'Why are my Black friends so POLITICAL?'
Are you a non-Black person that wants to ask, 'Why do Black people like to talk about race so much?'.
Never fear, [insert generic name].
Channeling the magical powers that some people think seasoned food and oppression gives, here's an answer.
"Not a damn soul wants to talk about race. We just want to live." Quote me on that.
1. We know that on some level you enjoy Black pain.
If you have spent company with the multitude of Bernie voters that popped up after the election but not on the ballot, you might be able to recognise this look I'm about to describe. You think you're having a normal conversation, when all of a sudden, this person who you mistakenly thought saw you as a human being goes, 'Oh my God, have you seen THIS?' Then shows you some horrific shit that reminds you that you and you skinfolk still ain't free, while avidly watching and waiting for your response.
First of all, what are you looking for in my face? Is the end of systematic racist laws found in my horrified eyes? Nope, because the look I get is one of three things: a vague feeling of sadness because you know it's unfair, a brief look of relief that it's not you, and others smile at the obvious discomfort.
Sometimes it's not even that direct or overt. Sometimes it’s the glee that you feel because that uppitty negress got ‘put in her place’. It's a bizarre ‘ha ha, well that showed her’ that you would never admit out loud to thinking but that you show in a glint in your eyes.
2. Why do you need a 12 point presentation on why someone should have basic human rights?
I hate when people ask me for personal experiences about racism as a way to ‘help them understand.’ I don’t understand why my past trauma with being dehumanised needs to be revisited so that someone can sit there and pick at various inconsequential details and then tell me that maybe what I experienced wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.
3. If you really hate racism, you should call it out when you see it.
Saying you’re not racist in a world that is racist at all times, isn’t really saying much. You have to be actively anti-racist as much as you can. If you are a non-black person and you feel like that is a lot of work, then you’re right. We have to undo over half a millennia of systematic racism, so yes it will be hard. Which cup will your drop be in? The one on the side of the oppressor or the oppressed?
Black people don't like to talk about the dehumanisation we face daily at the hands of white supremacy. We do it, in order to mobilise against oppression, and that is the only reason we do it. The way that it is talked about has shifted within the community itself as Black awareness to the depth and breath of white gaze and how it manifests itself is constantly shifting as well.