Rebecca, it's a breath of fresh air to read this piece of yours as well as others. I gotta tell ya, I've spent a lot of energy today going back and forth with two white guys on Quora who kept insisting I was "making everything about race" when the piece I was responding to was absolutely about race from the very first sentence.
White men are particularly inclined when a woman (white or black) responds to their clearly racist arguments (this story isn't about race--HA. It was a story about a black kid who grew his hair long to be cut for black girls being treated for cancer who went bald from the treatment, but found it difficult to find black (as in race) hair donated to the services that provide it.
How is that not about race? SMH so hard I need a neck brace.
Like everyone else I've read here so far, I am so sorry you have to deal with this sh*t. And then to have the very same folks who give you shh*t about race asking you why you're not coming back.
I don't underestand how in the world they could possibly NOT get it. But then I guess that's why they are always making clueless remarks they don't understand are racist at core.
I see it everywhere. But, ok, I have to admit I had to go thru a very dark night of the soul when I was very heatedly challenged by a Native American female leader on the inherently racist words that I said.
Of course the tears flowed. But I did get the word on "white tears" and so I fought my inclination to defend myself and cite all my anti-racist bona fides.
She was right. And I fought back my first several reactions (didn't even type them) until I finally accepted the truth of what she said. I am not a by nature a racist, but the words I spoke/wrote originated in ideas born of racist culture.
From that day on I made it my job to listen, truly listen, to uncomfortable words and thoughts aimed at me by black people & POC before I said anything.
Ok, these words (generic words) are seen as racist. So, what do I need to understand in order to understand why they are seen as racist? And what is absent from my own experience and education that I couldn't see that originally?
Getting there hurt like hell. But truly it's time for white people to accept getting hurt like hell from the criticism aimed at them.
It's our turn. (And my no means do I think I've worked all of it out yet. It's a lifelong project.)
You go gurrlll!!!