I had a really honest conversation with a white friend yesterday about racism. At a certain point, I couldn’t stop myself from crying as I explained to her some of the terms that address more systematic issues. I think the most revolutionary moment was when I explained that while we discuss systematic issues, its happen to real individuals.
Also, that racism isn’t just an idea or thought that I can only think about when I want to, it is a part of my life, it confronts you in places and spaces you thought would be safe, you can’t run from it.
I don’t usually have that much of an outpouring of emotion when I talk about the issue, I think because of the constant fear of showing weakness.
I’m tired of hipster racism and hipster feigned interest in social justice that results in nothing, it’s just another cause for white kids who feel alienated from their own cultural tradition and heritage in the post-modern society they created, to latch onto and appropriate in order to find their lost sense of personal identity and self worth.
It’s just another form of exotification, voyeurism- that leaves the oppressed feeling cheapened, dirty and the privileged with warm falsely obtained altruistic fuzzies.
Trying to explain my frustration with racism to my friend, then the second level of frustration with hipster racism/social justice was complicated, but she cared and she listened because she’s my friend. She even suggested that I talk about it, do a seminar or discussion about it one night with some of our larger social group, and I told her I was tired of being a dancing monkey for the white people, and that that is what it feels like, so much of the time.
Just because I’m okay and I function simply because I don’t know how to live any other life other than one that has to confront the issue, doesn’t make all of it okay.