Digging to Roam

How to Be Less of a Jerk When Called Racist

30 September 2016

[Content warning: Discussions of racism, sexism and rape]

Hey, white folks, stop getting offended when someone calls you racist. Instead, try this: shut up, listen and learn. Welcome to the crash course that is here to teach you how to be less of a jerk when you’re called racist.

Impact is different than intent. When someone is calling you out on a prejudicial and problematic comment, it’s because your impact is harmful — no matter what you intended. When it comes to racism, sexism, ableism or any other kind of problematic discourse or behavior, it is time to stop reacting defensively when accused of an “ism.”

Lesson 1: Racism

How White Folks Respond to Accusations of Racism

White people get really touchy when called out for racism, even when another white person does the calling out. Some of us get angry and oh-so-offended.

Some white people will respond by providing a list of their qualifications that “proves” their lack of racism. Common phrases include: “I have lots of [insert non-white ethnicity here] friends.” “I love Beyoncé.” “I am aware of those issues and I am not racist.” “I donated time and money to #BlackLivesMatter.” “I voted for Obama.” “I can’t believe you would call me racist.” “This issue isn’t about race.” “There someone goes playing the race card.” “I didn’t mean it like that.”

Other white people will try to flip the script and accuse people of color of racism against whites. Some white people will cry publicly and turn the attention to their own feelings, diverting attention from where it should be.

Read entire article on Wear Your Voice Mag

Kristance Harlow

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