We Shouldn’t Have To Say “Not All White People”

But we do because you force us to.

We Shouldn’t Have To Say “Not All White People”
Brooke Cagle/ Unsplash

Marginalized Americans Is Not A Myth

I’m Black. As an American, I have experienced a lot of unjustifiable anti-Blackness here and abroad, so write a lot about my those experiences. I tend to speak primarily of the racial group of people most responsible for building, supporting, and maintaining the racist infrastructures impacting me and my family. I also talk a great deal about the people responsible for developing the racist psychological warfare and classism used to oppress Blacks and other minorities in the country. The racial group is White people. No one should be shocked because it’s well documented.

I’m in one of America’s historically marginalized groups, and I have experienced plenty of racism in my lifetime at the hands of White people. So have my children, my parents, my siblings, and all of my friends.

Racism is not a myth. It just is what it is, and it’s not meant to be an insult. I realize we all have biases that we aren’t aware of, but racism is a beast of another kind because it’s used as a tool to oppress people. It’s become clear White people don’t know what racism is.

What Is Racism

According to the Oxford Dictionary, racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. While I’ll readily admit it’s possible for me and Black people to be biased, it’s not possible for any of us to be racist because we do not belong to the racial group in America which has been the ruling class of every thing since 1619. Likewise, just because some White people aren’t racist doesn’t mean they are free from Black biases. (There is even a controversial test which can be used by White people interested in determining if you’re racist or implicitly biased)

Not All White People

I know not all White people are out here living the racist life, being anti-Black, reveling in inequality, setting racist traps, engaging in racist microaggressions, engaging in racist tropes, or calling cops on unsuspecting Black people and people of color minding their business. White people should know that not all White people are racist too.

So why is it that any time Blacks and other people of color write about our experiences or our desired remedies for racism and we identify the perpetrators of racial discrimination as White people, White people near and far, America, and otherwise feel the need to come into our comments to demand we know not all White people are racists?

I feel the need to talk about it one more time, and for the last time. We don’t need “Not all White people” people wagging their fingers Whitesplaining it to us. It doesn’t really make your cases.

Your need to defend your individuality causes us anxiety because instead of discussing the topic of our experiences, we’re forced to discuss Whiteness being offended and your low tolerance for discomfort. The “Not all White people (NAWP)” defense by White people is a form of coercion which allows White people to separate themselves from their racial group.

Similar Issues, No NAWP Defense Needed

Most of us should know by now all cancers are bad for us and they can be deadly. When someone writes an article about the impact of cancer, provides details on how to prevent it, and create road maps and resources teaching us all how to survive it, people don’t shout down the writer telling them their information forces people to deal with something that doesn’t apply to them. Readers consume the article, save the info to memory if needed/desired, or they discard it if they don’t. No harm, no foul.

No one bashes writers trying to help the public survive/beat cancer.

It can be likened to being kin to a perverted uncle who went raped a lot of people, but you publicly excuse yourself from the family by telling people you don’t talk to him and sharing your disdain for him being kin to you. You also hate the fact that men are accused and found guilty of rape a lot. Well guess what? You’re still family, and you’re still connected.

No one needed to know you’re connected or related to your perv uncle, and no one asked you defend yourself. Your shame made you want to separate yourself from your perverted relative. No one was accusing you of being a perv, but you felt the need to exclude yourself because of how his actions make you feel. The “Not all White people” defense has everything to do with White feelings and emotions. It has nothing to do with helping us end racism.

The “Not all White people” types of White people are distractions from the real public health crisis of racism. Your White fragility tries to shame us into respecting Whiteness as you exclude yourselves from the bad behavior of your group.

Check Your White Feelings

You need not speak on a subject if it doesn’t apply to you. If you disagree with our thoughts on race, move on. White people shouldn’t be offended about something that’s describing a real situation. If you feel offended, perhaps you should check yourself. You may have some unresolved issues or guilt about racism. That’s not our problem. White people upset on behalf of all White people because Black people and other non-White marginalized groups describe how racism impacts them is cognitive dissonance.

Your feelings about what we write can’t possibly compare to the injuries we endure by White people. NAWP people are asking victims to tend to their feelings instead of them helping us to heal our wounds. It’s selfishness.

Having tantrums because you want to play superhero for your entire race/racial group or subgroup knowing full well their chest beating redirects much needed attention away from the problem (racism) and back onto the cause of the problem (racist White people).

Please stop.

Learn To Do No Harm

I know how to extract what’s for me and leave the rest. White people, I wish you’d learn how to do this when we talk about race. Just click off and move on. We don’t need anymore shit in our lives, trust me.

If you are a White person (racist, ally, unsure, etc.), and you read something written that does rightly crucify you, please stop forcing non-White writers to give you an explanation about which White people we’re talking about when the contents of the article already explains what we mean. We don’t care so much about you being offended, especially when we know our writings don’t apply to you.

If someone was to say Black people kill White people, I’m not getting pissed or offended by the statement because, it’s true! Black people kill White people. No qualifier is necessary. When we say “White people are racists”, non-White writers shouldn’t have to provide White people descriptors and security blankets to the offended because they have issues with being accused of harmful actions collectively that have truth.

Instead of going off on us, how about investigating your own feelings about our writings to understand why you’re offended and why you feel the need to exclude yourself from other white people in your group. Are you ashamed? Those feelings and emotions urging you to defend all White people in your effort to say “Not all White people” come from somewhere. There is a reason you want to exclude yourselves from your group. You need to deal with that on your own.

Stop expecting victims of racism to clarify which White people we’re referring to, causing further injury because we already know which White people we’re referring to.

The racist ones.

Understand good White people, I love you dearly. Thank you so much for your allyship and he efforts you take to not be racist, but understand I’m tired of coddling the “Not all White people” crew. I’m sure I speak for many of Blacks and People of Color.

I’m tired of petting. I’m tired of unnecessarily explaining who I’m referring to.

Understand when I write about race, I’m always referring to White and White passing racists because in America they are the architects (or descendants of the architects) of the racists systems and cultures harming us.

I shouldn’t have to put a blanket disclaimer on every piece I write on race because I’m worried about offending the “Not all White people” crowd.

When you “Not all White people” tell us how offended you are, you show exactly what you care about, and that’s White people. If “Not all White people” people used the same energy and emotion they use to @ us to about what they aren’t to call out racism and racial discrimination among their racist peers, relatives, colleagues, spouses, friends, employers, and associates, perhaps Black people would feel relief from racist aggression.

White people, you don’t need your egos stroked anymore because you’re not racist. You’re not racists because it’s the right thing to do. Thank you for being a good human being. Instead of defending yourself, how about help us find solutions for racism, or at least acknowledge there is truth in what we are saying.

You don’t need validation or reassurances from us. You’re not being accused of anything if you’re not guilty of the things we discuss.

Good White people shouldn’t need a special designation from us to denote they aren’t racist because you all know as well as I do not all White people are racist.

We know. We! Already! Know!

Someone from your racial group tells us every chance they get.

A rule I like to use for myself is if it doesn’t apply, I let it fly. I’m mature enough to understand all White people aren’t racist. But I also know from personal experience a lot of them are. Many don’t know it because they can’t get beyond their own impression of themselves. Some of the most racist people underestimate their own racism. White people overlooking an entire article to toot their own horns could be perceived as racist, so tread thoughtfully.

What we think about ourselves is important. What others think about us and how they see us is also important. It’s time for all White people to grapple with our histories, respectively. The Not all White people group need to understand how White people have harmed Blacks over the centuries. The trauma of racism is overwhelming.

If you feel a way about us talking about White people being racist, talk to White people about your feelings. Don’t ask us to validate you. You’re taking the attention away from us and centering yourselves. We have enough burdens to deal with every single day just living, including tipping around your feelings, not scaring you, and being polite to appease in search of White approval.

Telling you that you aren’t racist shouldn’t be another burden placed on shoulders. Put your big girl and big boy underwear on and understand when we talk about race and White people, we know it’s not all White people.

We just want to talk about our experiences, so could you “Not all White people” people please stop taking it so personal? Your emotions are stifling our voices, and it’s a form of racism you exercise without even knowing it.

If victims of racism cannot talk without offending White people, and White people cannot listen without getting emotional, how will we communicate with each other, let alone solve racism and inequality?

We won’t, and that’s always the plan of racists.

Keeping inequality in tact by silencing, oppressing and scaring victims of it makes equality impossible. It’s time to end “Not all White people” defenses White people.

Thanks for reading, comments are welcomed.

Follow Marley K on Medium, on my blog here on Medium, Marleyisms and on Twitter.