Georgia NeSmith
2 min readFeb 17, 2022


Here's an alternative perspective from a white point of view...but not what that phrase might suggest to most people.

I say this because I know it's true. And also because very few white people will listen to a black person saying these things. Many if not most probably won't listen either because they are all caught up in self-defense mode that ensures that they close their ears and open their mouths to scream "Not all whites!"

Yes. All. Whites.

Playing the Denial card: Yes. All. Whites.


When we argue “not all whites,” we say: “I can’t hear your pain.”

We say, “the pain I feel when you include me in your description of white people is more important to me than the pain you feel when experiencing racism daily. (And besides…it can’t really be all that bad, can it? I mean, for realz…/s).

Even if/when we acknowledge our privilege, that privilege doesn’t go away. We still own it. Saying “not all whites” when the subject is someone else’s pain and grief *prioritizes our pain over theirs,* changing the subject to us.

Centering OUR experiences, OUR identities.

We demand the opportunity to explain why what we said or did that precipitated the person’s pain is not racist, because *our feelings about what we see as a false accusation must come first.*

We are focused on our own feelings, not how something we said or did could fit into the larger context of their lived experiences.

In the process, we minimize the impact of racist institutional power.


The self defense mode most white people (including white liberals and many white progressives) when they get criticized -- even when it's not aimed at them personally -- is the very means by which the racial divide is strengthened and reproduced ad nausaem.

It's our turn to STFU and LISTEN.




Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.