#DearWhitePeople: Thank You For “Getting It”

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These days, it is absolutely necessary for people to speak up about racism. It’s probably no secret that the ones who do it the most are people of color.

Racism is uncomfortable. This is no revelation. Talking about it, experiencing it, knowing that it exists all make people feel a certain kind of way. No big secret about that.

I speak a lot of this issue myself. Of course it offends certain people, and it is clear as to why it does. Either they don’t have the guts to speak up, they don’t believe there is a real problem, or they are the very racist individuals themselves who simply want to continue to be that way.

One thing I often hear is certain white people implying that blacks are being “hateful” when speaking up against racism, or that we are “angry with white people,” or even that we hate them. I cannot speak for everyone else, but that could not be further from the truth with me. There is one simple reason as to why.

There are a LOT of white people out there who cannot stand racism and the way people are treated, and they have NO problem speaking up about it. You are absolutely sickened by the behavior and you have decided not to keep quiet about it any longer. Either that, or you have never been quiet.

Even more important is that when people of color speak up about racism, you are intelligent and compassionate enough to understand that condemning racism is NOT synonymous with “hating white people.”

To YOU all, I say THANK YOU.

And if you’re a black person and reading this, yes, you should be thankful as well. One reason why is simple. Because look at the alternative. They could just follow the ugly trend of engaging in racist behavior. This is not to say that white folks deserve a cookie for not being racist, but they are also making it a point to call out this behavior when they could be doing otherwise. They are not doing the “easy” thing. They do deserve some credit for that.

Except for those who boast about “having black friends.” Y’all can have a seat.

Mainly, I want to say thank you for those who don’t take it personally whenever we speak up about what some white folks do. For one, you understand that life is not all about you. Two, you exhibit the compassion to understand where we are coming from without thinking we are talking about you. After all, people so often have a need to respond to everything that doesn’t even apply to them. You do not. And third, you also don’t feel this laughable need to state how much you “aren’t this way,” as though that just eliminates racism. I mean, since YOU aren’t like that, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

But the whole deal of us being “hateful toward whites” just because we call out racism doesn’t even make sense, and I am thankful that most of you get it. Even those who say that we are “keeping racism alive” is silly. That would be like saying the person who repeatedly calls the fire department is keeping arson alive. Please.

In this day of being part of a presidential administration that encourages racism or goes completely out of its way to avoid denouncing it, allies are extremely important. And truly, I don’t believe white people are doing it for credit.

It’s because YOU are all sick of it as well.


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