Sorry white people, but trying too hard not to be racist is low-key kind of racist
Before you yell, let me explain
by Katie Way
Don't get me wrong: it's great that white people care about racism now. That's nice for them, and it's totally sick to hear white guys tell me that they're into brown girls too when they try to get into my pants.
And even though ending racism can seem like an impossible dream in a world where Nazis are a thing again and everyone expects me to care about anything related to Bella Thorne, at least diversity is a stated goal now. Progress!
But sometimes, when white people try to be allies, the pendulum swings back into the wrong direction and shit gets straight up offensive. The Reductress headline "‘I Don’t See Color,’ Says White Guy Who Exclusively Dates Asian Women" is a textbook example of this phenomenon.
This is another one. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
Or this video?
Lmao I've never actually heard Bella Hadid talk before and I'm screaming does she actually talk like this??? pic.twitter.com/ew30ugP6cJ
— The Gay Burn Book (@SouthernHomo) October 4, 2017
Adopting black slang when trying to appeal to a black audience is, unfortunately, kinda racist and definitely appropriative, even if you're doing it because you think it's cool or even (yikes) trying to make someone else feel more comfortable.
Then there are white women who appreciate yoga a little bit too much, the kind who devote entire Instagram feeds to their "practice" and flood the #chakra hashtag. Or white students who take a spring break trip to Thailand and come back to school two weeks later rocking elephant pants and a big ol' Buddha tattoo, because Eastern religion is so much more chill.
But we kind of know that stuff is bad now, right? Because white people are into busting racism now, and they're ready to point it out anywhere they see it, especially online, even when the people of color who they're supposedly defending don't really see… anything.
my fave part of Broad City so far is when Abbi said to Ilana "you know sometimes you're so anti-racist you're kind of really racist"
— Emma Beale (@bealerrr) April 26, 2016
When white people bend over backwards to "expose" Riverdale star Lili Reinhart for loving blackface when she really just wanted to dress up like a demon or get mad that Lena Dunham's baby on Girls wasn't actually Pakistani even though he was on air for literally 30 seconds and is also a fucking baby, it's not "woke." It's stupid, and you look stupid doing it.
If you have to cite your sources in a bibliography to explain why a Selena Gomez music video is damaging to New Zealand's indigenous population even though you didn't know it wasn't a part of Australia until like two months ago, you need to calm down.
Because here's the thing: people are kind of fucking stupid, and racism is particularly fucking stupid. And if white people over-saturate the racism market, nobody's going to care when an actual person of color asks not to be caricatured for a Halloween costume or, you know, not to get shot at by cops.
why does every white girl who studies abroad take pictures with children of color as if they’re props
— tessa (@twegss) September 28, 2017
Repeat after me, my sweet white ally: less is more! Amplify the actual concerns of people of color instead of getting mad about something irrelevant online for so your non-white friends know you're "one of the good ones."
And while we're at it, we can actually stop using "woke." Understanding that people of color experience racism every single day isn't a personality trait, it's common fucking sense. And if you actually give a shit about people of color, you'll be cool with that.