Why White Privileged Men Brand Angry Anti-Racist Women “Hysterical”

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Why White Privileged Men Brand Angry Anti-Racist Women “Hysterical”

If you would like to argue with white supremacists that absolutely hate to be called racist when they are being racist, then the cesspool that is Twitter is the place to be.

In some respects, Twitter is a wonderful place — I go there for the writing community and to talk to fellow nerds about books and stories — but like most social media sites, there’s always a dark corner where racists, homophobes, and misogynists gather to troll everybody else.

I had the misfortune of stumbling across one of these corners and after spending a day replying to racist white men (that were tired of being called racist white men), I felt exhausted, saddened yet not surprised by people who are genuinely convinced there is a war on white people — and ethnic minorities are the enemy.

My tweet was a response to a Jeremy Vine On 5 tweet which said that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown “blasted” Laurence Fox after he shared his views on racism.

And of course, lots of white people responded to this, strongly disagreeing with me and telling me how awful I was because apparently, you are satan if you are a woman that likes to tell it like it is.

We live in a society that listens to men, even if what they’re saying is obviously false — but we call women hysterical b***hes for calling out bad behavior.

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A racist's greatest weapon is to not listen to facts.

It is not a Black person’s job to tell you how to be anti-racist.

After a day of trying to ignore these trolls yet feeling outraged by their evil, ignorant comments, I felt worn out and forlorn, thinking that if I’m tired and overwhelmed after one day of educating racists, how must the Black community feel?

It is not a Black person’s job to tell you how to be anti-racist. But when they do try to explain, a lot of white people either don’t listen or simply do not get it.

I am a white woman. I will never understand. That doesn’t stop me from listening to Black voices, educating myself, and trying to understand by first of all recognizing that I have the privilege.

What exactly is white privilege?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the word “privilege” — a lot of racist white dudes think they need to be in a mansion sipping wine worth thousands and placed on a golden throne above everyone else in order to be privileged, and even though I have tried to explain what white privilege actually means in the context of race and equal rights, privileged men who don’t want to accept that they have privilege will still deny the facts — to suit their own racist beliefs.

“[White privilege is] having greater access to power and resources than people of color [in the same situation] do.” — Francis E Kendall, Understanding White Privilege

One man replied to my tweet saying that there were white people who were not privileged in the UK because they were homeless and in poverty, because there were no jobs — and guess who took them all?

This is another misconception used by racists and continues to be used when refuted — that minorities are responsible for the misfortunes of working-class white people and have stolen all the jobs. This is a foul lie used by the government because for centuries Black people and other marginalized groups have always been gaslighted and used as scapegoats.

No, people from ethnic minorities are not responsible for homelessness, food banks, money debt, or any other economic or social disaster. That’s your government, who have recently scrapped free school meals for children yet still continue to throw thousands into a track and trace system that has miserably failed, and claim expenses on their food and drink whilst also receive regular pay rises. Work that one out.

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“White privilege is not the assumption that everything a white person has accomplished is unearned; most white people who have reached a high level of success worked extremely hard to get there. Instead, white privilege should be viewed as a built-in advantage, separate from one’s level of income or effort.”
— Cory Collins, Teaching Tolerance

Is there a war against white people?

It should go without saying, but no, there isn’t a war on white people. There is a war on racism.

Another comment on my response, possibly the worst one, was from a man who called me racist because in defending a Muslim woman and telling people to stop calling her a hysterical b***h for being angry at the racist rhetoric, I were exhibiting hatred for white people and wanted to silence them — therefore I am facilitating a white genocide (I kid you not, the cockroach actually used the word “genocide").

It should go without saying, but no, there isn’t a war on white people. There is a war on racism.

If you are going to keep defending and participating in a society that was built on supporting the white man and freeing them of taking accountability, then be prepared to be confronted about it.

If you think it’s acceptable to racially profile someone, expect to feel lucky that you’re only being asked by peaceful protestors to take accountability so that they can have justice because to shoot someone down for the color of their skin, or to treat them as less than human, is an atrocious and unforgivable crime.

Protesting racism and spreading the message that Black Lives Matter should not be considered a crime, even if there is anger on the faces of people demanding basic human rights — for Black people to stop being murdered by police officers. There is no war on white people. There is a fight against racist ideas and beliefs, a fight that is making us white people take a good hard look at ourselves — and the truth is that some people are so unwilling to look that they will continue to shroud themselves in the comfort of their racist beliefs whilst projecting their idealogy on the rest of the world.

Anti-racist women will not be silenced.

White privilege is incredibly comfortable for white people. With change comes accountability, something which frightens racist white men. That’s why they will call anti-racist women hysterical and make outrageous claims such as white genocide. They will call us hysterical and frame us as angry women — but this is simply a deterrent to stop others from listening to our words and simply seeing and hearing the anger in our voices, so that we look like monsters instead of how we truly feel — hurt.

A calm woman gets spoken over. A woman who doesn't hold back is seen as an angry hysterical b***h.

Angry white men act out because they are afraid of the truth, and of having their comfortable lives within a society that greatly benefits them being taken away. And another truth that many won’t be able to accept — women are perceived as second-class citizens. Their opinion doesn’t matter.

But it is our anger and bravery that will continue to pull the rug from under the privileged man’s feet and will eventually result in the world listening. The protests may have caused controversy, but they made people across the world pay attention.

It’s acting like you’re not intimidated or undeterred, even if the opposite is true, that gets results.

Where do we go from here?

Despite being inundated with vile comments from trolls, I will not give up being actively anti-racist and having my voice heard above the precipice of outdated traditions and ridiculous ideas on who belongs where on society’s hierarchy.

If you’re reading this and you have lost faith, I understand. It is OK to step back and take a break. But please don’t give up. Because there are communities under attack who need us, and silence only lets racist white privileged men win.

You are not hysterical. It is just a lie in order for the patriarchy to prevail. Our silence is their greatest weapon.

Be angry. Be anti-racist.

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Kat Morris is a writer, bookworm, and editor. She's also the co-editor of The Brave Writer and Family Matters.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.