1. “I don’t see race. I am colorblind.”
Okay, seriously how did this bullshit start? Why does it take your refusal to see someone as the color that they are, for you to treat them as a human being? Look, I pretty much spent the last two years of my life talking about the academic social construction of race and the subsequent real consequences so don’t go there. Most times, the ignorance is being set in place so as to erase the history of racism which makes society feel less accountable to the present. But on a personal level, how can you look at me – in all the beauty that is my Blackness, and tell me you don’t see it? Apply to everyone that you know. So yes, stop telling lies. You see “race.”
2.“White privilege doesn’t exist.”
Apparently it’s just a massive coincidence that White people have most, if not all, the political, social, and economic power in the world. Except it’s not. Okay, seriously open your eyes and look at the world around you. Then open your ears and listen to me: White privilege does not mean that if you’re White you get cookies every day and will be guaranteed a sports car. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t be poor! But what it does mean is that by virtue of modern history, your ability to attain political, social, and economic power will be greater based on Eurocentric ideals which cost many populations around the world a total destruction of their authentic culture and humanity.
3. “I am not racist, I have a [insert POC] friend/boyfriend/girlfriend.”
You know who else had lots of POC friends? Slave masters. In fact, sometimes the slave masters were so damn friendly, they would have sex (and many times also rape) their slaves! So please, go and sit in the corner with that nonsense. Look, I know it may be hard to call yourself such an ugly word but the way racism works is such that if you live under the system, you are going to be complicit in the system. It’s a life struggle to not be racist. We’re all trying here. Do your part by first admitting it.
4. “Why is it okay that Black people can say the N-word, Nigger, and I can’t?”
LOL. My favorite subject ever…not. Look, I don’t go around slashing people’s mouths whenever they utter that word. There are Black people who think that no one should say that word, there are Black people who don’t care, there are Black people who think only Black people should say the word, there are Black people with a thousand different opinions about it. All I know is if you are not Black and you say that word around me and I don’t play like that with you, then we are about to have a serious problem. And I am not talking about the amount of side-eyes and shade-throwing that will ensue once those words have left your mouth. I don’t own the “N word,” I sure as hell am very particular about how and when I use it, and I am not so naïve as to believe people who aren’t Black might use that word all the time. But maybe you should stop worrying about whether you can use “Nigger,” and go freshen up on some history lessons about slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, etc.
5. “Everyone is naturally racist.”
Can you prove it? Can you? Probably not. Moreover, I am extremely exhausted of explaining to people that the formula for racism = power + prejudice. And therefore, while POCs may have prejudice, they CANNOT inflict racism towards White people. But I will continue as long as there are people who simply cannot understand this simple formula. Look, we are born into a terrifying world that teaches us awful, awful things but that doesn’t mean that these things are “natural.” Until I have seen the indisputable socio-scientific evidence of this so-called “natural-born” racism just know that this shit ain’t natural; it is taught. Taught from birth, but taught nonetheless.
6. “This case about [insert name of young Black man who was gunned down] has nothing to do with race.”
Chances are, when something has to do with non-White persons (because Whiteness has long been considered raceless), there is an element of race that is involved. I cannot even have someone move away from me on the L without me considering the aspect of race. While it may come as a surprise to White people the amount of times POCs think about race, it is actually very dangerous for many POCs to not consider their race as they go about their lives every damn day. Just because race isn’t the most salient thing in your life, or you don’t experience it in a way other people do, it does not mean that for the subjects in question, race is a non-factor; it usually is.
7. [A Black person died and it’s all over the media] “…But what about Black on Black crime?”
Okay, here’s a teeny, little fact people forget to remember: Communities in the United States especially are divided by race. So while White people get to go scot-free talking about Black on Black crime and what not, why not pluck out the needle in your own eye first? White people commit crimes against other White people. Moreover, let’s not pretend here for a second that “White flight” to the suburbs and the economic disenfranchisement of particularly Black and Brown people did not play a role in the economic disparity. Moreover, stop presenting crimes committed by the poor as a moral issue. LOADS of poor people do not commit crimes. In fact, tell me what kinds of crimes poor people commit that White collar criminals do not, and yet do not face the same kinds of judgments? What a silly society we live in that blames the poor and not the corporate-welfare receiving bourgeoisie for the way things are.