White Woman Criticizes Other White People For Cutting Off Racist Family Members — ‘Whose Problem Are They Now’

Silence only breeds more ignorance.

White woman pulling from the depths of racist bias from family memebers to bring them into unity arturmarciniecphotos, wildpixel, Jude Robinett | Canva

In general, having conversations about sensitive subjects like racism, particularly when addressing family members exhibiting racist behavior, is no small task. Even so, the challenges it poses make such discourse all the more necessary. 

Unfortunately, these kinds of discussions can often lead to heated debates and animosity between family members or loved ones, which can prompt people to sever ties. While it’s understandable for one to take time and space away from these kinds of situations, it may not be in everyone’s best interest to cut off communication, especially as a white person, if the goal is to ultimately educate and dismantle ingrained racist beliefs.


A TikToker says white people should educate their racist family members rather than cut ties.

In a video reply to a comment on TikTok, anti-racism activist and influencer Alina-Gene Lee highlights the disadvantages of ditching racist friends or relatives entirely as it unfairly places the responsibility of addressing racism on Black people and POC.

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The original comment read, “I’m a [white woman] and I’m so sick of the pride white people take in saying they cut off family members for bigoted and racist comments cuz whose problem [is] your family now?” 


“The people you want to claim [you’re] an ally to," they add, "And then they tell me I’m the problem for not cutting people off. I’m trying to help them grow. If not me, who?”

Alina-Gene Lee responds to a TikTok comment criticizing white people for cutting off racist family members.Photo: TikTok / @alina.gene

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Avoiding difficult conversations about racism and prejudice further disadvantages marginalized groups.

In congruence with the user’s response, Lee says, “I really like these comments because white people are in a very delicate place where they have to not be performative; you have to ‘be about that life’ and if you say that you’re going to support Black Lives Matter, you can’t be silent when your family, your friends, your coworkers and whoever start saying racist stuff.” 


Along these lines, Lee notes that it’s counterproductive to claim allyship if you’re cutting everyone off in the process; with that being said, one also can’t be too “pushy with your views” when the subject of racism is introduced.

Similarly, Lee brings up an interesting point regarding situations among the queer communities in Appalachia who leave their homes in search of cities with more progressive outlooks. “At the same time,” Lee observes, “that means that they are abandoning their communities that they do have a responsibility to.”

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A society denormalized of racism and discrimination should be on the top of the to-do list of things we should aim for as human beings. According to Merriam-Webster, the term “ally” can be defined as “one that is associated with another as a helper.” In other words, allowing others to shoulder the burden alone isn’t an option.


However, when white people choose to disengage from discussing pertinent topics like racism, especially within circles that they likely reign influence over, they inadvertently uphold the pillars of racial inequality. 

It’s important to note that the “choice” to cut off racist individuals may even send the message that addressing racism is optional; it also further asserts a form of white privilege in being able to remove oneself from given situations for the sake of personal comfort.

As a consequence, this amplifies the burden on Black individuals and POC to not only shoulder the emotional weight of navigating educational conversations among racist people, but also places an unfair requirement on them to advocate for their own rights.


Although challenging, approaching these conversations openly and informatively can greatly contribute to that friend or family member’s personal growth, but it’s good to keep in mind that attempting to deconstruct deep-rooted beliefs does take time and patience in order to combat racism.

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Xiomara Demarchi is a New York writer and frequent contributor to YourTango’s news and entertainment team. Keep up to date with them on Instagram.