what did your great grandma do

PSA for white people

Dear White People,

Over the holidays as you’re compelled to spend time with toxic relatives whose racist sensibilities go against everything you stand for, remember that there are people who actually live and experience that racism as their everyday reality.

Do not come back from this time away with stories of how horrible your time with family was, with specific examples of exactly all the racist/Islamophobic/anti-black/anti-Semitic things your uncle, grandma, sister-in-law, or brother said. Especially if you did nothing to call them out on their racism. Now, more than ever, it is essential that white people step up and challenge the racism in their midst.

As a PoC, these stories don’t make me think, “Oh, what a great ally! They’re offended by racism!” (Since they rarely ever include the said ally actually taking on their racist relatives.) Quite on the contrary, it actually makes me realize that you’re someone who has never faced racism in their life because you’re completely divorced from the context of it and don’t realize that seeing specific racist comments, even if they’re not directed at me, are a stark reminder of the kinds of things ignorant assholes think about people of color. Sometimes, they’re actually things I hadn’t even realized people thought about me/people like me. So, um, thanks?

I make an effort to stay away from these people and ignore their racism, so do not bring their specific racist comments to my doorstep, in a space I had previously considered safe.

I also really don’t want to hear about what your Christian relatives think about Muslims.

Thanks.