10 Racist Things White People Do, Usually Right At The Moment They Try Not To Be Racist

10 Racist Things White People Do, Usually Right At The Moment They Try Not To Be Racist

Even when you think you're not racist, you really are.
313
views

There are three general types of racism. Overt, covert and institutionalized. I'm sure most people would swear on their "mama-nem" grave that they aren't "racist," but in saying this, let's be clear, they are speaking solely on overt racism. They'd never actually say the n-word out loud to a Black persons face *eye roll* and may even make a conscious decision not to discount someone from a job because they "sound Black" on the phone.

Great! *passes out cookies* But they are ignoring the other two types of racism - microaggressions - and I'm sure also have a tendency to not speak up in racist situations.

Here are 10 unconsciously harmful things that white people do every day.

1. Get uncomfortable in situations that aren't harmful to them.

Here's the thing. When a POC is dishing on an experience where they have felt belittled because of their race, they are not blaming anyone and they are not blaming you. They are speaking on their experience and venting. Your job as a friend is to either be a listening ear or to not be there at all. The one thing you don't need to do is get defensive because all that does is reinforce to that POC that their feelings don't matter and that their traumatic experiences aren't worth mentioning.

2. Hesitate to say something.

As a Black person I can tell you that one shared experience that we have all had is wanting to speak up and put someone in their place, but holding our tongue so not to come off like the "angry Black woman," or the "big, scary Black man." Well, like I always say, "see something, say something." That's your cue to speak up.

3. "Blacken" themselves in the presence of Black people.

Please, for the love of God, just be yourself. There is no need to try and make yourself look cool, by playing rap songs or using AAVE. Save the, "girl, that dress is on fleek" for never. We know what you're doing and you're making us very uncomfortable.

4. Use words like "bright" and "articulate" in describing a POC.

You may think you're complimenting someone, but the truth is, these words have come to have meanings a bit different from what may be listed in the dictionary. When you're telling a POC that they are very "articulate," what you are in fact saying is, "Wow. I assumed that you spoke with a 4th grade vocabulary, but you're actually able to hold a conversation with me and I am taken back by this." And when you use the term, "bright," you are expressing again that you generally feel that POC are not generally as educated or sophisticated as you.

5. Saying, "I don't see color," or, "we're all the same."

You think you're being inclusive but what you're really doing is admitting that in order for you to even try to treat people who aren't white with inclusivity and respect, you have to pretend that they are white too. The truth is, we are all different and there is nothing wrong with that. We look different, we speak differently, we have different cultures and we see the world through different lenses. You need to understand that.

6. Compare the oppression POC have faced with some hardship in your life.

One of the most moronic things you can say is that you hate your job because they "treat you like a slave." Last time I checked, you weren't working for free while getting whipped and having limbs cut off. If you don't like your job, you're free to leave at any moment. No one is going to chase after you and hunt you down for a reward. You won't be ripped away from your spouse or children for trying to leave.

Not a single thing we face today holds a candle to the trauma of slavery. So, stop it.

You also don't face modern-day oppression. Institutions were never built with a point to exclude you. No one refuses to hire or do business with you based on racial stereotypes, your skin color or perceived intellectual capabilities. If anything, being white means you don't have to face these things.

7. Ask/expect POC to explain to you why things are racist.

POC are not walking encyclopedias. We aren't all professors on history or sociology. And to be very honest, asking us to constantly explain ourselves, our feelings and our experiences with race is extremely rude. Most, if not all, of your questions can be answered with a bit of research.

8. Thinking you have a place at the cookout.

Often times, Black people like to joke about which white people would be "invited to the cookout." Just for clarification, "the cookout" is a metaphor for Black safe spaces. When a Black person tells you you're invited to the cookout, what they are actually saying is that they feel comfortable around you. The thing is, that comfort is bound to diminish at some point when you do something that crosses the line, and trust me, you will do something that crosses the line.

9. Makes jokes about race at the expense of POC.

Even most professional comedians know when something shouldn't be touched, so there is no reason for you to think that you should go there.

10. Think they aren't racist because they don't intentionally do overtly racist things.

The truth is, you're always going to be racist. Whether you realize it or not, you are complicit in racist institutions every day and benefit tremendously from them.


I'd imagine that if you asked most people if they were racist, they'd say, "no." But I'm positive that most, if not all, of those same people really have no idea how the Black people in their lives truly feel about them. And I'd bet my life savings that they are completely oblivious to the many microaggressions they put out into the universe on a daily basis. There are numerous things white people do, mostly unconsciously, that perpetuate racism.

Feel free to add suggestions in the comment section.

Cover Image Credit: Caleb George

Popular Right Now

12 Things Only Low-Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
22974
views

Sometimes low-maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low-maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low-maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a T-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes? We aren't here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low-maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn't dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You're always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don't care what we do," you really don't care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald's dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I'm just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn't a fashion statement, it's actually just your hairstyle

We aren't about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything… right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip-flops or Converse?

9. Shopping isn't exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my T-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don't want your money, I just want to know you thought of me.

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low-maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

You Can Tell The Difference Between Momentary Happiness And Deeper Happiness

"At the end of your life, go out with a bruised-up, worn out heart that gave too much and loved too strongly and felt too fiercely. Go out with the certainty that you gave it everything you had and didn't hold anything back". - Heidi Priebe

84
views

First level happiness: Momentary

Momentary happiness is waking up early and watching the sunrise. It's the first sip of coffee in the morning. It's a big breakfast before a long day of doing what I love.

Momentary happiness is stepping into the restaurant I love and being surrounded by the people who have watched me grow up these past three years. It's understanding that this thing is about family just as much as it is business. It's falling in love with every early morning and every late night. It's learning that hard work isn't hard if you love what you're doing.

Momentary happiness is hitting a new personal record at the gym. It's that smile plastered across my face every time I enter a team huddle. It's down on one knee, all eyes on me. It's feeling the trust my team has in me. It's the feeling of joy when my number gets called. It's the burning in my lungs because I know that I gave it my everything. It's not being able to move without wincing the next day because the game asked for my hustle and I gave it my heart.

Momentary happiness is the instant you see someone you love and can't help but smile. It's the tight hug between you and someone that means the world to you. It's the weight off your shoulders when you finally express your true feelings. It's holding your breath as you wait for a response. Monetary happiness is being scared but doing it anyway.

Momentary happiness is coming home at night and having your dog jump on you the moment you open the door. It's your parents smiling, knowing you got home safe.

Momentary happiness is driving without a destination and simply reflecting on life. It's taking a step back and allowing myself to be aware of my breathing and existence. It's allowing myself to find pleasure in the little things.

Momentary happiness is getting accepted into college. It's getting that job. It's making the Dean's list. It's acing the test you study so hard for. It's watching your hard work pay off. It's finding your people. It's all the things that make you proud of yourself and happy to be alive.

Momentary happiness was buying my dream car at age 17 without my parents help.

A Deeper Happiness:

A deeper happiness is finding beauty in vulnerability. Not holding back my feelings and telling people how magnificent they are because people don't get told that enough. A deeper happiness is allowing me to feel everything deeply and without explanation. It's finding beauty in the madness and trusting the process.

Life's about getting lost in passion and dedicating myself to the things that matter most. It's wanting success as bad as I want to breathe. It's about taking that jump and seeing if I can land it, and if I don't, it's about being crazy enough to give it one more try. Life's about risking it all even if the outcome is uncertain. A deeper happiness is seeing myself grow into the person I've always wanted to become. Deeper happiness is being able to keep my promises to myself and others.

Life is about being empathetic. Finding out someone's story and attempting to understand their actions. It's about not taking things personally and allowing for second chances, even thirds. It's understanding that not every action needs a reaction. A greater happiness is caring for those around me just as much, if not more, than myself.

Life is embracing hardships and disappointments. Understanding that knowledge comes from experience and disappointments are all apart of the journey. A deeper happiness is understanding that this to shall pass. It's being able to laugh and smile even though things didn't go my way because everything that is meant to be will be. It's understanding that I will be stronger because of my defeats.

A deeper happiness is putting myself in hard situations, situations I know will hurt me. It's helping people get through their hard times. A deeper happiness is being the reason someone smiled. It's being the shoulder to cry on. It's wearing my heart on my sleeve because I would rather feel everything than nothing at all.

A deeper happiness is giving everything I have and being a better person than I was yesterday. Making my friends and family proud but myself prouder. A deeper happiness is leaving my mark on the world. It's about leaving a person, situation, and world better than I found it.

A beautiful, fulfilling life is one that money can't buy.

Related Content

Facebook Comments