22nd February 2014 — Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race – Reni Eddo-Lodge – ‘Bemoaning Taylor Swift’s intersectional feminism is like criticising Reni Eddo-Lodge for not writing enough catchy pop hooks.’ – Nick Pettigrew
This emotional disconnect is the conclusion of living a life oblivious to the fact that their skin colour is norm and all others deviate from it. At best, white people have been taught not to mention that people of colour are ‘different’ in case it offends us. They truly believe that the experiences of their life as a result of their skin colour can and should be universalised. I just can’t engage with the bewilderment and the defensiveness as they try to grapple with the fact that not everyone experiences the world in the way that they do. They’ve never had to think about what it means, in power terms, to be white- so any time they’re vaguely reminded of this fact; they interpret it as an affront. The journey towards understanding structural racism still requires people of colour to prioritise white feelings. Their eyes glaze over in boredom or widen in indignation. Their mouths start twitching as they get defensive. Their throats open up as they try to interrupt, itching to talk over you but not really listen, because they need to let you know that you’ve got it wrong.
Even if they can hear you, they’re not really listening. It’s like something happens to the words as they leave my mouth and reach their ears. The words hit a barrier of denial and they don’t get any further.