I Wanted To Talk About The Racism In Charlottesville, But I'm Tired Of Being Ignored By White People

Photo: courtesy of the author
People Of Color Are Sick Of White People Ignoring Hatred And Racism In America

This weekend, I was out to lunch with two friends (who are both white). I brought up the horrific events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia, curious to hear their opinions on the crazy white people shrouding our country in fear and shame.

The response started off as promising: “It makes me so angry...” one of them started.

Great! Yes! So am I! As an American, I’m angry that we have an entire population of citizens full of real, tangible hatred for other people simply rooted in the color of their skin or place of worship. As a half black, half white woman, I'm angry that these privileged people feel like they have the right to band together to promote hate as they simultaneously condemn marginalized communities for coming together to fight for basic rights and safety.

“Because they’re causing problems for everyone,” she continued. “And it’s not all white people.”

Ah, yes. There it is. The 'not all' line. The line that absolves people of any blame because they’re not the ones carrying torches through the streets and shouting (or typing) racist remarks.

Perhaps feeling the heat from my blood that was quickly coming to a boiling point, my other friend changed the subject. I let it go because we were in a public place, but quite frankly, that response bothered me more because it’s a perfect representation of what happens every single day in white America: willful ignorance and denial.


RELATED: An Open Letter To My White Friends — What I WISH You Knew About Charlottesville


I’m not sure what I expected them to say, but I do know their answers filled me with a rage I’ve begun to experience far too often when discussing race relations in the United States. A rage that I wanted to write about in an attempt to wake white people up and open their eyes to why this is just. not. okay.

But then I realized there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said, and the people who need to hear it most are the same people who aren’t going to read it.

There are countless think pieces written by people of color who actively face subtle prejudices and outright hatred every single day. You’ve probably seen them on Facebook and either scrolled past them because it “doesn’t apply” to you or, if you’re particularly evil, left comments about how their opinions are wrong and their feelings invalid because it’s “not all white people.”

But here’s the thing: it is all white people — it just is. Unfortunately, white people are the ones who will make the difference. White people have the loudest voices in this country and your silence is so unbelievably deafening.

This absolutely does not mean you should speak for marginalized groups. White people have done enough of that. But the sad truth is we can’t do this without you and if you refuse to accept that responsibility… aren’t you just as bad as the racist trash parading through the streets?

RELATED: A Charlottesville Man Beaten By White Supremacists Starts A GoFundMe And Shares The Horrific Story & Video Of The Attack

To be honest, I don't know what I wish my friends would've said instead. I just know it wasn't that. There is too much of that already. Maybe I wish they would've asked what they could do as individuals to help, or maybe I wish they would've asked how I felt about the situation. 

What I do know is I'm tired of explaining basic human rights just to have it fall on deaf ears, and it's time for ALL white people to step up to the plate. This isn't an African American problem. It's not a Jewish problem, and it's not a Muslim problem. It's a white person problem — now deal with it.