“I’m Not Racist, But…”

When your white friends say they’re not racist, transphobic, homophobic, etc. yet every other thing they say is problematic and they refuse to learn and understand the problems minorities and people of color like myself have to go through. When they know #BlackLivesMatter through a FOXNEWS light, so they don’t actually understand what the movement is about and how it’s not about police hate. When they don’t understand why we have a Black History Month and how important it is. When they don’t understand that the media is portraying Muslims as terrorists and how dangerous that is. When they go around saying the Eurocentric names they want for their children, yet my sister is strange for naming her beautiful Latino children Guillermo and Manolo. When they expect me to be able to pronounce these white names and words perfectly, yet they can’t take the time to learn to say my family’s names and words within my culture because “it’s too hard”. Or maybe you didn’t want to try hard enough? When they call people retarded, use ableist language or don’t get why people with disabilities should be viewed as equal (especially when they know me, a disabled woman, am I not equal?). When they say a woman is ugly and she’s trashy only because she’s showing her sexuality the way a man would, how they say the feminist movement is to hate men. When in reality feminism not only helps women by fighting the patriarchy, it helps men as well by fighting the same patriarchy that hurts them. It’s frustrating as hell because they refuse to learn and understand, they refuse to recognize that they have privilege and that doesn’t mean they didn’t experience their own struggle, it just means they’ve never faced the systematic oppression many people of color face on a daily basis.

They refuse to grow, and change with a country that so desperately needs change. It makes me fear for my baby sobrinos, it makes me fear to bring children in this world knowing they might be hated because they’re Latino like their mother. It brings me fear that I know people with these thoughts and they’re right around my corner. Yet sadly, this kind of fear they’ll never understand simply because they refuse to.

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