April 21, 2017… Day 92
Ijeoma Oluo’s piece on Rachel Dolezal reminded me of several things about that racism workshop I went to last month. There’s a certain physics to white behavior and white people re-centering things on whiteness even as they struggle to be anti-racist. Here’s one exchange from that workshop:
White woman attendee #1: “White people, the oppressors, are burdened by this racist system too. None of us are free while this inequality persists.” (etc.)
Latina woman facilitator: “I hear what you’re saying, and thanks for sharing that. But at the same time, I really didn’t worry about that when there were eleven of us living in two rooms and we had a three-week gap between jobs.”
White woman attendee #2: (ignores how succinctly and calmly Latina facilitator just handled WWA#1). “I think there’s a real problem with how we center whiteness. You’re taking up all the air in the room with your whiteness–” (goes on like 8 rambling sentences more about whiteness taking up all the air in the room, essentially taking up all the air in the room).