responsible and responsive to another human being, because it is the process of understanding that black people exist as individuals in ways far more diverse than any of our cultural narratives allow, and also that the oppression they face is far more complex than the simplistic answers our culture presents, and the tension between this process and your humanity as a black person is usually too much for them to act empathetic or in the end even civil…) they will expect to get a pass because hey! at least they tried it with a black person, which is more than most people will do.
if you are a part of any artistic milieu, you will be tokenized, and the white artists, writers, musicians, etc will respond with all kinds of defensive hysteria if you mention the erasure people of color face in that scene. oh, the best you can hope for is white guilt, someone trotting out their weak class analysis as an excuse as to why they aren’t racist or how white privilege & racism is very very sad but what can they do? (continue to wallow in their privilege. or….they could actively recruit and engage with black people. OHHH but that wouldn’t be ‘fair’, you know? because despite the incredibly oppressive and unjust advantages white privilege give white writers & artists, it would just be too much for them to facilitate the engagement and advancement of more than two POC in their scene. let alone black POC. oh and as a reminder, your black buddies/ex-lover/professor don’t count. if class privilege is what makes you comfortable with black people then you are still a fucking racist.)
most of the time, if you talk about the way in which racism affects your life, white people either act as if you are telling them some kind of much-too-personal information that they would rather not hear, or make a ‘listening face’ as tight as the wall their white privilege represents while you speak, then offer either their credentials as an ‘ally’ or a bunch of anecdotal nonsense that you are supposed to take as a sincere sign they ‘heard’ you or that they ‘get it’. after this they usually try to change the subject (or soon you hope they will b/c if not they’ll spend an hour sucking you into a narrative about them, what they ‘know’ about black people, and then some kind of ‘disadvantage’ or vulnerability they have that they think approximates the ontological violence that is the centering of whiteness.or maybe they’ll spend as long as you’ll let them trying to convince you that anti-blackness is this hallucination and you should focus on something else.anything to center whiteness, anything to regain narrative control against the voice of the Other.). empathy and radical vulnerability and engagement are usually never where this confrontation (and even mentioning race to white people is a ‘confrontation’, is to ‘antagonize’ them, because of how thorough the erasure of black subjectivity is.) goes.
there are white people who this applies to who follow my tumblr; i sometimes wonder if they ever think about this and get together any sort of response besides white guilt or resentment or fearful confused (but ‘supportive’) silence. to be anti-kyriarchal, to be anti-whiteness is an active process. it requires complete lived engagement with POC, with black people in particular (because of the unique oppression members of the african diaspora face; anti-blackness is at the root of our culture.), and for white people to use their privilege to create more space and designate more resources for black people. it is more than just writing papers and dating/fucking black people, having black friends, doing ‘organizing’ with black people. it is a commitment to the abolishment of whiteness and its attendant privileges, whatever it ‘costs’ the white person.